To me it seems us westerners don't really handle death well.
Someone we love dies, there's their funeral or memorial, lots of crying, a framed photo goes up we all need to get back our composure and life resumes. Every funeral I've been to has been terrible, so when dad passed my sister and I decided to do it our way and it was a wonderful event - function room in the garden of a regional gastropub, waves and waves of great fingerfood, some hot, with staff walking around taking the food to guests. We even put rubuen sandwiches on too, cause all the old boys love a rubuen, dad in particular. Full open bar, with staff told to give anyone whatever they ask for.
The day was very much communicated as celebration of his life, and whilst there were some tears, there were lots of funny speeches, lots of tribes met for the first time, and all facets of his life were revealed to everyone. But whats next? Now that I have this massive sinkhole in my life where my dad once was, how do I hold on to him? He was too great to stick a photo up and forget.
The Mexican Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos turned out to be exactly what I was reaching for.
Why? Cause every year they make a point of rembembering their departed loved ones. Well, actually, its more than that. "On the Day of the Dead, it's believed that the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolve. During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones."
Hence why they cook their favorite foods, drink their favorite drinks, recant funny stories about them and genuinely reminisce on their person(s) and celebrate their life. It's so honourable. It's dignified. It makes their dead loved ones live eternally in the hearts of the living. A human life is worth so much, what we do in a lifetime is so massive. This, the Mexican way of handling the ending, is so much better than what we do.
They build offredas (alters) in their homes and put gifts out the their dead loved ones. They decorate with colours skulls and other items, then of course theres the parade which looks wild, everyone just gets involved. And I'm guessing really smashed.
Our limited edition candle bridges the gap. It lets you add a picture of a departed loved on onto the plaque on the front, so you can think about them each time you light it. Remember all the good times you had with your person. Better still, cook their favorite food for your friends and light the candle for the table.
My friend Elise said the most perfect thing (as she often does), which became the quote you see all around this product and even on the box, so I'll end this post off with that.
To live in the hearts that we leave behind is not to die, but to live eternally. - Elise Margaritis
Our Day of the Dead candle can be found here.