Lanterns on the water. Lantern Floating Hawaii 2013. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Where do we go after this life? I have an image of a place that I’d like to go when I die, and I believe that many people have different ideas about where they want to go. And I think that is okay. The purpose of the water consolatory service and the lantern floating is to help people get where they want to go.

– Her Holiness Shinso Ito, Tricycle Magazine interview

Next weekend, on Memorial Day, the annual Lantern Floating Hawai‘i ceremony will take place at Magic Island beach park. We have attended this beautiful observance three times, paying tribute to Shake’s grandmother, his mother and our dear friend. This year, we have been fortunate enough to have seen life come into our family, not leave it. (I have an adorable new nephew, who although he looks exactly like my brother, is still extremely cute.) And so, we do not think we will attend this year’s ceremony. Still, I know that on this day, I will be thinking of those who have suffered loss in these past 12 months and hope that they find their way in love and peace. And in the spirit of Lantern Floating, I honor the memory of those who have passed on.