Day of the Dead
One inevitable fact of getting older is that the longer that you live, the more you will see your friends, family and loved ones fall to the Reaper. The only other choice (hah!) is to fall under his scythe yourself. This is normally quite sad, occasionally a relief for the party involved, but is simply the way of things.
Everyone knows all of this but it was never real to me until I saw the first person that I knew personally as an adult die. Now, it has happened a few times and I’ve also sat with the body of my own father, helping in the rites of the dead for him.
At this time of year, in my household, we follow, at least in a loose sense, some of the traditions concerning the Day of the Dead. I grew up Roman Catholic but R did not. In spite of this, it is a tradition that has made sense for both of us.
While I was away this weekend, R put up the altar for the dead over the hearth, the center of the home, in our living area. Every year, we have added a few items to it, either because someone had died or because we wanted to make the altar a more fitting tribute to the dead. Last year, we were in Mexico during the Day of the Dead so we did not have a chance to put an altar up but we did pick up a few things there, as this is an important day in Mexican culture.
I have a few photos below from the altar as R put them up (she took them, actually). Clicking on them will take you to massively larger versions on Flickr.