02 November 2015

How My Halloween Costume Became My Therapy

Octobers are hard. The month holds the anniversary of my father's death who was lost to gun violence. Then two years later on the exact same day my closest aunt died suddenly of a heart attack.  It's really tough because fall is my favorite time of year.

It's a time for fairs and festivals but every year, October comes and snaps me right back into the reality, pain and coldness of death.  One of my favorite holidays is Halloween. Every year i mull over what I will be and how I'll make my vision come to life. But it's a little hard to be excited about anything in October.  While scrolling Facebook, I  saw pictures of sugar skulls from A Day of the Dead celebration. I'll admit I was immediately attracted to the beauty of the face paint and design. I knew that Dia de los Muertos was a sacred Mexican tradition and I was afraid of being offensive but as I begin to research the meaning, this choice felt more and more appropriate to me. In my culture, when we lose loved ones we are sad at first, we even celebrate their lives for a while but eventually we move on and learn to cope without that person in our lives anymore. We don't really think about the transition into death and we certainly don't visit the loved ones like we could. I remember when my father first died, I used to visit his grave a lot and a relative told me that I needed to stop doing that because it wasn't helping or healthy.  So, I did... 

I regret that and now that I'm older I can see where visiting his gravesite helped me to process things. I didn't  and i still don't believe that death is as simple as being here one day and gone the next. It's a transition and a natural part of life. I think it's a beautiful concept to be able to visit with the dead, decorate their gravesite, bring their favorite things and just take time to remember them each year. Because even if no one else does, I think about my lost loved ones every year and I suffer in silence. It would be nice to publically celebrate without being told that it's not healthy. Anyway, I like to hope that if my father watches me, that he's okay and that he is easing into his transition comfortably and that one day I'll get to see him again. 

Until Next Time...


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