In life the only thing guaranteed is death. Seems pretty dramatic, but it’s the truth. I have experienced my fair share of loss as many of us have, but as Día de Los Muertos “Day of the Dead” approaches it got me thinking about this holiday a bit differently.
I love the celebration of this holiday- to honor, respect, remember, and reconnect with loved ones that have passed away. For those of you that are not familiar with this holiday, an altar is prepared for those loved ones with pictures and items they loved. Check out our blog for more specifics about this. Click here to read more about it...
But what got my attention this year was not just thinking about others that have passed- but what about when I pass. What will be on my altar, how will I be remembered? Am I living the way I want people to remember me? Similar to the eulogy for us at the funeral service, I was thinking about what people would say and what symbols or objects would people think represent me.
With sayings like “YOLO” (you only live once) or talking about living FULL out, being present, doing it all, no regrets- are they just sayings, bumper stickers, quotes that sound good- Or are we really living? I don’t want to die thinking tomorrow I will “do” or “be” this or do that. I want to die knowing I thought about TODAY. Here are a few things I would want to be remembered for and some things that could be present on my altar.
1. A cross, to represent my faith and connection to a higher power that gives me purpose in life
2. My family and friends, represented by a statue or people in a circle holding hands with a candle in the middle as they are a light in my life.
3. A figure of the dog, like in Coco the movie, that they say is a guide to those that have passed to the afterlife would represent my pets (and animals in general). I am so connected to their unconditional love and my desire to care for them all that it hurts me when they are hurt.
4. Adventure represented by a globe or a map to represent to show my love of exploring the world and discovering new places, people and cultures.
5. Shoes to show my love of being active and play.
6. A bowl of fruits and vegetables to represent my love of Whole Foods and nutrition and nourishment.
7. A picture of me smiling, to remember that I gave away smiles freely- even to strangers and all around me.
8. A glass blown heart, to represent LOVE. That I want to be a representative of loving everyone and seeing good in others.
9. A handmade embroidered huipil, for my love of art and artisans and sustainable fashion. Maybe even a hat and some earrings that I bought while traveling or was purchased or gifted from an artisan I love.
10. My journal and/or vision board where I kept my notes to represent my love of work and my thoughts, hopes, wishes, vision and dreams for how I want to LIVE in the world.
What would be on your altar? What would it say about how you LIVED? Think about it and live life as if your life depended on what would be left on your altar to represent you.
How will you be remembered and what legacy will you leave?