El Dia De Los Muertos

We arrived in San Miguel de Allende just in time for El Dia de los Muertos. I love how death is viewed here in Mexico and embraced as part of life. What may seem macabre is actually an ancient Aztec ritual melded with Catholic traditions which has evolved into a three day party for people to honor and spend time with their departed loved ones (the Aztecs set aside a whole month for these festivities). Family history is passed down, elaborate altars are made and friends and family are reminded to live life to the fullest. Marigolds, the flowers of the dead, are everywhere and decorate arches for the deceased to pass through to return to this world. Families set out photographs and offer the favorite drinks, foods, sweets and possessions of their dead - these ofrendas are remembering spaces. We saw one ofrenda with a photo of the band Kiss and when we asked about it, the daughters laughed merrily and told us their father loved their music. People dress up as Catrina, Lady Death and her male escort, Catrine and stroll the streets. We've enjoyed the fireworks, mariachi bands, stilt-walkers, sugar skull peddlers and face-painters for the past two days and today, November 2nd, we will go to the cemeteries with everyone else in town.

True Love Never Dies
(For when I'm dead)

Please come play at my grave site,
oh how I love annual parties
and now that I'm dead
this one most of all.
Let's celebrate all the things
we love in this life: family,
friends, romance, toasts, food,
laughter, nostalgia, memories,
everything, everything!
Let's talk about every single moment
I was alive and savor each one.
Bring a picnic and armfuls of flowers,
light candles, sing, chat,
tell stories, read poems,
look through photo albums, see my
many loved ones with me
when I was young and beautiful,
and here when I was old
and elegant, all my
grand babies in my lap.
Bring cold bottles of champagne
and hot chocolate in thermoses.
Laugh until you cry as you take
turns doing impersonations of me.
Snuggle children, hang out,
wrap yourselves in blankets,
be comfortable and happy.
Write in my commonplace book -
may there always be blank pages
for jotting notes, love letters, quotes
to add to our conversation into eternity.
Light more candles,
open more champagne
Stay all night long and please
come again next year.

Enjoy and live life!


  1. Beautiful. I love seeing all the different faces. Sarah, did you write that poem!!

  2. Liz, I did write that poem! Wish you were down here to go shopping for art with me! And have some margaritas, of course ;)

    1. How amazing! Another good entry for a poetry contest. :-). I too wish I were there. Think of you four daily.

  3. Dear Sarah, I love these pictures and the wonderful perspective of your poem -- a celebration, of course! Lovely. I am learning so much about death being part of life this year... it's changing me. Thank you. xo