Many of you will recognise the photo above from the opening action sequence of Spectre (2015). Now James Bond is known for his immaculate sartorial elegance, but let’s hope that wasn’t a Tom Ford suit that was painted over at a cost of $4000 a go.
Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. It is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christian triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught in the nation’s schools.
As a 15 year old who lost his father, death has always reminded me of difficult times. I’m known to blub over the slightest of sadness. When I became a parent things just got worse. Crying at the end of Armageddon (1998) when Harry tells his daughter he won’t be coming back is pretty pathetic. It’s only a film! I’ve seen it about half a dozen times and I still cry. I need therapy. You see back in 1977 it was time for the funeral stiff upper lip. “You are the man of the family now”.
So this Día de Muertos, I’m going to celebrate my Dad’s life and his legacy. I’m going to celebrate the lives of all the individuals I have had the brief pleasure of spending time with on this planet. Promise me you will celebrate the lives of someone you lost too.
I’ve spent too long being sad on 28th February (his birthday) and 21st January (day he died) every single year. Well not anymore – just celebration every Día de Muertos from now on.
Day of the Living
I’ve made this one up. It doesn’t exist. By default it’s probably just the other 364 days of the year. But let’s set ourselves a “Day of the Living” now. Once a year we need to prepare, then regularly review, for the time that comes to us all, when we are no longer here. We want our loved ones to celebrate our lives after our deaths. That’s easier to do for them if we don’t leave our affairs in a mess.
Set a date now and come along to the office and we will review your existing will or help you to write a new one. Whilst we are at it, let’s look at whether a Lasting Power of Attorney would be beneficial to you and your loved ones. With Charlie on board now I have the capacity to help all of my clients to sort out their affairs.
For now – Let’s celebrate. Tequila Time!
Jean & Carolyn Eastham
Tom & Muriel Greenwood
John & Carole Kershaw
I apologise to those lost clients I have missed, there have been many more.