Dying Twice

20 Oct

dd13I’ve written about Dia de los Muertos many times before in my blog, but today I’m just going to share a photo gallery of our Day of the Dead altar. Last night, when we gathered around the altar and lit the candles, my husband Rene said something that resonated with me and made me realize why setting up the altar each year is such a meaningful tradition. He talked about how all of us really die twice–once when our body physically dies, and then a second time when we are forgotten by others. That is why we arrange the altar and put out the photographs of those we’ve loved and lost–so we don’t let them die twice.

Our complete altar all lit up at night.

Our complete altar all lit up at night.



dd 2

My dad, Joseph Winters with his granddaughter, Gillian Winters in front of him.

My dad, Joseph Winters with his granddaughter, Gillian Winters in front of him.


My grandmother, Martha.

My grandmother, Martha.

7 Responses to “Dying Twice”

  1. Britton Swingler October 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Jessica…this is a beautiful way to honor your loves one . Thank you for sharing.

  2. Carrie Crocker Aguirre October 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Lovely, heartfelt and very loving. By the way — the same words describe how I remember you from high school. You have a wonderful talent, getting your thoughts out in writing. I admire that. ♥

    • Allegro non tanto October 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      That is so sweet, Carrie. You know, I don’t remember being anything but a nervous, insecure wreck in high school! I always remember you by your throaty laugh! Good to hear from you!

  3. debatterman October 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Maybe the thing I love most about Yom Kippur is the lighting of a Yahrzeit candle, in memory of those especially close (e.g., mothers, fathers, etc.) who are no longer with us. Something so comforting about a candle that burns for 24 hours. It’s not necessarily in the Jewish tradition to include photos with the candles, but the ones always with me on a shelf in my my office, or tucked away to be looked at from time to time, go a long way toward keeping me from forgetting the smiles/the faces/the moments.

    • Allegro non tanto October 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Whatever the tradition is, the important part is to take a moment and think about the people whom we knew and loved. In that small act of remembrance, our loved ones continue to live on.

  4. Deborah September 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    My nephew died about 2 1/2 weeks. As I was praying for those my family who have died I prayed for my Aunt Ria, the relative I was closest to, and suddenly thought, and now I have pray for her husband who had murdered her. I had never had this thought in the fourty years since she died. God’s divine mercy is so great and mine? I then added the Fatima Prayer-Lord forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of Hell-especially those in most need of your mercy. Forgiveness is difficult.

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