Tag Archives: death

Commemoration not Desecration of Our Dead

St. Martin of Porres, Patron Saint of Barbers
and the Patron of Interracial Justice.

As we approach the annual celebration of the cult of death, better known as Halloween, it’s a good time to remember what the real holiday symbolizes. Continue reading

New Priests and Monkey Paws

A priestly ordination. Image wikipedia

She visited the old Santana Church on her own this time and when she returned she was absolutely buoyant, radiant in fact. Almost half talking to herself as she entered through the door she continued glorifying God and how she had just seen the most beautiful sight. As usual, Mamí and I were the only ones home and it quickly became apparent that Miss Polly had participated in an ordination ceremony in which several new priests had been confirmed in a special Mass. Continue reading

Escaping Segregation in Death

This image represents the grand celebration
of light that is observed in Presov, Slovakia.
This is how we all should celebrate All Soul’s Day
in the Americas in memory of our beloved
ancestors who worked to leave us the best of all
possible worlds. Image is from: www.iarelative.com

I learned a great deal from Miss Polly and her experiences, especially about death and dying. Since my grandmother’s retirement my Aunt Berenice had lost her first (and only) child and no one talked about the infant or my two deceased uncles Eric and Vicente or where they were buried, much less go visit the graves of these young men who had long ago become part of that Black Canal Zone. I used to watch how the Black Westindian people buried their dead and congregated during the funeral for any and all spiritual gifts from any kind of church or organization that might have presided. Continue reading

To Grow Up Spanish

Praying the Novena

During these times death would, once again, visit our barrio building coming, as it were, to take away the life of some youth. God only knows how we, my sister and I, had managed to survive to the ripe old ages of four and five but we had by God’s great mercy. Continue reading

Death in the Barrio


A child’s grave at Corozal Silver Cemetery.


The death of my baby sister Lidia was the first death that I would personally witness and by that time in my life it would set a precedent. I would again encounter this issue with the death of a next door neighbor who all of us knew as Maye, a relative of our regular playmate Osiris, and it all occurred in that same building in which we lived.
I only bring up the death of this girl since she was only an adolescent when she passed away and I was struck by the sharp contrast between the way the issue of death was handled by my Westindian family and their friends and by my Spanish neighbors. Continue reading