Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Halloween Links Related to Palliative Care

Hopefully everyone had a safe Halloween with not too many eyes scalded by the proliferation of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or Christine O'Donnell costumes.  While many of you will be reading this technically on November 1st, I wanted to share some Pallimed posts to Halloween and other seasonal content.
Maxx - A Skelanimal
This post from 2007 reflects on the Mexican tradition, Dia De Los Muertos, particularly the symbolism and respect regarding those who have died.  Public displays of remembrance and celebration of the history of one's family, all with a touch of humor and wit make Dia De Los Muertos an event worth considering adopting into mainstream American culture.  The cartoonish skeleton motif has already been adopted in the past few years into numerous clothing lines.  In leafing through the Christmas Toys R Us catalog (for my 4 year olds, not me, honestly)  I saw not one but two brands (Monster High and Skelanimals) featuring 'cute skeleton' themes. (And after looking through the Skelanimals website I think I have an idea for a Pallimed: Arts and Humanities post)
Interestingly on the Huffington Post, blogger and self-described urban shaman, eco-ceremonialist, ritual expert and consultant Donna Hennes wrote about the variety of holidays around this time from different cultures, with a particular focus on Samhain and Dia de los Muertos.  I find her conclusion very interesting but am somewhat doubtful Americans identify their mortality with Halloween:
We modern Americans rarely -- if ever -- think about death if we can possibly help it. We like to watch it on a big screen well enough...but in "real life," we just don't do death. This is why I think Halloween has become so poplar. It offers us a way to engage with our natural fascination with death in a way that is scary yet safe. At Halloween we get to acknowledge our fear of death while still having a good time.
Kris Kulski
Drew had this quick post in 2008 on the poetry of Thomas Lynch on the subject of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  Similar to the above posts, the focus again is the celebrations allowance for reflection on one's mortality.

If you are looking for any ideas for next year's Halloween decorations you might look to Amy Clarkson's Arts and Humanities posts from 2008 on Laurie Lipton and from 2009 on Kris Kulski.

Happy Halloween from everyone at Pallimed!

(November 1,2010 Edit: removed political statement from quote)

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