Halloween 2010 has already passed into memory. Though its sickly sweet spoils might still stick to the roof of our mouths as we gum our Blow Pops...
And while the crafty-girl within does so adore the costume aspect (Lisbeth Salander was a good choice, I think), the commercialism of this traditional American confection can get really old — Blow Pop guilty pleasures notwithstanding.
Which is why this week’s Day of the Dead is so appealing to me. Having done some time in Mexico, I've had cause to declare this a holiday I can definitely get behind.
No, it’s not just the fact that the Mexican version of Halloween (sort of) is a non-Hallmark holiday with a purpose that goes well beyond the advancement of Day-Glo punch, candy corn and Target–brand costumes. Rather, it’s more to do with the fact that November 2nd is actually about something even less tangible than smoky dry ice: bringing friends and family together to remember their dead.
As a veterinarian, managing death easily consumes about a quarter of my working life. Which is perhaps why anything that evokes death immediately appeals to me. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe my easy acceptance of death has made veterinary medicine a natural fit for someone with my sensibilities. (Yes, in high school I was definitely that weird girl in black.)
I honestly don’t know why the concept of deadly reminiscences so appeals to me. I do, however, know that we in America need more than a mere Memorial Day to remember our dearly departed. Whether we’re talking about pets or people, I do believe we’re in need of another outlet for recalling all those who have long since passed into memory.
Hallmark … are you listening?
Dr. Patty Khuly
P.S. - This post may not earn a lot of comments, but rest assured that it’s in the service of my own psyche that I occasionally "vomit" my thoughts upon the page. Hope you all understand. It’s been a trying week for me.