Saturday, November 2, 2013

Día de los muertos, 2013

This is the first time in years that we've not have an ofrenda for Dia de los muertos at our house.  
We have all the elements, but I think I'm still recovering from the last 15 years.  Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

So the marigolds will have to just be in vases, the candles will wait to be lit, the pan de muerto will be eaten elsewhere, and candy calaveras will have someone else's name on them.  

But I've not lost sight of all aspects of the tradition.  

In the Aztec tradition there are three deaths.  The first is when our bodies cease to function, the second is when we are lowered into the ground, the third is when there is no one left to remember us.  

My mother didn't share these beliefs with me.  We commemorated All Saints and All Souls Days.

 She did, however, make sure that those who were a part of her family were remembered.  Mostly with her stories, but also via a several page, genealogical narrative of those who came before us.  

Tonight I will read their names again, and remember them.  I will remember the stories she and my dad shared and a vibrancy will be given to the names written on pieces of paper.


  1. I don't have a document like this of my family. But my grandfather recorded some of his adventures, in a hand-written book, about moving his family across the country in 1929 after he lost his North Carolina business. He kept going until he found work, and that was Idaho.

    My mother remembers sleeping on the beach in Chicago and stealing potatoes out of fields.

    Not on the subject, I guess. The handwritten page got me going.

    1. Ah, very much on topic. Dia de los muertos, Obon, and other festivals are very much about remembering those who came before. How lucky that your grandfather wrote down some of his adventures.