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.
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.
While we do not have Hispanic heritage in our family, the idea of a day set aside for remembrance of those that have gone before is resonating more strongly with me. Perhaps it's just because of the increasing number of people who have gone before me in my life, but it's becoming more and more important to me that I remember them. That I do not forget. To hold onto the memories that I have. Particularly with regard to those that passed on when I was very young, where my memories are becoming more fleeting. Those are becoming more and more precious to me.
And 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.
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.
And for those celebrating today Feliz Dia de los Muertos!