The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away.

Things you can do to honor transitioned loved ones: visit the gravesite and pull weeds, clean any debris and decorate the graves of loved ones. Place candles, flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed on the grave. Visit, eat, sing or play music and tells favorite stories about those who have passed. 

For those for whom visiting the gravesite is not viable, set up an altar.
Altars are usually decorated with flowers, candles, pan de muerto, ceramic skulls, and most importantly pictures of loved ones. 
Food placed on the altar consists of the loved ones favorite dishes and treats.  Drinks should be placed in the altar to quench the thirst of the dead after their long journey back home.
Salt is considered the spice of life and is one the staples that are often left at the altar.  The scents of marigolds as well as burning copal (a resin of the copal tree) are thought to be most beloved by the spirits of the dead and invite them back home. 
The rituals used to celebrate the day are varied and colorful.  Yet, all carry the same message, celebrating the day of the dead is a true celebration of life.
#ofrendas #altars #diadelosmuertos #culture #death #life #celebration #soypanameña #latin #latinx #panama #latinamerica #mexico
 

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Te Amo… (LOVE is triumphant)

“Up early in the morning, dressed in black
Don’t ask why? Cause I’m down in a suit and tie…”

Ice Cube, Dead Homies 

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(Back Row: Gran.Gran, Lenny Cain, BaBa, “Q”, YaYo, Benny’s Cousin, Benny 2nd Row: Angela/AnJahLa Luv, Sinse, Hardface Seated: Virghost, Megan J., F.W.Love, me)

I’m up early in the morEning, but I refuse to wear the clothes of the mourning! Because today I arose early thinking about what next… Thinking about celebrating. Thinking about how many of the elders, the sages at whose feet I sat literally and metaphorically, have transitioned recently… I think about Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Fannie Mae, and M. Bennett Hooper aka Mikii Hooper, Nini, Gran.Gran. All gone in just the last 5 months… So much loss… it seems and writing memorial pieces seemed the hardest thing to do… Until today , when the thought that’s been plaguing me,‘What next?“ woke me from my sleep extra early and I had to put pen to paper fingers to keypad and #WRITE! Scream out my words to the these pages in the grand tradition of the Griots who came before me and paved the way…

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(Gran.Gran)

Loss is such a sad place to write from… A void, something is missing. And while I will not enjoy the physical presence of my elders on this plane during this time anymore. I am writing from a place of gain and celebraion because they have transitioned to ancestors, leading and guiding from the other side and that my beauty.full ones is a cause for celebration!

I celebrate because I know the impact that each had on me, in my life, and that part of their spirit live on here, in YOU and me. I celebrate because I know that they held on leading and guiding from this side to the very last breath. And I celebrate because I know what next, they left blueprints, designs, and plans. They lived their lives, their love, their politics. It was on display in a myriad of ways for us all to see… In doing that they were always teaching. They were always sharing the secret. 

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(Gran.Gran)

No there will never be another Maya, Ruby, Fannie, Gran Gran... Just like there wasn’t before them. There will be a YOU! and a ME! That’s what’s next! Their transitions sound a clarion call to all within their sphere of influence to pick up their mantle and go forth. And some are already doing it! Some are already working hard, committed, dedicated, active pressing toward the mark. 

The transitioning of our elders marks the time in which we(I) show up in my power, with the gifts we(I) brought to this world to become fully your(my)self as they did before us(me). I am shouting now!!! Dancing around my desk as I type because today I am celebrating what’s next… My elders rest. My ancestors got my back. WE(I) ARE(AM) HERE! They taught US(ME) well and they knew they could trust US(ME) with #WhatsNext

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(Gran.Gran)

What is your power? What gift did you come to bring to this world? What did the elders teach you? Who and what will you BE?! Because Baaaaaaybeeee! YOU(I) got Next and it’s NOW!

Rest In Perfect Peace Elders

Rise In Perfect Power Ancestors

Ase Ase Ase O

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