Death Anniversary

Christopher Jean was raised in Los Angeles, California.  He graduated high school in 2003 and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Loma Linda University in 2012.  He is Hatian and grew up in a devout Catholic household.  He currently resides in San Bernardino, with his wife Shirley.  He is a Physical Therapist Assistant.

A few months ago my mom planned this huge celebration for my dad, who died five years ago.  We had never done this before, so I was a little confused, but it was important to her so I went along with it.  I spent a lot of weekends before going down to her house painting and paving the driveway and being a general handy man in preparation for this day.  My mom said it was important that everything look amazing for all of our family that would be coming in from out of town and that it has to look like everything was in the best shape.  On the day of the celebration we went to Mass, had a huge feast of all of his favorite dishes, and we had a lot of family over to enjoy this lavish display.

While I miss my dad and everything looked really nice, and tasted really good, I’m not really sure why she did this.  In all that I remember, we never did this for any other family member.  But, when I think about it, I think that this is her way of dealing with her own demons.  She was outright mean to my father when he was alive and she treated him like he was nothing … She treated him like shit for no reason.  He wasn’t a bad man, he wasn’t abusive, or anything like that.  But she talked down to him and just didn’t behave the way that a wife should, you know? … … … when I think of it like that it really makes me believe that she did all of this because she felt bad about how she treated him when he was alive so she had to make a big show of it with all the food and cleaning and stuff.  (shrugs)


I do not know exactly why his mother decided to do this, or what her motivations were, but I did find that this is actually something that is observed in Catholicism.  It is called Requiem Masses.  They are used to celebrate the anniversary of someone’s death.  There are a lot of rituals and customs involved n this practice, but it is, in fact, a true ritual.