Not all Día de los Muertos altars are created to celebrate the dead. What happens when you ask teens serving 30 to 40 years in jail to create Día de los Muertos altars? Eddie G! talks to a California Department of Corrections worker who helped juveniles in detention express themselves through altares.
It’s only been recently, in the last year or so that they’ve taken on some issues close to my heart. In one episode last season, they focused on a doctor that had DACA status. She, the only Latina on the show, had to unfortunately leave the country because she was undocumented.
Last night, “Grey’s Anatomy” focused their episode on my favorite holiday: Día de los Muertos.
CREDIT: Grey’s Anatomy / ABC
While the show always deals with patients suffering from all kinds of health issues, the doctors embraced Día de los Muertos thanks to a little girl that needed surgery.
The episode titled “Flowers Grow Out of My Grave” featured a little girl named Flor, who’s entire family stayed in her hospital room to give her support while she prepared for surgery.
The show typically makes me cry, but seeing this Latino family celebrate Día de los Muertos on prime-time TV was too much!
The Latino family told the doctors that Día de los Muertos isn’t necessarily to mourn those that have died, but more to celebrate their life. However, I think because some of the doctors were new to this holiday, they couldn’t help but feel sadness when thinking of their loved ones.
It was especially cool to see Ellen Pompeo — aka — Dr. Meredith Grey wearing a marigold flower for most of the episode.
Meredith Grey has seen her fair share of death on the show. She’s probably experienced more death than anyone.
Here’s a list of everyone that has died — that has been close to Meredith — since the show began:
Her best friend.
And countless colleagues.
The Latina grandmother informed Meredith that our loved ones, even though they have passed, are always with us.
"The marigolds are beautiful." "They say that they help guide our ancestors' spirits back to us. The veil between and the spirit world is very thin. The marigolds, the photos, the mementos…they help guide them to us." #GreysAnatomypic.twitter.com/RFhqBEHHK8
After that special moment between the two, those words must have really resonated with Meredith because after that something insane happened.
Meredith’s dead family and friends appeared on the show!!
CREDIT: Grey’s Anatomy / ABC
All of those people pictured, aside from Meredith, including the dog have died. Meaning those characters are no longer on the show, but they made a special appearance, which is huge because they were such beloved people.
People on social media could not contain their emotions.
“We were trying to figure out what song would play over that sequence and Kiley suggested playing an iconic Grey’s song and having it be covered in Spanish,” showrunner Krista Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter. “That was her idea. As soon as she said it, I said, ‘Oh my God it has to be ‘Chasing Cars!” I mean how many times has that song played? It’s always our go-to. It felt like the most beautiful way to pay tribute to the history of the show while keeping alive the culture that we were celebrating with this episode. We commissioned that song.”
Here’s the Spanish version of “Chasing Cars” by Moon and Sun featuring Israel De Corcho.” But first get some tissues.
Día de los Muertos is a holiday filled with family, love, food and honoring all of the family members that came before you. It is a sweet holiday that is all about death but it is not sad or scary. Every year, millions of people around the world set up ofrendas for their dead relatives offering them food and drinks. The ofrenda is also a way for the family members to travel from the land of the dead into the land of the living to celebrate the holiday with everyone who is still alive. Ofrendas come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is consistent: love and family.
Not ever ofrenda has to be a massive installation in your living room.
Some times the best ofrendas are the ones that keep things simple and keep loved ones as the focus. This altar is all about showing love to a beloved puppers and the abuelitos and padres who are no longer here. 🧡
While food is important as an offering, some times you just have to add a little liquor for the party.
The holiday is all about honoring those who have died and giving them some love. Don’t be shy away from adding your pioneers to the ofrenda. If they made an impact on your life, it might be worth giving them a lot of love.
While there’s a lot of fuss made about including a lot of people on the altar, there is something special about using the holiday as a way to grieve. Everyone grieves in different ways and that means some people might use the holiday to come to terms with a recent loss.