Sunday, October 24, 2010

Building a Community Altar

On Saturday, Dolly and I spent the morning at her school to help create the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Community Altar.  Each family got to make a doll figurine (called a "calaca") to put on the altar.  We made ours in memory of both Dad and Mike, as shown above.  Some of the others are shown below.  The altar will be ready in time for the Dia de los Muertos assembly on November 2.  

Dolly and I have gone to the Dia de los Muertos procession through the Mission many times.  I have walked in memory of friends I have lost, and to honor the losses of others.  Day of the Dead will have special meaning for me this year, after losing two close members of my family.  One of the members of my suicide survivors' support group is going to one of the large Dia de los Muertos processions in Mexico.  Maybe I'll try to go next year.

I had a complete meltdown Saturday morning before the art workshop.  I wanted to bring photos of Dad and Mike to put on the altar, and although I could find many photos of Mike, I had to tear the house apart to find a photo of Dad.  I have many digital photos, but couldn't find any physical photographs.  I felt like a horrible daughter.  I started screaming and crying, and threw everything off the shelves in my office.  Dolly said I scared her.  I finally found a photo from when Dolly was a baby.  So I wiped off my tears, climbed over piles of paper, photos, and books, and drove to the school to put this grief to better use.

1 comment:

  1. you created a beautiful altar. I really miss going to the procession in the Mission. So moving. Latin culture has a much more healthy way of acknowledging death and celebrating life, imho