The beautiful strength in remembering

This may look like a simple stack of cards, but it’s certainly not.  

Inside these envelopes are stories.  They’re filled with memories and words of love and longing from the hearts of women at our Coco Vida Girls Night Out last Thursday night.  I spread them out like this on Friday morning in pure awe, and I haven’t touched them since.  I’m still discerning what to do with them.

When we first decided to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, I didn’t fully realize the extent to which it needed to be a night of remembrance.  

But as the planning developed, it became clear that it needed to be a night we ventured beyond the comfortable condolences of “I’m sorry for your loss” to sharing warm, specific memories of the ones we’ve loved and lost.  It needed to be a night we could bear witness to the lives of those who’ve stayed with us in spirit and feel truly seen in commemorating our memories of them. It became clear that there needed to be a moment to make space for women who wanted to, to write down a memory, or a note of love, to someone they’ve lost as a small step forward on the healing journey.  But it was a girls night out, meant to be full of fun, laughter, ease, and joy.   How was I going to just drop in a moment of, remembrance?

As we got closer, it started to feel like those moments were an obvious and natural fit in the program for the night. 

We began by watching the award-winning Dia de los Muertos short film as a simple, yet powerful introduction to the idea.  Then we listened to Laura Roach briefly share the story of her journey of healing from the tragic loss of a friend in elementary school.  Later, we each took a turn sharing our favorite memory of a loved one with our friend. Each story was a quick journey through the sadness of loss but every single time, they ended with the joy of remembering the good, the beauty that is left behind in us.  Even while we laughed and enjoyed the memories shared throughout the night, I still wasn’t sure how many people would participate in writing the notes and bringing them up to the ofrenda (altar) at the break.

One look at that photo and you can see just how many women came. 

One by one they came.  They came in pairs.  They came in groups.  They came alone.  It was such an incredible display of the love of strong women.

Even in the pain of loss, there is so much strength in remembering. 

Based on the number of notes left in remembrance during our GNO, I think it’s pretty safe to assume you have some good memories to celebrate too.

Write a note of remembrance to someone you’ve loved and lost today.

Jot down a story or tell them what you miss the most.

Honor the way their life changed yours. 

Celebrating their life is a beautiful part of your healing.

Why not today?

to more love,

Crystal

p.s. Join us for our next girls night on Thursday, November 7th as we make space for boundaries and peace in the upcoming frenzy of the holiday season by practicing the art of “simmering” and hand letter the word Simmer on a mug to take home as a reminder.  Simmer Down GNO

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