We make an ofrenda, which is an altar for the Day of the Dead. I bring photos of a father, grandparents, an uncle, a sister. Among them is a suicide, an alcoholic, a poet too gentle for this life, women who had to scramble to survive or live with men who treated them badly. Few died with any semblance of peace.
I offer chocolates and mums, a pencil for the poet, a cigarette for the smokers. What I wish I could give them is another pass at life, for too much of theirs was stark and unforgiving. Some of it was character, some of it was heritage, some of it was cultural.
Do not go gentle into that dark night, wails a poem. But why not? Why fight against the dying of the light? For we all must die. It’s the last clause in the contract made with being born. What unseen can I offer my dead, who have gone on before me? Courage to amend mistakes and character flaws with unflinching honesty? The never ending weeding of my inner garden? Loving what is? Love?
For them. For me. For it all. Forever and ever. Amen.
Beautiful sentiment and custom. Lessons learned should be used for self-change.
Stunningly beautiful….true….healing words…..thank you….
How close you feel to them. You make me feel closer to mine–a cigarette for my mom and the latest New York Times for my dad.
Thank you again for another thoughtful, inspiring tale. I’m sorry for your losses. What a beautiful way to remember those who have gone before us.