I loved the movie “Coco”. And I fell in love with the concept of the Day of the Dead, as a holiday. For me, Sukkot is a yearly mark for my Day of the Dead. It’s a mix of birthday celebrations and remembering those who are not with us any more. And a family get together brings together our loved ones who join in spirit.
I have a wild imagination and in these family gatherings, I could almost see the three most significant people our family has lost in recent years. My grandmother, who passed away more than 100 years old about 12 years ago. My father, who died surprisingly about 7 years ago, and my dear cousin, Daphna, who was like a sister to me, and died so young about 3 years ago.
Why Sukkot? Ever since I can remember myself Sukkot was an annual must-attend family gathering. It was my Grandma’s birthday. To be joined, later, by two granddaughters” birthdays. Even more a reason to gather and celebrate.
After grandma left us, I thought that keeping this family tradition is the best way to celebrate her life with us. I am sure there’s nothing she would have loved more than seeing the family gather again.
The first holiday after my father’s death was heartbreaking for me. I felt so lonely and sad. Him not being there was a huge hole. But little by little the family being together, created a support like nothing else.
The following gatherings I could “meet” both of them. Feel their presence. Their energy. The same happened after Daphna’s going away. I moved to a new house, and was worried that I might not have this feeling. But they came, my dead loved ones. I felt them with us, last year. They got excited with us for the coming baby. They were a part of the living, just like in the movie.
This year, we can’t have this family meeting. I feel like a good dose of family gathering is desperately needed. But we can’t have it. And so in the last couple of weeks the dead have been in and out of my dreams, thoughts and longings. Because they are a part of me, and my life and the living.
It’s much more than just remembrance. It’s a meeting.