Different cultures from around the world teach the value of life. They cherish, promote, and envy the lack of it. In Mexican culture we love life, but value death with equal strength. While most cultures see the process of life as an achievement, they leave death in the dismal dark, accumulating taboos and stigmas. This disenfranchisement forms a denial to death, who will faithfully wait for us at the end of our days. In Mexican culture, instead of suppressing deaths inevitable path deep inside the catacombs of thought, we hope to rejoice after our demise. These attributes are embedded in our culture since before we transitioned into being Mexicans. The fearless soul of our ancestors, the Mexicas, the Mayans, and every life that bared the feel of land with each step on the native ground; created an understanding and atonement to bliss through unorthodox methods of ritualistic sacrifice and purification of the soul, prior to the fall into the warmth of deaths arms.
Mexicans are programmed to accept death. It is difficult to some, understanding how we include death in our lives. We even joke about it, like if it was a buffoonish event. But the reality to some Mexicans is filled with Governmental betrayal, and oppression. This sorrow laments for a thirst that only a river of spiritual quench can provide. Some resort to manifest death into a spectral cadaver, completely striped off its flesh. It wears different color cloaks, and holds a long scythe on her thin pale hand.
I recall a time in Nogales, near the Sonora Desert, while visiting a man named Ramiro; intending to buy organic medications. He lived on a small wet wood rotten shack with a wood plank porch and outside toilet. Inside the shack I noticed he had an Altar for “La Santa Muerte,” or “The Holy lady of Death.” She was surrounded by carnations, and a shot of tequila accompanied by a rolled up marihuana blunt laying on her feet; serving as an offering of gratitude for the miracles she performed for him. I could not hold back my curiosity, and asked him as we sat outside watching the desert consume the suns amber rays.
“Has La Santa Muerte appeared to you?”
Ramiro smiled with confidence while taking a sip from his beer, then replied.
“All the time. She walks through the fields of cactus, and whistles morbid, but beautiful lullabies. That means she is happy and takes care of us.”
I do not follow the cult of La Santa Muerte, but I do believe our hearts ticking clock reminds us that time is not fitted into our anatomy. Death is the only entity who manifests itself on a daily basis, and leaves its mark encrypted in the absence of our loved ones. through the study of life, and faith in God; I do believe we are created in his image, and as the reflection of our savior pursues salvation, our shell will succumb to the horrendous skeletal remains of death.