BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The most terrible death of all is to be forgotten, that is why traditions transcend borders for those remembering their dearly departed on Nov. 2. They are traditions that are brought with them from their home countries and kept alive years later.
From solemn ceremonies to more lively ones, it’s a celebration to keep those that have departed alive, to stay connected to our roots but more so a reminder of our fate in life.
“I don’t want her to feel that we are forgetting about her because there are people that forget about their family members,” Marcie Gonzalez said who is visiting the graves of her parents.
Gravesites adorned with bright orange cempasuchil or marigold flowers and items their loved ones enjoyed. That’s how tradition and the memory of loved ones are kept alive.
“Just being here with her knowing that she’s not alone you’ll just come and bring her flowers I just kind of sit here with her,” said Marcie Gonzalez.
“Every year we celebrate,” said Rufina Diaz Mora. “I do the offering at the house, but we do it every year.”
Rufina and her family remember her nephew with a visit to the cemetery just how she used to remember those she left behind in Mexico, all in hopes of teaching the younger generations about their traditions.
“This is how we deal with the pain, we come here to be with him as if he was still here with us,” said Rufina.
The celebrations in the U.S. are restrictive. Cemeteries often don’t allow massive displays known to the celebrations often limiting the number of objects that can be placed on the graves. A detail that many like Ana Villatoro say is crucial to how they honor the dead.
“Over there you could build huge altars and offerings, but here it’s not really like that,” said Villatoro.
In the end, it is a reminder and a celebration, of the end of the road we all have coming.
“You know hopefully we do get to see each other,” said Gonzalez. “If not, I’m keeping in mind that if I die, that’s one of the things that I want to do is see my mom, see my dad.”