13 January 2011

Bogart in Heaven . . .

I am still featuring Bogart on a week-long tribute. We lost him suddenly last year in April. But we are passed the mourning stage. We remember him with great fondness and not a week would pass when his name is not mentioned. Just yesterday I called the attention of Bogart's father Sumo who growled at Sweepy. I have to constantly remind Sumo to be more tolerant of Sweepy because "Bogart used to play with Sweepy" "Bogart would always cuddle Sweepy in his house" "Bogart would always allow Sweepy to wrestle with him" "Bogart would . . ." . . . and Sumo would grudgingly eye his pup Sweepy thinking 'oh what did I do to deserve this whining playful brat!" . . . .

Some friends I know who lost a loved one are also in this 'mourning phase' which is the opposite of the weepy and silent stage. It is that delicate and nagging phase where everyone is reminded constantly of the dead and where people always bark back "oh, get a life!". . . I once heard a friend barked back "but I can't!" . . . and she's probably right. She can not get her life back because the light of her life is gone! At least give her time. Nobody can dictate to anybody or prescribe their period of mourning.

So how do your mourn your dead?
How do you let go and move on?
Or how do you want people to treat you when you are in mourning?

In my family we observe the 40 days of mourning where people pray for the dead until the 40th day when they say that the soul leave the earthly plane. But the 40-day mourning for us is not a weeping marathon. It is actually some sort of a family reunion where the available relatives (within the city and country) come to pay respect and have a party! In my family a reunion is always noisy, festive and happy whether it is a birthday or a funeral. In a funeral, people cry only upon seeing the dead in the coffin but afterwards it was already a loud happy narration of "remember when . . ." And on the 40th day the only solemn time is the mass and the rest of the time is like any typical get together with laughter. There is so much to laugh about when they remember the dead in his lifetime. Of course not when the death is tragic and when this happens, people talk in hush tones in respect to the family of the dead.

But moving on is a long painful and beautiful process if you allow yourself the time and the memories to enrich, rather than enslave you. To Susan, may your longing be filled with tender moments that will allow you to face life without your loved one. And for Brooke and Greg, may you hold on to each other for comfort and happy tears. . . And for most of us confronted with somebody in mourning, please do not judge, please do not hurry the mourner, and please do not stay away. These people needs our healing and even if we allow them their private time to mourn, always keep that wordless, loving and comforting hand available to hold, hug and be whole again . . .

Bogart's converted sepia shots is for Mary's Sepia Scenes and my questions above is for Self Sagacity's Thursday Two Questions. And here's a bonus shot of our lovable Bogart who is now in another heaven . . .


Lui said...

And here are my own answers to my Qs:

How do you mourn your dead?
I mourn with prayers. For the soul's fearless flight, for the healing and comfort of the loved ones left behind, and for enlightenment. Death teaches an important lesson for the living if only we allow ourselves the time to know and understand it.

How do you let go and move on?
I allow the process of healing to take shape by giving myself plenty of private time to deal with it.

How I want people to treat me when I am in mourning?
With complete understanding when you get sentimental, cranky, moody, and plain nuisance. By staying near and far. Near enough to be on call and far enough to understand when you wanted more private time.

So many people are in mourning now. Sometimes a hug is more powerful than any words.

Margaret Duarte said...

Hi Lui. It's interesting that you should bring up this subject about mourning (and your dog). My friend, Dorothy Skarles, does a post on bereavement every Friday on my blog. Tomorrow she does one about dogs and bereavement. Do dogs feel grief? Now, in answer to your questions:

1. The night before the funeral, we have a viewing and a tribute to the deceased (It used to be called a rosary, but the Catholic Church put an end to that). Then we have a great big funeral with a full lunch afterward for all in attendance. Between my mother's rosary and funeral, 800 people showed up. We feed at least 300.

2. My mother was a great teacher in letting go. She told us all goodbye in a gentle and loving way from the hospital. Her exact words, "Don't be selfish, let me go." We believe our loved ones go to a better place (my mother called it No Man's Land from here hospital bed), which helps a lot in letting the person go. I pray. I have Masses said at our church.

Lui said...

Hi Margaret.
I just posted about Bogart again and his death. I am not purging but its a tribute which I only shared to friends who, in turn, asked me to share it with friends in the blogosphere.

I love the rosary concept. Too bad the church put a stop to it. Our funerals are big feasts as well!

My mother taught me goodbye as well. My Mom's mother, my grandma, did as well. Which is why, death are sad but not painful experiences for us. Because of them, it became a beautiful experience, of letting go of the physical world.

I will check Dorothy Skarles tomorrow. It is Friday here now but Thursday in your part.

Lui said...

...and oh, before I forget, I agree. Dogs feel grief. Sumo, Bogart's father, almost died when his mate Pica died. Sumo did not eat for days and the vets warned us already. But I begged him to live. I cried and he tried to get up and eat, take meds, and look, tomorrow is Sumo's 11th birthday!

JamericanSpice said...

I don't know how I would mourn. I have not had that as yet.

For me, I'd like for people to talk to me about it and also just treat my day like a regular day, unless I'm crying. Don't let me feel uncomfortable about talking about why I'm mourning etc.

Letting go is timely. It happens little at a time where the heart turns from grief to understanding to memories....
Very interesting questions.

DoanLegacy said...

1) I allow my emotions to take control: cry, yell, and sadness in the process of mourning..but try to remember the best times we had too.

2) I let go by thinking that they are in a better place..

SquirrelQueen said...

1) It depends on the circumstances. In most cases I would let my emotions take control and cry. There have been a couple of times when others looked to me for support and I held back the tears for awhile.

2) I think at some point we realize life has to go on and we must come to terms with our loss however difficult it might be.