Monday, November 7, 2011

Celebrating the Dead

In Tucson, the All Souls Procession is truly spectacular in every way. 

The amount of culture is remarkable and the way people celebrate the passing of loved ones sends powerful messages to those who come to this stunning event. I went to see the costumes and the amazing props that were carefully and thoughtfully designed by people in the community. However, in the end, I got so much more than just a great view.

At the ceremony, I was given a chance to write a note of remembrance for someone who has passed. I wrote a letter to Lucy, my sweet collie dog that passed over two years ago. Her death has truly been the most significant loss I have experienced in my life so far, and she was on my heart and mind. Even though she is "just a dog", her death was no less heartbreaking and her absence no less painful. Being able to write her a letter was a very spiritual moment for me.

All of the letters of love, sadness, longing, heartbreak, and hope go into a huge urn. At the ceremony, the urn is set ablaze and all of the words catch fire and the ashes rain down.

Death is ominous, scary, and mysterious. But in death comes beauty and that beauty was seen in this evening. This was not a day to grieve, but a day to celebrate and remember those we love.


  1. These are awesome pictures. Every year I want to go and every year I forget about it until someone posts amazing pictures of it.

  2. Gina! You just reminded me of something special: There's a line in "Fried Green Tomatoes" where Ninny's talking with Kathy Bates' character at the end of the movie. She talks about what the most important thing in life is ("friends") and that people are always alive when you remember them. I find so much comfort in that idea. And it makes me consciously remember wonderful memories, rather than the absence of new ones.

    I just adored this post -- the photographs and your reflections.
    Love from ABQ... <3 <3 <3