Now I must admit, we're not the only Greek family that does this, plus there are other little things we have to do as well, like, getting dressed appropriately, giving the priest a list of names to bless, and holding a lit candle without dripping any wax on yourself. But, that said, why do we do it? Why do certain members of our family feel the need to do this every year, emphasis on CERTAIN? Whilst other members are more than happy to celebrate the passing of a loved one without partaking in this sort of Holier than thou ritual?
I've often asked myself this question, time and time again, wondering what it is that I want to accomplish, by hook, or by crook! The dead will always be dead, so no amount of praising is going to bring them back again. Plus, by attending church and doing all of that Bu-Bah Bu-Bah thing (no offence intended), well, that doesn't necessarily mean that I care more about the departed than those who didn't attend! As a matter a fact, some of the people who don't go to the memorial service did more for the dead when they were alive, an awful lot more than some of the people who do attend, emphasis on DO!
Not me of course. I don't think I could go and show my face if I didn't express my love for someone when they were alive. Heck, I'd feel like a hypocrite! But, as I said, why do I do it? Why do I go and what do I get out of it? Recollections? No. Not really. Despite trying to focus my mind in that general area when the service is in full swing, at the same time I don't receive a great deal of satisfaction, especially when I'm surrounded by certain people who would rather catch up on the local gossip, or just stand there, motionless, and pretend they're doing something when in actuality they're not. Furthermore, the priests words, although very good words, are sometimes spouted in a diction that's too advanced for my primitive Greek ears (meaning, I need to improve more on learning Greek).
For me, personally, I only seem to make peace with the dead when I'm on my own and my thoughts are good ones, true ones, and full of love and peace. I try to block out how they died or why they died, because that's the sort of negative thinking which can hinder the mind, any mind, and make people go a bit crazy in the head. The way I look at it, is that when someone dies, particularly someone who's close to you, you can't help but also die a little in the process. So by staying true, by staying honorable, and by staying clear in ones own story, that's the only way you can commemorate the dead. That is, unless the dead person in question was an actor who perished on film in such a dramatic fashion, Morph Suits felt the need to make an infographic about it (see below).
To those of you who've lost a loved one, recently, or in the past, love, light, and peace, my friends. I wish you and your kin all the happiness and harmony in the world. Amen.