Yesterday we made an altar for Dia de los Muertos. I framed some of my favorite photos of Grandpa and surrounded them with candles, tools, and wooden fish. I made a banner out of scrapbooking paper and ribbon, and we didn't have any fresh marigolds so I made a bunch from felt and pipecleaners.Autumn made the one with the pink stem. She also added a plastic Ninja Turtle and Grandpa's stuffed fish, Reef, who was given to him while he was in the hospital and passed on to Autumn after he died.For those of you not familiar with it, Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a holiday to honor the dead. The tradition is that once a year the spirits of the dead come to visit their living loved ones, and families create altars with candles and fragrant flowers (since our flowers weren't so fragrant I lit a scented candle) to guide them home and include photographs and a few of their favorite things to make them feel welcome. They eat their favorite foods, play their favorite music, tell stories about them, and just spend the day remembering. It's not a time for mourning or feeling sad. It's a happy holiday for celebrating life and being grateful for the time we spent together. We aren't Mexican, but you don't have to be to celebrate this beautiful occasion. I think it's a wonderful tradition to start with your family if you've lost a loved one, and it's especially good for children as it helps them understand and cope with death. You can research the holiday more with the link I provided above, but I think we should all feel free to celebrate it in our own way, whether that's super traditional or not so traditional.
We also lit candles for Adam's grandfather, who died when he was 12. Both of them are missed and loved, and today we celebrate their lives.