Sitting with Our Dead in November


branches cemetery cross daylight
Photo by mali maeder on


Last month Kristen invited me to look at the “thin places” in our spirituality, and we did—but we both feel like we’re not done here yet. We’ve had our share of creepy, but it feels like we need to spend some more time with our dead.

By the calendar, November is the month we do this anyway. All Saints’ Day is November 1, and All Souls’ Day is November 2. This is of course similar in sentiment to Dia de los Muertos, which had its origins in Aztec culture before being merged with Catholic Christianity. Not being of Mexican heritage myself, I don’t feel qualified to speak to the specifics of Dia de los Muertos, though I’d love to learn more.

I’m not suggesting we dwell morbidly on skeletons or go frolic in graveyards (but feel free, if that’s your thing–I’ve been known to do both). For my part I plan to lean into my grief over my dead, to share more stories with my kids, to spend time actively remembering and praying for them. I may finally get to that “Catholic Box” of my mom’s that I inherited, and perhaps set up a remembrance altar with pictures of those we miss.

It may be a good time to trace more of your ancestry, if you’re up for it. (This is a charged topic for me, and I’ll probably take a pass on that part.)

Care to share any ways you keep your dead alive, in a non-Frankensteiny way?


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