Dia de Los Muertos

Some of you have heard this story but I love it SO much that I’m going to share it again.

It was 2007, my oldest (7 y.o. at the time) and I are taking a train on a whim. I have to see my grandfather. I’ve been dreaming about him, thinking about him several times a day, communicating back and forth with family members about him, “Oh, he’s doing great. He loves the new place and the care takers are so good to him.” Their reassurance, however genuine, wasn’t enough for me. I had to see him. I had to make sure my son knew this great man, his great grandfather.

I kept putting it off. I had put off visiting grandpa all Summer. Summer was coming to an end. And my sweet, curious, intelligent boy would be starting school again soon so I needed to put aside my day planner with all the play dates and mini breaks and get on a train to PDX…now!

It was a simple visit. We took grandpa (great grandpa) out to lunch. We ate Minestrone soup and garlic bread (which is what I’m making for dinner tonight). My oldest asked him question after question about his life. Everything from Mt. St. Helen’s to his work as a chemical engineer to his marriages. It was a good last visit.

Grandpa (Great Grandpa) and brother oldest.

I had a special and odd relationship with my grandfather. It’s still hard to put it into words. I feel that we were completely opposite people yet our love for each other was/is stronger than all that. Stronger than our politics, our agendas, our stubbornesses.

We stayed on for the week with my best friend (thank the spirits for best friends!) and got the news two days after our visit with him that grandpa had a stroke and he wasn’t going to make it. Chills kept surging through me. Tears were unstoppable. I was/am eternally thankful for my loud knocking intuitive drive to see this man one last time.

I feel blessed that my grandfather was living with a family during his last days, a family who was caring and thoughtful.
I feel blessed that I was using this wonderful thing inside of me, my intuition, and following my inner words.
I feel blessed that my son got to hold his great grandpa’s hand one and ask him questions last time before he passed on.
I feel blessed that my now husband got to shake his hand and trade stories with him.

Dia de Los Muertos, it means so many different things to different people. And for me and my family this year it is not only the day we honour the dead, it is a way for us to share our thoughts and prayers we hold for these wonderful spirits we’ve been blessed with.

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo