Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish, is a very important tradition in our culture, and this year was very,very important for us.
You see, this year, my kids had their first encounter with La Muerte, the grim reaper. Our cat “The Doctor” died tragically and suddenly about a month ago, and it was a very difficult experience for everyone.
As a school project, kids create an altar for a loved one and then present it in class. My son made a special altar dedicated to The Doctor, with food, drinks and a drawing of the doctor on top of it. He said that he cried a little when he made it, but he thought it would be a good way to honour his stay in our family.
We also placed a can of cat food for him and basically everyone cried because we miss him a lot. For my daughter was very very difficult to remember him, but we held on and honored him.
On November 2nd, the date of Dia De Los Muertos, we went to a secluded corner of our favorite forest for a very special ceremony.
This is our private pet cemetery. It is the place where we scattered the ashes of our sheepdogs, Lennon and Sofa and we try to visit on this date to honor and remember their loyalty and love. I still miss them, specially Lennon. He bonded with me and I miss his loving stare and warm black and white fluff.
We also had something very special too. We didn’t tell the kids, but we were carrying the ashes of our beloved doctor to be scattered in the same corner.
It was a very, very, very emotional moment. My kids learned that saying goodbye and letting go is never easy, but it also a part of life.
There were lots of tears and sadness, and it made me very sad to look at my kids cry too. It was very difficult for them, but then, life can be very tough sometimes. All we can do is prepare them for what’s coming ahead of them, and unfortunately death, grief and letting go will be part of that journey.
My son said that seeing the ashes fly gave him closure, because he now knows that The Doctor will be chasing birds on the forest, enjoying walking on dry leaves and maybe one day we will see his spirit around. For my teenage daughter, it was much more difficult. There were lots of emotions, and letting go is very, very hard for her. But I hope this will help everyone on my family to move on.
Our new cat, Echo, was there too. Now the mantle of protecting my daughter and helping her with emotions has passed down from The Doctor to Echo, and I know that his love will protect everyone in my family. I know you will do an amazing job.