As some of you might remember from other blog posts of mine in the past, in Sweden at Halloween we tend to focus mostly on remembering the dead by lighting candles and putting winter decorations on the family graves; and less on pumpkins, scary costume-parties, and candy-collecting (even if that tradition is growing more common here too, in the younger generations).
It was never my favourite holiday, even if over the past few years (after the deaths of my own parents) I feel that I have perhaps sort of come to new terms with it.
From this year on, for me, there will also be something else to remember and celebrate about Halloween.
As it happened, Friday 31st October 2014, became the date when The House (originally built and inhabited by my paternal grandparents; and later the home of my parents in their retirement years) was finally signed over to new owners – a young couple who are about the same age now as my grandparents were when they bought the property back in 1930:
I may have posted the above photo before – it’s one of my favourites. Standing together at the well on the site where they are going to build their new home, looking into the camera, they seem to be looking both proudly and happily into the future!
So I printed out a copy of that photo and gave to the new owners when we signed the final papers on Friday.
My own last (very brief) visit to The House took place last Monday in the company of my aunt and uncle. We also visited the graves of my parents and grandparents in the village churchyard and lit candles there. Weatherwise it was a very gloomy day, and for both practical and emotional reasons it felt good to have their company on this occasion, so I’m thankful that happened to fit in with their travel plans.
Yesterday, on All Saints’ Day, I went for a short walk to the cemetery near where I live, and just lit a “one for all” candle on the grave of my maternal great-grandparents there (see the collage photo above). (What I mean is that I lit one candle in that spot, but let my thoughts go briefly to “everyone” in the family tree.)
Walking back, I passed by the remembrance chapel, which on this weekend stands open for visitors. I don’t think I’ve ever taken photos inside before. I’ve been inside once or twice before (also at Halloween time) but then there have been other people there and I’ve not wanted to disturb them by taking photos. But yesterday it happened to be empty, so I took the opportunity.