Yesterday was All Hallows’ Eve, and it was also my birthday. My grandma died a few days before my 21st birthday. I chose to remember her last night by creating a tiny ancestor shrine.
For me, building my own memorial is a more personal and powerful way to remember the dead than any mausoleum. I visit this sacred object as frequently as I wish, I can modify it any time, and I don’t have to travel to an impersonal headstone to conduct rituals of remembrance (although I have done so many times).
I’ve used the same photo as in my recent post about the story of her death although I have many others to choose from. Her children stand beside her: my mother, who is thankfully still living, and her brother David Sr., who passed away some years ago after a painful struggle against lung cancer.
Memorials like this are observed in many traditions, including the pagan tradition I follow in conjunction with Quaker practice. I honor those traditions today with gratitude.
Blessed be the beloved dead.