Okay so I’m a day early, but I couldn’t let Halloween pass by without acknowledging it in one way or another. Tomorrow marks the start of The Days Of The Dead festivals in Mexico, starting with All Hallow’s Eve. While Friday is actually the Day of the Dead, the whole festival actually celebrates life. It encourages people to talk about death, life beyond the grave, and not to fear it.
So for a slightly more personal take on All Hallow’s Eve, when the wall between the living and the dead is said to be thin enough for spirits to pass through, I stopped to think about what I would say to those relatives and other loved ones who are no longer amongst the living. If the superstition is true, and tomorrow the ones we care about are able to walk amongst us, then I hope they have access to a computer to read what I would love to say to them! Below is my message to those beyond the grave.
Hi everyone! You all know who you are, so I don’t want to take the time to name you all. Not that I don’t want to, it’s more a case of I don’t think my internet friends overly mind.
Now we all know I’m sceptical about this life after death stuff, and that would probably annoy you if you’re all correct and I’m currently on the wrong side of things. But I am curious – are you all together? Like do you meet up for the holidays and birthdays etc and talk about the good old days? I’m currently imagining a situation that’s been described to us before – Granda and Papa sitting on a bench, drunk and waiting for a bus. Only at the time that story is from, they weren’t actually on a bench outside, rather they were in Granny’s hallway having come back from Dad’s stag party. Do you remember that night? Well yeah, that’s what I imagine when I think of what you might be doing.
You may be slightly worried about how things have been going with me. And I’d also like to take the opportunity to say that if one of you decided to hide my playing cards and adapters before Ibiza last year then I really would appreciate them back – yes even a year later! But, as you hopefully know, this year seems to have been better for me than the last few. When I first started thinking about writing this letter to you, I had just started living alone in Glasgow, and I had recently started a new job. I was loving life in Glasgow, and I am so grateful for all the help you gave me to get me to that point. We all know things went a little off-schedule then, so I moved back in with Mum and Dad, got a job over here, and to be honest things are looking up.
Oh! I need to ask this! Is there a separate place for the pets that die? Or are you with Baron? Because if you are then I hope you’re giving him plenty of ear scratches and belly rubs! Mum wanted to get rid of his Slipper when we moved house, but it’s currently hiding in the boot of my car… and the cat still uses his bed, so I guess there’s still a part of him around.
So I suppose I should go right back to when I last saw each of you. Whether I was 7, 11, or 19, it affected me in different ways. I accepted it differently too. Now? Well, now I’ve realised that I mightn’t have dealt with things in the healthiest way possible. I’m trying to change that. But in case you’ve been too busy living it up up there (or wherever you are) I thought I’d update you on life here.
As I said already, I started a new job here in Northern Ireland back in January, and I’ve actually just started tudying again! So far I’m enjoying it, but as I’m sure you appreciate it can take a while to feel comfortable in a new setting. My confidence was shot to hell years ago (just for those of you who last saw me as a confident child) but I’ll slowly trying to build it up again. Not an easy thing to do. So yeah, new job, new studies, hopefully a little wiser Katie.
I’ve never been great at keeping in touch with people. You know that. But these friends I’ve made over the last few years? I really want to keep up with them. We spent the last 3 years getting to know each other, and I’d hate to think that me leaving uni to get a job might get in the way of me chatting to them and meeting up. Actually on that note, I’m going back over to Glasgow in a few weeks to see some of those friends. It’ll be good to see them. Remind myself what being around people my own age feels like to be honest.
I’ve had this “thing” for years that leaves me worried about people leaving me. I don’t know if it’s a left behind thing from your deaths, or if it’s something else entirely. But either way, that general panic that everyone’s going to leave makes it hard to make friends. I either come across as too clingy, or I try to shut people out in the hope that when they leave it won’t hurt as much. Sometimes someone manages to reach the me that’s left in between those two stages, but then they reach the insecure person who needs reassurance every now and again. I don’t know how they do it, but these friends I’ve made over the last few years have somehow put up with that.
But in honour of The Days Of The Dead, I’ve started to look at your deaths in a slightly different way if that makes sense. I’m trying to link thoughts of you to the happy memories and acknowledge the hurt I feel whenever I think of you all, rather than suppressing it and moving on as if I’d never thought of you. Instead of crying whenever I remember the times with you, I’m finding myself laughing or smiling at them. It’s actually nice. I don’t stop myself from crying if the tears are coming (which they are as I proof read this before hitting post), but I try to remember what they mean. They mean I had so many good times with each and every one of you. And it’s okay for people to leave. Because sometimes they’ll stay, and other times they have to leave so you can truly cherish those memories until you can see them again. Everything takes breaks – tv shows, plays, artist, heck even KitKats tell us to take a break! So really you never left, you simply are beyond the grave, giving me a break so we can remember the good times in a good light.
This little letter to you all may seem a little morbid, and I didn’t start it out intending it to be. I actually wanted to say that if that wall gets thin enough for you to come visit me tomorrow, you know you’re always going to be welcome. My room is a friendly-ghost ghost-friendly B&B so please do come (in peace) and let me know you’re here. Maybe in the least freaky way possible – living in the converted attic and watching Criminal Minds has me rather spooked at the minute!
Love you all, always xxx