Death of a loved one is never easy. Although no longer with us physically, they stay in our thoughts and will always remain in our hearts no matter how long ago they have passed. After taking my grandchildren to see the movie Coco last year, and learning about the true meaning of Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, I embraced the beautiful meaning and wanted to share it.
The tradition is a celebration of life and family to honor and remember those who have passed. An ageless tradition with customs believed to help guide deceased loved ones on their journey from the spirit world to their visit back to us, it is not a time for sadness but of celebration from October 31st to November 2nd It is not at all meant to be a version of Halloween in any way.
Ofrendas, or alters, are assembled with photos to guide and welcome love ones passed as marigold flowers represent the sun and help guide souls back home. Favorite dishes that the deceased enjoyed are made, with wonderful storytelling of their lives, loves and adventures.
Although celebrations may vary, or you may create your own version, the message of celebrating life and remembering those who came before us remain the same. Last year I went all out to introduce this amazing tradition to our family, specifically the grandchildren, and we were all able to get together for our first celebration and “meet” long lost family through photos made with names of ancestors who might never be known or remembered with so many years gone by since their passing. Those without photos still had names on the ofrenda and all families were included (including in-laws). We took trips to the local cemeteries and left colored stones on the graves of our ancestors.
Knowing it was unlikely to be able to have a special celebration with the entire family in attendance every year, I’ll plan to set up the ofrenda and keep it throughout Thanksgiving to keep the tradition going until we can all be together. It’s about remembering our loved ones, their names, their stories and their lives and planning celebrations not only during but beyond this traditional time period.
Nothing touches my heart more than the song “Remember Me” from the movie Coco, which is a must see for all ages. It is a perfect way to introduce Día de los Muertos and create your own tradition as we did which we now call Remembrance Day… 😇♡♥🦋
♪♫♬ Remember me, though I have to say goodbye … Remember me, Don't let it make you cry...For even if I'm far away I hold you in my heart… I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart…Until you’re in my arms again, Remember me ♪♫♬