Listen while you read: “Cucurrucuru Paloma” a beautiful song by Caetano Veloso
The last time I visited my grandfather “PapaChato”, a grey dove sat on a branch above his grave. The dove coued at my brother, father, and myself then flew away. I’ve never doubted that the dove was my PapaChato returning to our lives for a day and saying hello, or rather to reply to our question “Que pa so?” in his way “nada, nada pescadito”.
Every culture honors their departed loved ones in distinct ways, but I’ve always admired my Mexican tradition of día de los muertos because of its mystic qualities. It’s a celebration not a lament. Whether or not you believe in the ability for spirits to return to earth, you can’t deny the feeling when it happens to you. The dove returning gave me that feeling. I keep my tradition every year in the hopes that it will return again; as a dove, the owl, the moon, a dream or in whatever form PapaChato chooses.
My alter consists of my collage of photos, my Virgen de Guadalupe candle, purple flowers for my Grandma Lucha (purple was her favorite color), and a picture of my 4th birthday when my PapaChato saved me from a righteous ass whoopen. I mischievously covered my new dress in soot after playing in the ashes from the cabeza we cooked for my birthday celebration. PapaChato’s electric laughter stopped my mom in her tracks. Before you knew it we were all laughing and this photo shoot ensued.
Feliz día de los muertos my indieDarlings