Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
The Day of The Dead or Dia De Los Muertos is a time to celebrate those who have passed on but are still close to our hearts. Beautiful altars are built in remembrance of the dead. Other people decorate the graves of those who have passed. The altars are covered with marigolds, pictures, favorite foods, oranges, candles and other trinkets. Some people believe that this is the day of the years when the spirits of our loved ones are closest to us.
I love the idea of the my dear sister being close to me again if even for a single day. I like that Dia De Los Muertos comes at the beginning of the Holiday season when there is so much focus on friends and family and tradition. Holidays can be sad after someone special dies and this feels like a way of acknowledging that and allowing there to be a time and place to remember our people with joy and/ or sorrow. The grieving can grieve and we can also bring up happy memories of our loved ones.
My family has our own tradition of making little alters at our homes, in memory of my sister and other people we miss. On my mantle I have a picture of my sister, candles, a little cat (she loved cats) some flowers and a few other things that remind me of her. I can look at it and smile and tell my daughter stories about her aunt Amy. I feel like my daughter knows Amy in some ways even though they never had the chance to meet. I may leave my altar up all year this year because it does make me feel closer to her.
If there is someone you have lost, consider thinking of them on November 2nd and maybe make a small or big altar in their remembrance, visit their grave, look at old pictures or maybe tell someone about a memory you have of your loved one. Telling stories is one of the ways we keep the memory alive and let others know the people who are dear to our hearts. Talking is also a great way of lightening the grief we feel after someone dies.
If you would like to learn more about the grieving process please contact Sara and she will answer any questions you might have.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.