Has your loved one with Alzheimer’s died during the Covid-19 global pandemic?
Did the pandemic keep some out-of-state relatives from traveling to the funeral?
Or maybe your loved one’s memorial service was a Zoom call or a Facebook live event?
If you are missing a relative in heaven and want to join a virtual celebration, then post a memory on social media using #RememberingMyCoco.
This hashtag was inspired by the 2017 Pixar/Disney movie Coco, about a boy who reconnects with his great-great grandfather on Nov. 2, the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Marianne Matzo, host of the Everyone Dies podcast, reached out to me this week about #RememberingMyCoco.
She is offering lots of resources on her website to help families talk through feelings about death and grief, especially with children, after watching the movie Coco. And she has additional resources to help celebrate and remember a loved one’s life.
What is Day of the Dead?
If you’ve never heard of this holiday, Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of deceased loved ones by merging Nahua customs with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2).
According to tradition, at midnight on Oct. 31, the gates of heaven are thrown open, and the spirits of children rejoin their families for 24 hours on The Day of the Children.
Then at midnight on Nov. 1, the spirits of all others rejoin their families for 24 hours on The Day of the Dead.
In anticipation of loved ones returning, families set a table with food, photos, candles, flowers and memorabilia to welcome ancestral spirits home. The decorated table or altar is known as an ofrenda.
I connected online with Marianne this past summer when Dad was in Hospice care. She interviewed me on her podcast as I was struggling to understand the end-of-life process. (Listen to the interview.)
Dad died on August 20, 2020, from complications of Covid-19. He was in middle-stage Alzheimer’s, and I thought we had a few more years with him.
These past four years since his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I learned so much from him about the disease and managing care, which I’ll continue to write about on the blog. He was a loving father to the end, and I feel blessed to have been with him when he passed. (See obit.)
Who will you remember on social media with #RememberingMyCoco?