El Dia de Los Muertos 2014

“Oh my God, what if you wake up someday, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big, juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.” – Anne Lamott

November 2, 2014
Today was the Day of the Dead, a popular holiday in Latin America.

Despite the name, the day is a festive day, rather than sad or morbid, where most of the town gathers at the local cemetery and families celebrate and remember those who have passed on.

In the days leading up to today, it is common to see people preparing for the festivities by weeding around the graves, dusting off layers of dirt, perhaps adding a coat of paint. Many of the above-ground tombs have openings in front where the family keeps photos, flowers, candles, and other memorabilia than is viewed through glass or metal bars.

This morning families left early for the cemetery, bringing candles and fresh ribbons to add to the tombs of loved ones. Extended families congregate at each family’s grave and have a rezo together, saying prayers. Afterward, the family hands out candy as a thank you for their attendance. The extended family then moves to the next group of graves and continues the ritual for all family members. For example, one rezo for the deceased Romeros, one for the Benitez, etc.

I love that Latinos choose to remember their dead in celebratory style rather than with years of grieving and sadness. This is definitely a tradition and way of thinking that I want to bring home with me.

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