Friday, October 30, 2009

Who do you honor on Day of the Dead?


By the time you get to my age, you start losing people in your life that are near and dear to you. It's surreal to think that people you've shared wonderful times with are no longer with you. I don't know if I even comprehend it all or if I just refuse to think of their absence as permanent. Maybe my belief in life after death helps me to remember that I will see them again someday. I expect my older relatives and friends of  the family to pass on without much of a tear drop but when it happens to someone young or under 65 even, it hits hard. You feel  time stop, your skin tingle, and your pulse race when you get the news. I often think about what happens after you die or what will my family do with my body. Will I be buried or burned. Will my daughter carry around my ashes in a locket or will I be put up on a mantle for the cat the tip over. Maybe someone might find my bones 1,000 years from now to study and they'll name me Lucy. Or worse, I'll be flooded out of my casket and put on display in a creepy museum of mummies. But I digress.

Day of the Dead is a joyous celebration of the lives we've lost but will see again. November 2 is the day the dead rise from their graves, ashes, science labs, and museums to re-join their loved ones on earth. Families build altars to their loved ones adorned with flowers, food, drinks, toys, vices, and other favorite items to entice and please the souls. After spending a few hours on earth, the spirits are then scared back to their graves by mask-wearers in a long procession. At least that is how it's done in Mexico. What about you? What traditions or new ways of honoring your dearly departed do you enjoy? Who will you be honoring this year?

5 comments:

  1. My tradition for Dia de Los Muertos: 1) I build a modest altar; sometimes just photos, flowers and sage;
    2) I try to do a good deed like one may have done in his/her lifetime;
    3) Pray for and call my living ancestors to see how they are doing.

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  2. I honor family and friends who have passed on.... I love this tradition because it honors them by keeping their spirit and memory alive...

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  3. Thank you for your comments chicas! Send me your snail mail address and I will send you your prizes. E-mail it to me at yadhira@gmail.com.

    As for me, with a toddler in the house, I didn't create an altar this year but near and dear to my heart are my grandparents, all four of whom have long since passed, my aunts and uncles, cousins who went too young, and most-recently, some friends. So to all of them, Maria, Lorenzo, Epigmenio, Juanita, tios Tomas, Reynaldo, Pepe, Alejandro, Isabel, tias Leonor, Eloisa, primas Bertha, Perla, friends Robyn and Vero, and everyone else that entered my life, Feliz dia de los Muertos! I remember you on this day. <3

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  4. I keep my altar up every day of the year. Its my constant reminder of their impact on my life and an even grim reminder that death is always a foot away from the foot of my bed.

    I've been celebrating their life all weekend and when I'm deep in trance, when I'm on stage, I can see them by the bar, on the dancefloor, just like the ozo song.

    When I get home, I'm gonna light their sage, call the 4 corners, invite them in for food, drinks y un toque de la mas pura ;) And just love every minute of it.

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