Today was the third day. While I visit my dead at different points during the year – birthdays, death days and any days – I see Samhain, All Saints Day and All Souls Day as a special kind of pilgrimage in the magpie-like way I pick and choose rites and rituals and stitch them together to make my own personal obeah.
It was peaceful walk today with the smells of incense and candle wax and freshly cut grass and mud and dirt and flame and evening breeze. At one grave I watched an old couple hold each other and wail. Later when I looked at the headstone I saw it was the grave of a child long dead. At another, about 12 people gathered and a car door was left open so all could hear the parang music playing on the radio. And at yet another two young women – one black, the other white – said Hail Marys together, tears running down their faces.
Most of these were at modest graves, recently weeded and with a coat of white paint applied by the hustlers who make some change during the season. But many of the old mausoleums with families dating back to the 1800’s remained dark, untended and without candlelight, having reached the end of their lines long ago.
Sometimes people give me odd looks as I wander about but Lapeyrouse is a city of which I never tire. It is the resting place of all my known maternal ancestors and I feel no fear walking its streets whether in the dark or the light. It is now my mother’s house; what then should I fear?
Goodnight Gale, Yolande, Neville, Pal, Prudence, Lily and Amelia. Goodnight all. ✨✨
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