My American friend, Janet, who has lived in Mexico for the past 2 years recently lost her father. Janet decided to take up the Mexican tradition of constructing a small alter in her home in his memory. In remembrance she placed photos of him on the alter, his favorite food, tools he used, a hat he wore, and in the end the physical and mental act of commemorating his life and death helped Janet come to terms with the loss of her father. Many people loose loved ones and never overcome the tragedy because many fail to confront the fact that this person is gone - they refuse to completely grieve the loss and to mentally and physically get over the death.
Although Janet has since removed the alter, leaving it standing for only a few days during the Day of the Dead, its impact was significant on me - people both living and dead can have substantial impacts on our lives. To write them off and to not remember and commemorate their lives is a tragedy. Too many loved ones now gone sit dead beneath grave stones in graveyards, rarely receiving a visit. I think next year Allan and I will construct our own alters in memory of our deceased loved ones.
Janet has written more about the Day of the Dead, the alter to her father, and living in Mexico (she's from Philadelphia) in her blog here: www.janetlowe.com.
The following photos were taken at the XCaret theme/aquatic/cultural park during Day of the Dead celebrations.
Playa del Carmen Condo and Villa Vacation Rentals
I pose with a girl dressed as La Katrina (or "Lady Death", Mexican's most popular phrase for death).
Why can't death be fun? Let's ride unicyles!