Monday, November 2, 2020

Dia de Muertos

"Remember me
Though I have to say goodbye
Remember me
Don't let it make you cry
For ever if I'm far away
I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you
Each night we are apart
Remember me
Though I have to travel far
Remember me
Each time you hear a sad guitar
Know that I'm with you
The only way that I can be
Until you're in my arms again
Remember me"
Remember Me, from Pixar's Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez

Today represents the end of the celebration of Dia de (los) Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.  For those unaware, this is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere, focusing on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and to support their spiritual journey.  The holiday is generally tied to the religious celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day - remembrances of the saints that have gone before and for all Christians who have gone before, respectively.  The end of Hallowtide.

This is not Halloween.  It's not a "scary" celebration, despite the skull and skeleton imagery.  It's a holiday of remembrance.  It's a celebration of people that are no longer with us. 

This year, remembrance takes on new significance.  We have experienced personal loss this year and know many others that have experienced this as well.  We as a nation are coming to grips with 235,000 people who have died this year from COVID-19.  That makes it the third largest cause of death in the United States this year.  We know that number will continue to increase.  And if we continue to push for a herd-immunity approach, realizing that 765,000 more people are likely to die before this ends.

We need this moment to remember the dead.  To celebrate their lives and to reflect on how we got here.

While I do not want to appropriate a holiday, I do want to take the time to pause and remember all the people who have shaped my life that are no longer with us.  To remember and celebrate those lives that should not be forgotten.  To think of fish frys and happier times.

I pray that we all take the time to remember those who have impacted our lives and to keep their story and their memory alive.

Remember them.

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