Day of the Dead runs from October 31st-November 2nd. And this raises an opportunity to again tell a funny story about my niece, M, who celebrates her fifth birthday on Saturday. Perhaps her connection with Day of the Dead is the reason for this amusing story:
M was with my mother at the cemetery where my grandmother was buried six years ago. My mother regularly goes to put fresh flowers in the urns at this family plot. While my mom was fussing with the flowers, M was playing around the "memory stones" - an activity all of my nieces and nephews seem to enjoy. They practice letters and numbers in cemeteries, learn about family and social relationships, and make up stories about the people remembered in cemeteries. Anyhow, M took a break from her playing and asked my mom, "Can we dig up Gigi's body?" Nearly choking my mother replied, "No M, we cannot dig up Gigi's body. Why do you want to do that?" And M replied, "Well, I've never seen a real live skeleton and I really want to see one."
Day of the Dead is a holiday observed most famously in Mexico - but observed in different ways in different cultures around the world. It is a time when the membrane between the living world and the dead world is thin enough for messages to pass between the two worlds, and families use this time to talk with their dead relatives and to give them objects they may need to sustain them in their next life. Who do you want to talk with on Day of the Dead this year?