Mexicans take their deceased seriously and, no matter how rich or poor the family is, every effort will be made to ensure their loved ones are honored and remembered long after their passing. The practice of remembering becomes a community event once a year during the Dia de los Muertos (Days of the Dead), when families gather together to celebrate the lives of those loved ones who have passed on. However, as important as this time is, it comes to an end and the daily tasks of life take over again.
I visited the cemetery in Tulum three weeks after the Dia de los Muertos, but the remnants of that festival could still be seen everywhere.
I like cemeteries in general, and I am particularly fond of the cheerful tumble of colors and shapes that characterize those found in this part of the world. But today – now that the marigold petals have browned and the snacks left for the dead have themselves begun to decay – the remnants of Dia de los Muertos make this place feel lonely and forgotten. While this detritus tells me that these are still well-loved souls, the attention of the living has moved elsewhere for the moment.
Rest in peace, my friends. You are not forgotten.
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