In spite of what it may have evolved into since it’s beginnings, at the heart of the matter, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about remembering, honoring, visiting, and thanking ones ancestors. The ancestors are not scary or evil with this celebration unlike what many think when the subject of the dead and cemeteries cme up.
My fear of cemeteries began to ebb when we buried my brother Arlington National and was put to rest (pun not intended) when my father was buried at Jefferson Barracks. Before I moved away from Missouri I would go and visit my dad to lay flowers next to his headstone and pull out the designated throw pillow to sit on while I “talked” to him. It became a peaceful way of healing for me; a cemetery became a beautiful and not a scary place.
Dad has since been joined there by mom and a nephew and while I miss them all terribly going to the cemetery is about love now.