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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last couple years, we've had our fair share of death.

My wife lost her parents, I lost my grandmother, the kids have lost a couple pets.

During this time, Talia has become interested in the Day of the Dead through a couple of books she's reading, and asked if we could build an altar for everyone.

And this is where it gets a little sticky.

The wife doesn't want it in the house, but is ok if we do it outside on Halloween night.

If I do it, I don't want it confused as just some decoration, and want it somewhat...I guess sacred is the best word.

So, does anyone combine honoring the dead into their Halloween, and if so, how?
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I have never done this but love the idea so I started googling & found this:
http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/holidays/day-of-the-dead/2016/10/03/day-of-the-dead-dia-de-los-muertos-altars/91511520/

I love the Steve Irwin one! They seem so colorful & a great way to honor the dead. There's absolutely nothing morbid about them either, they're too colorful for that. If your display isn't all super gory it wouldn't be hard to do it. I'd find some way to keep it separated from any display though.

You could give them a description of the holiday, label the deceased you're honoring in the display & why you're doing it.

I love this velvet painting one:


Here's the Steve Irwin one:


OK now my day is shot on how to make one & looking for velvet paintings in general!!:D

Talia knows she's our Official Halloween Forum Kid right? We've all adopted her as ONE OF US!! ONE OF US!! now!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, I love the tradition, but there's a couple things that make it a sticky subject.

1: It's not 'our culture' and the whole cultural appropriation thing might crop up. We do have a number of hispanics who visit in full DOTD getup. I wouldn't want to offend anyone (not that I really think this is a problem), and in no way want to be seen as making light of the tradition at all.

2: My wife is opposed as she's dealing with her grief by not wanting to be reminded. (plus her Dad passed IN October, which makes it a tough time to begin with) Otherwise, I'd just do it in the house and keep it more private.

I'd most likely go extremely traditional with just the flowers, candles, a couple pictures, and their favorite halloween treats, if I can find some small corner.

Talia knows she's our Official Halloween Forum Kid right? We've all adopted her as ONE OF US!! ONE OF US!! now!
Yes, unfortunately having her online created...issues. Yes, even here. Watch your kids online. Any private contact with her was being screened through me, and some ended up in the hands of authorities. It was just a little more than I needed to deal with once all the above started going down.
 

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Have you thought of a wiccan style rememberance. Set up an alter and place items that remind you of your loved ones. It can be anything. Have some candles in red and white, maybe some burning herbs. Cover the alter in an alter cloth and the whole nine yards.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Yes, unfortunately having her online created...issues. Yes, even here. Watch your kids online. Any private contact with her was being screened through me, and some ended up in the hands of authorities. It was just a little more than I needed to deal with once all the above started going down.
Wow, I didn't know that!

FTR, I totally meant that OHFK thing in a non-creepy way. Any kid that wants to do the DotD thing is OK with me. It seems to me like a good way of dealing with grief. But everyone needs to grieve in their own way. I put up

Have you asked those folks that come by dressed up in DotD regalia how they'd feel about it? They may have some insight on how to do it properly. I don't think a small altar with your own version of it all would be appropriation. Altars like that are used by a lot of people. Now if you had 80 calaveras & a mariachi band then you may wanna rethink it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta get back to my velvet painting search. I'm considering one of these 2. The first they say is a monkey mother holding her baby but I'm pretty sure it's just a blond kid with a white dog:



 

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Wee bit Wicked
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I’ve never built an alter for one of my relatives, but last year I built a headstone in honor of my great, great, great grandfather who was killed in the Battle of Peachtree Creek in 1864. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly because I didn’t want to disrespect him, but I’d done a lot of research on him & felt a bit of attachment to him. When I built it, I tried to duplicate his memorial headstone, but changing the name a bit. I feared a Civil War ‘know-it-all’ would approach me about it & start a debate. Mostly, because ‘know-it-alls’ get on my nerves. But, all worked out fine & every time I walked past it, it put a smile on my face.
Good luck with your project, Unorthodox! :)
And my sympathies to you & your family..
 

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Seer of All
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How about doing something in your backyard or whatever area is not public on Halloween night? Otherwise, I don't think there's a way of keeping it from just blending in with the rest of your display. Also, there's no reason it has to be Mexican in design. Do what represents your own family or it won't be as meaningful.
 

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Well as you guys are aware, I lost both my Grandparents within months of each other last year. Right from been a child, my Gran and I were always the crafters! Gran loved making costumes, decor, decorated eggs at Easter anything and everything and we always had an awesome Halloween Party. I have a great photo of us at one of the parties, so last year been the first without her, I got a waterproof light up frame and it has a little plaque saying 'My inspiration..for all the parties that have been ...and all those to come, you always be part of them'. I put it on a little table near the front door, and as I welcomed guests in they all said hello to her, just as they would have done if she had been here. It's only a small thing, but for me was such a lovely way of still including her and kind of still welcoming guests as she would have done if she was here, and because it was simple and on its own, there was no way it was mixed up with the decorations. Worked for me!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I am so sorry for your family's losses.

Since your haunt style usually is very natural/organic looking, this memorial idea jumped out at me (see attached pic). I could see having a few candles or spotlights focused on the area, and a brief "in memoriam" - however you and your family wants to phrase it - with photos of your loved ones arranged in the tree branches/framed area. Maybe even with some flowers and other natural arrangements at the bottom. It isn't an altar, and it isn't a direct copy of the Día de Muertos type celebrations - it's a tribute in the style that may blend in with your overall display, but still honor your loved ones in a way that your daughter and the rest of your family might feel comfortable with.

memorialtree.jpg
 

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Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
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When my mother in law passed a few years ago I asked my wife if she would like something to remember her because our kids brought up the idea of a tombstone for her. To this day it would still bring back a lot of sorrow for my wife and when looking at the positives vs negatives for our situation the negatives far out-weighed the positives... it's not an easy one but I am sure you will make the right decision for your family,
 

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Its such a personal thing and i find everyone has different opinions and views , i personally find it a very kind gesture even though i have not looked into it nor understand the tradition or religion that well i figure some people may or could find it out of place or objectionable , i really guess it depends on which religion you follow if any and to what extent you follow it .
 

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I drop a pumpkin at my grandparents grave every year. The cemetery is close enough that it's easy to drop off the night before, with a LED tealight inside, and pick it up the day after (or so... just don't leave it too long.)

I think a simple altar with some things that have personal meaning could be a fitting tribute. Creating good memories through tradition, moving forward, and all that. Just taking the time to remember, I think is the basics of the thing.
 

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In the last 15 years, I've lost 3 of my 4 grandparents, several family friends, my mother in law, my father and my nephew. Typing those last 2 actually made my chest constrict, they're the freshest. I don't think I could make something to honour them specifically. I prefer little touches rather than big obvious memorials. The grandmother I was the closest to was the first on that list, and when my grandfather died my mother found a ceramic witch in storage that she made in a ceramics class - it has her initials scratched into the bottom - and saved it for me since Halloween is so special to me. I keep her in my kitchen this time of year. My dad was the pumpkin carver in our house growing up, and he always carved the eyes a little differently than the standard triangles. They almost looked like the Star Trek delta shield. The eyes on the pumpkin face that I have in the octagonal window above my door has those eyes, and the teal pumpkin that I'm making out of paper mache will have them too. I would be afraid to do something obvious for my nephew, the family is still in pieces over it, and I think it would upset my niece who's the other Halloween nut in my family as they were very close. Maybe next year.
 
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