Inspired by my friends’ daughter, who created a Day of the Dead altar to honor her great-grandparents, my fiancé and I made our own. We have a small meditation area in our house which was the perfect setting for this honorific. Searching our printed photo archives, we found a few pictures of some of our departed loved ones. We also added some beautiful items that are typically decorating the house, such as a handmade ceramic basket full of dried flowers and sage (made by my dear friend, Heidi), a selenite tower (known for its connectivity to the divine), and a sugar skull that I painted a few years ago for an art contest.
I found this project very healing. It is rare to actively think about the people we have known who have died. They come to us in dreams, sometimes, or in strange moments of familiarity. For instance, my coworker, Lisa P., died earlier this year from a second bought of cancer. I think of her when I wear my red rubber rain boots because she had the same pair in yellow. What a funny conversation we had about those rain boots… how they are slightly see-through and so we must wear fun socks underneath them. What a wonderful gift to receive, these flashes of insight from the spirit of our passed loved ones!
I anticipate keeping the altar up for the month of November and lighting candles most nights. Additionally, Rudolf Steiner wrote a verse inspired by those who have crossed the threshold.
Now weaves the soul that was unified with me upon earth
May the warm light of my heart stream outward to thy soul
To warm thy soul, to warm thy cold, and mitigate thy heat
In heavenly worlds, may my thoughts live in thine
And thy thoughts live in thine
And thy thoughts live in mine
I am part of a choir that has been singing some original arrangements set to the poetry of Steiner. To hear a beautiful version of this particular verse follow the links: In Light of Cosmic Thoughts by Julie Courtney