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November 1, 2010

When the Veil Thins

Tomorrow Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is here again.

When all the plastic spiders and smashed pumpkins of Halloween have passed, I turn to this well known Latin American holiday to celebrate my friends and family who have passed on to the next journey.

Other cultures have similar holidays and traditions, the Bon Festival in Japan, All Saints Day in Europe, but it's the Mexican version of Dia de los Muertos that resonates with me.

The belief, loosely, is that on this day the veil between the living and the dead is thin, and so offerings of favorite food, booze, decorations and memorabilia will be seen, enjoyed and appreciated by our deceased.

I think Dia de los Muertos appeals to me because it brings a sense of humor and fun to a painful, somber thing. It's a chance for a community to come together and remember. To feel close to those we have lost.

Personally, just this past August, I withstood a very deep loss. Tomorrow I will remember my friend who died way too young.

I will remember my father who passed away almost six years ago. My mom will certainly remember her husband. Together, we keep his memory alive.

Grandparents, friends, family, people I hardly knew, famous people. We all deserve to be remembered by those we've left behind.

My grief is a slippery thing. Sometimes so overwhelming, I don't know how I can sit up and walk through the world. Other days, it's like a dull noise in the background. Remembering on a day like tomorrow helps keep me grounded. Keeps me sane.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.