Graffiti of a skeleton with sombrero and beard playing guitar

S1E32: Remembering the Dead

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“Feliz día de los Muertos”

Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1st and 2nd. November 1 is “el Dia de los Inocentes,” or the day of the children, and All Saints Day. November 2 is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead. According to tradition, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of children can rejoin their families for 24 hours. The spirits of adults can do the same on November 2.

Day of the Dead parade.

No holiday happens in Mexico without a corresponding treat. We present the pan de muerto – a soft and slightly-tangy bun that is usually dusted in sugar. Follow this link for the recipe from The Spruce Eats.

Day of the Dead Bread – pan de muerto.

Marianne discusses an essay by Lili Loofbourow called The Loss of Shared Grief. We as a country have failed to memorialize the thousands of people who have died from COVID-19. Many have died alone and unseen, with no public mourning to help the living integrate their losses. Many did not even get to have a funeral and traditional ceremonies because of the virus.

164 clogs placed on the Washington lawn in June 2020 to remember nurses who died while treating coronavirus patients and call for more protection.

For this Day of the Dead, can we keep them in our hearts and memorialize those who died? Charlie shares with us the tradition of an ofrenda – or altar for those who died – for Dia de los Muertos.

Virtual Ofrenda

Join us for our virtual watch party this week as we watch the Disney film Coco. See also our Blog that has a ton of resources for fun activities, and also ways to use Coco as a resource to talk with children about death and grief.

We are challenging our listeners to share a story of someone special they want to remember. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – hashtag #RememberingMyCoco

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ofrenda.jpg
An ofrenda from the Disney movie Coco.


  • Día de los Muertos: A Brief History, National Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Dobrin, Isabel, “Día de los Muertos Comes to Life Across the Mexican Diaspora,” NPR, November 2, 2017
  • Giardina, Carolyn, “‘Coco’: How Pixar Brought its ‘Day of the Dead’ Story to Life,” Hollywood Reporter, December 12, 2017 Scott, Chris. “Day of the Dead parade – Life imitates art,” CNN, October 28, 2016

Let us hear from you! Contact us on social media or using one of the contact links on our site.

Join the discussion

  • Thank you for raising awareness about this holiday. This is prompting me to write (finally) about my Dad’s passing from Covid. I will post something this weekend.

  • My someone special is my son’s father. He passed away at the young age of 25 when our son was barely 2 years old. I want to remember Kristopher laugh and his energy. Everything about him reminds me of our son. They have so much in common it’s as if they are twins. Every time I think of Kristopher I think of him laughing and dancing around the room, and I think of how neat and clean he always looked. He always put a smile on my face. #rememberingmycoco

  • My special one is a friend C. M. Age 44 passed away May 2020.
    Everyone dies, but in 2010 most people die prematurely by COVID 19. This 44-year-old friend was a veteran working in a healthcare institution for about 22 years. According to the family she asked for remote work in march because of health-related conditions but was not granted. She continued to physically come to work until she contracted COVID 19 at work, spent 1.5 months in the hospital on a ventilator, and later died. It was a terrible moment for all of us who were familiar with this decent lady because her death could have prevented. She was not ready to die so early , she had a strong personality, she was a God-fearing person and an active member of the church. May her soul rest in peace. #RememberingMyCoco

    • Linda,

      We’re watching it from wherever you rent or stream movies, and anytime this week is fine as Marianne will be talking about it in the next podcast. Disney+ streams it, or perhaps a local DVD rental shop might have it. Worst case, check with your nearest family with Disney fans!

      Happy viewing!

  • Latarsha was my youngest niece. Her flame glowed bright and was extinguished at the age of 23. During her short stay on earth, Tarsha had many adventures. She feared very little in life. She loved hard and was loved in return by all that knew her. Sometimes I sat and stare at the same sofa I took her picture at 8 months. I often see Tarsha’s smile on her now 8-year-old daughter’s face. #RememberingMyCoco

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