Happy Dia de los Muertos!
I had a very strong desire to create an ofrenda (altar) in honor of the people I love that have passed, but must admit I had a hard time getting started ... I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything worthy of the emotion I feel for those I hoped to honor ... that is until this morning.
I knew I wanted to include at least one traditional Mexican craft & realized I had everything I needed to make paper flowers (most of us do have these items on hand - tissue paper & pipe cleaners), so that's where I started ... the rest, well, it just seemed to fall into place ...
There are six people I am remembering today. The two candles sort of center right are for my Grandfather and my Omi. My Grandfather Pitcairn passed on October 12th of this year; he was 95 and died in his sleep. I can't think of a more gentle way to go. When I found out, all I could think of is that he and my Omi were finally together again. Theirs was a love that not only survived World War II (in Germany, no less), rations & two daughters that both married American men and left their home country for the United States, but thrived. They were more in love in their "golden" years than they even were in the beginning. I loved both of them dearly & was blessed to have been able to spend quite a lot of time with them considering the distance between us ... plus, there was always the letters back and forth.
The four candles clustered to the left are for friends of mine who's lives were tragically cut way too short (in my humble opinion, at least) - John, Brian, Mac & Bill - all on separate occasions. I still miss them dearly and think of each of them often. They are in a very real way responsible for the woman I am today. For that, I will forever be grateful; they will always occupy a sacred space in my heart.
I learned that it is traditional to light an extra candle for forgotten souls, so I have added the larger white candle to the left of the raised portion. See if you notice other traditional items that I included in this ofrenda.
The simple papal picado (banner) below includes "flags" with the names of those I've mentioned.
Special Message: To the lovely gals that won one of my mock sugar skulls from Vanessa's party way back when, you might see your little gems in these photo's ... my sincerest appologies for the delay, but their presence here today is very appropriate and greatly appreciated. They will most definitely be on their way to you come Monday.
Building this ofrenda was truly an amazing experience for me. I felt such a joyful peace in creating it & my heart actually new when it was complete. Once I lit the candles, I sat in silence for quite some time before taking any photographs. I offer my sincerest thanks to Susanna & Stephanie for hosting this beautiful event.
... and on that note, I am off to visit all the other participants ...
Happy Dia de los Muertos!
(ps - click on any of the images for a larger view)