According to tradition, the spirit of the departed returns home a certain date after their passing. To ensure a peaceful return a meal of favourite foods should be prepared and offered, and a white candle burning outside the door to guide the way. Though the Catholic part of me screams out against such paganistic rituals, the spiritual part of me hits back with why not? Respecting from afar and participating in different practices may not be the same, but they have the same starting point. The underlying theme is basically, it’s good to have beliefs. And if the beliefs bring even a small smidgen of joy and comfort in times of mourning, then they are beliefs worth having.
So I had dinner with mm’s family last night. And it was a veritable feast. Her mother picked out the best morsels and laid them out. I brought dessert from that little shop at the other side of town, because that’s what her sis and I did the last time we had dinner, just the two of us, back before she went into hospital, when she felt fine enough to go to work, eat out and enjoy a semblance of normal life. We had a steak dinner and took the #10 bus to this shop and she told me about their famous sponge cake. So yesterday I went there and bought the special sponge cake and also the almond tea she likes. Liked. Her father kept talking to her during dinner, “do you have enough to eat?”, “finished?”, “want some fruit?”.