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Chaz
Dee
Miguel
Becca

 Miguel's Journal

 

 

Entry #7: Dead is not gone forever...

 

Dee came back to school on Tuesday. I was really happy to see her, though she didn't seem all that happy to be back. She looked different. Kinda sad, you know. Like maybe she had seen something she wasn't ready to see. The kids talked to her the way they usually do, all laughing and joking, you know. Maybe they thought if they didn't mention anything about her grandmother dying that Dee would forget about it too. If they had looked at her closely, like I did, they would have seen for sure that she was thinking about it.

I don't believe that people should forget the ones we loved, just because they have died. In Mexico, where my family is from, we have a wonderful holiday called los Dias de Muertos which means The Days of the Dead. It's a time to celebrate and remember family members and friends whose spirits have passed on. We often have a parade in the community and people dress up like skeletons or mummies. There is music and flowers and candy and fruit. This might seem strange to someone who does not understand. You might think that we are showing disrespect for the dead, but that is not it at all! Like all people, we feel sad when someone we love dies, but each year, during The Days of the Dead, we rejoice and welcome the spirit of that person back home again.

We make a trip to the cemetery and clean up the graves of our loved ones. We scrub the grave stones, pick weeds that have grown around the graves, and leave fresh flowers. Lots of people come, with their families, to do this work and show their love for the dead. At home, we make an ofrenda, that's an offering, a collection of things that the dead person liked - favorite foods, flowers, or treasures they owned. It could be a book, a hat, a photograph, a baseball glove, anything that has a connection to the dead person. The ofrenda is usually set up on a table and we place a special candle there, one that will burn all night long, to guide the dead person's spirit home again. I have always liked to stand in the room, at sunset, and watch the candle shine into the darkness. It makes me feel peaceful, as if the one whose spirit we are welcoming back, is already there.

After lunch Dee and I both have a free period. I had been thinking about asking her to the dance next week, but when I saw the sadness in her eyes, I thought that maybe it wasn't right to ask her to go to a dance. Like maybe she wouldn't be in the mood for all that noise and stuff. But I really wanted to ask her out, so we could spend some time together, outside of school. I told her that I was really sorry to hear about her grandmother. I told her how I felt when my grandfather died. I explained to her about los Dias de Muertos and how a person will always be with you, even after they die, if you keep their memory alive in your heart. She said that she liked that idea because she didn't ever want to forget her grandmother. I asked her if she was thinking about going to the dance, and she said she didn't think so. She said that she wasn't up for crowds. Then I asked her if maybe she would like to go out for some food with me, next Friday night, instead of going to the dance. She looked at me like she was trying to see inside me or something. Then she smiled and said she would like that. I am really happy to be going out with Dee! It's great, you know? Now all I have to do is get some money and figure out where I should take her!

 

 Miguel

 


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