"We invite our dead to join us
at least once a year.
We put food out for them,
their favorite dishes and drink,
especially baked bread, tequila or mezcal,
and yellow marigolds to make them glad.
And lights, candles in the Trees of Life
which have also adorned the wedding altars,
for life and death are a continuum
in the adventure of being human...
We exchange candy skulls
with one another's names
spelled in colored sugar.
We laugh a little with death
and cry a good bit
because little can sweeten
the loss of those we love.
We keep our memories lively
because our dead are precious to us.
Only by celebrating their preciousness
do we learn to hold precious the living,
for it may be that at any moment
the living may leave us or we them
and join the vast ranks of the dead.
Así es la vida."
- Rafael Jesús González,
"Días de los Muertos, Days of the Dead"