The spirits came out to visit.
Every year, Tucson has a beautiful tradition of holding the All-Soul’s Procession. It is a procession of people, honoring their lost loved ones. Tucsonans place their prayers in a giant urn. People dress up, build floats, hold signs, paint their faces, play instruments, whatever they wish to do.
Even though I have never lost a family member or friend, I go to honor those my friends have lost. I love to see how my community gets together to celebrate life.
In the Mexican tradition, Dia de los Muertos is a day where the souls of the deceased come for one day. We prepare altars for them with their photographs, favorite foods, and trinkets. In Mexico, people gather in the cemeteries cleaning off the grave stones, placing dozens and dozens of flowers, the air filled with incense and the you see the soft flickering of candle light in the night.
In the United States, we just build our altars in the privacy of our homes. Yet, now as the tradition is growing bigger here, communities get together and build community altars. Now, more and more people are learning about the All-souls’ Procession which is a Tucsonan take on the Dia de los Muertos.
This year, I went to honor my friend’s fiance that had recently passed. His name was Joseph and he lost his battle with cancer. They were to be married but unfortunately he did not make it. That was incredibly heart-breaking for Stephanie. She stayed by his side though his long battle. I know she will always love him.