The Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos

The Visit 
(By Luis G. Urbina)

It has to come. It will come. 
When? ... I do not know. Very soon. 
I hear its voice in the distance 
and I hear its footsteps. 

Open the door, my soul, so it doesn't have to call. And have everything ready; 
turn off the stove, clean the house 
and the white faith candle, in the back. 

It has to come. It will come. Quietly 
will take me in its arms. Just as the mother
takes her child when he returns, tired of running through the forest and jumping in the streams. 

I will tell it quietly ... "Welcome",
and without fear or surprise, 
I will surrender to the Mystery, 
I will think of God and close my eyes. 

I have never been scared of the dead. I have always treated death with a special kind of reverence and respect but I also associate the dead with fun and happy spirits.  In México, we make friends with the dead and we have a special day  in which we invite our loved ones that have left this world to come back and have fun with us. 

On November 1st and 2nd,  Mexicans celebrate El Día de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead. People visit the cemeteries to be with their loved ones and it is customary to build altars for the dead. I have been putting up an altar every year for my dad but last year, I added two more people to my altar - Mary (Richard's sister) and Rafa (my nephew).

This is my altar

These are pictures of the Altar de Muertos at The Sherman Heights Neighborhood Cultural Council.   (click on the pictures to see an enlargement)

La Visita

Ha de venir. Vendrá.
¿Cuándo?... No sé. Muy pronto.
Escucho ya su voz remota
y sus pisadas oigo.

Abre la puerta, alma; que no tenga que llamar.
Y que esté dispuesto todo;
apaga el fogón, limpia la casa,
y el blanco cirio de la fe, en el fondo.

Ha de venir. Vendrá. Calladamente
me tomará en sus brazos. Así como 
la madre al niño que volvió cansado
de correr bosques y saltar arroyos.

Yo le diré en voz baja… - Bien venida -, 
y sin miedo, ni asombro,
me entregaré al Misterio,
pensaré en Dios y cerraré los ojos.

Luis G. Urbina

Nunca le he tenido miedo los muertos. Yo siempre he tratado a la muerte con respeto y con cierta reverencia pero también asocio a los muertos con espíritus felices y divertidos. En México, nos hacemos amigos de los muertos y tenemos un día especial en el cual invitamos a nuestros seres queridos que han dejado este mundo para que regresen a divertirse con nosotros.

El 1° y 2° de noviembre, los Mexicano celebramos el Día de los Muertos. La gente visita los cementerios para estar con sus seres queridos ya fallecidos y se acostumbra construir altares para los muertos. Yo he levantado un altar de muerto cada año para mi papá, pero el año pasado, añadí a dos personas más en mi altar - Mary (la hermana de Rich) y Rafa (mi sobrino).

Mi Altar


Gloria said...

Hi Prieta. I have been backtracking on some of your posts and ran across your Dia posts. Very nice and I'm sorry for the the loss of your loved ones, I know the feeling. Life is so short that whatever time we have in this world, we must enjoy every day. Take care.

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Leslie Lim said...

First time I commented in a blog! I really enjoy it. You have an awesome post. Please do more articles like this. I'm gonna come back surely. God bless.


Prieta said...

Leslie, Thank you for your comments, I appologize for the late response. I have been away from my blog but I'm coming back. I'm glad you like this post and hope to see you commenting and hope to see you again. thank you.