When I was fifteen, my mom went to Oaxaca, Mexico, for Dia de Los Muertos. And, from that point on, there was always an ofrenda, or altar, set up in the entryway of our house from Halloween through November 2nd. Chocolate, liquor, bread, paper flowers, sugar skulls, photos, fresh marigolds and anything else the departed might enjoy during their brief visit back to earth, was welcome.
Several years ago, my mom and I spent Día de Los Muertos in Mexico City where we helped make an ofrenda and visited many throughout the city and beyond.
The celebration is a tradition I love and have carried into my own home. Not meant to be morbid or sad, I enjoy the ritual of it. I find comfort in the idea of life and death as one big cycle, a continuum with no end and no beginning. And as they say, “tears are cried for the living.”