The Living and The Dead

I’ve always wondered, what was the point of going to the cemetery once a year, to pray for the dead? To me it was always a weird ritual. I mean, we’re supposed to pray for our dearly departed, so they can go to heaven, and all that. Then, we are taught that God is not only a merciful one, but he isn’t an idiot who only listens on a specific time, in a specific day of the year right? If you say a little prayer for the dead every now and then, wouldn’t God be listening then as well?

Do we do it then, because we are sentimental? If we were really sentimental, shouldn’t we be putting flowers, lighting candles and saying a little prayer every time we could?

Right?

So what was the point to praying for the dead, or in some cultures, to the dead?

Genius as Einstein was, or Ford, or Edison, would they, if brought back to life help solve the greatest challenges of our day? Would they understand what our computers are, or would they seem so small, and yet wonderful?

Perhaps there is something timeless— human nature. Men and women fall in love in the same way right? Whether it was a hundred years ago, or earlier, love is love. Greed was greed. Hate was hate. Anger was anger. Only the background has changed. We’ve learned to fly, to walk the moon, but the foundation remain the same.

Why do we do it then?

Remember the dead.

To live as they did?

To love as they loved?

To strive as they strove?

To learn from their mistakes?

To ground us, remembering where we came?

To honor their memory?

To consecrate their struggle?

To never forget what they did here?

To commune, to ask— Is there life beyond death?

Is there a sense of purpose in death?

Where does the soul go?

Where does consciousness go?

Isn’t it death too— letting the world pass us by. Shunning the world, uncaring whether the gifts we have— the potential of who we are is never used? Without purpose, is that not what death is as well? Or is that merely purgatory of the living?

Everything dies. It is the one thing we share. It is the one thing we share with everything in the universe. Even stars, their light eventually goes out. But material is renewed right? Chapters end, but there’s always new ones opening. And wise men have written, “There is a Time for everything under the sun”.

Going back to my question, what was the point of going to the cemetery once a year, to pray for the dead? What then is the point of celebrating death if it serves no purpose for the living? Is it then appropriate to ask, “Have we truly lived, or are we living-dead?”

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • I’m going to the cemetery today, with flowers and with candles too, because my mother-in-law is there, and I love my mother-in-law. She was with me through thick and thin up to the time of her death but that’s not the only reason why I love her.

    I don’t know the reason for the candles and I don’t pray either, but flowers is a good thing to bring to a love one. Still I brought the candles just the same and I’m going to the cemetery for a visit because my mother-in-law is there and I know this day is the appropriate time for a visit though I don’t know the reason why it is.

  • GabbyD

    “What then is the point of celebrating death if it serves no purpose for the living? Is it then appropriate to ask, “Have we truly lived, or are we living-dead?””

    dude. u blew my mind. 

    • Proudpinoy

      Ako din. Blown away gyud and fell from chair. Natapon tuloy ang akin venti mochoa frappuccino.

  • What is the point of Easter? Of Christmas? It binds us to a faith, as remembrance of the dead binds us to our ancestors. It gives us an anchors and enables us to cope with the lunacy of the normal world. It also enriches the community of caring souls.