In a few days I head west to Tucson to an event I’ve wanted to attend for awhile now. All Souls Procession.
I can not adequately describe it to you — if you need to understand more about it — google it and watch some video. I’ll bet you will be as drawn to it as I was, because it is a place so very dearly needed in our society. A place to openly grieve.
All of our losses.
Why does our culture pretend grief doesn’t happen? Why is stoicism the default? Buck up! Shake it off! Never let them see you cry! Be a big boy — girl — whatever! Showing a sense of loss, showing vulnerability is the kiss of death in our society.
And so we walk around completely fucked up over all the things we hold inside close to the vest, unable to share except with a very few trusted confidantes.
But this — this is a giant come as you really are party. One hundred thousand people strong. One hundred thousand wounded, grieving souls with pain, hopes, dreams, wishes to share. They come together to heal, to find the magic of a community willing to accept them, their losses, their hollow bits, their imperfections.
They walk together in the street gathering grief to burn. Souls to cleanse give up their memories, scraps of paper with names and wishes on them. Hopes and dreams go into The Urn as well — all offered up to the heavens at the end of the evening in a fiery climax symbolically releasing the audience as grief turns to ash.
And it works.
Being with other humans. Participating in a ritual. Having your emotions acknowledged and heard. All of that — works. Healing happens.
What are you waiting for? Meet me in Tucson, bring your grief and some paper.
Day Of The Dead apparel optional…