Things That Matter

All Of The People We Were Forced To Say ‘Goodbye’ To In 2019, But Will Never Forget

When Walter Mercado, a Pisces, died.

Credit: @BubbleTEar1 / Twitter

Latinos were in disbelief to learn that the infamous Puerto Rican astrologer, Walter Mercado, died, at age 87, in November. For more than 50 years, Mercado’s televised passion for astrological predictions, refusal to conform to gender roles, and mucho, mucho amor for his fans has secured a beloved space in the Latino zeitgeist. Whether your memory of Mercado was hearing your mom yell, “Callaté!” when his segment aired or memorizing your horoscope for the following day, every day, Mercado’s daily presence on your living room TV made him part of the family.

According to a biography published by Puerto Rico’s Foundation for Popular Culture, Mercado was born on March 9, 1932, on a ship traveling from Spain to Puerto Rico. He grew up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he later began his career in Puerto Rican telenovelas. Though his fame grew to all of Latin America, Mercado largely remained in Puerto Rico throughout his life.

The astrological legend Walter Mercado gifted us decades of accurate and life-changing predictions.

When a Guatemalan teen died in Border Patrol Custody.

When 16-year-old Guatemalan Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died six days after arriving at South Texas processing center, Customs and Border Protection released their version of events. Then, an uncovered ProPublica video revealed a different version. When Carlos died in May, acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner John Sanders said an agent found Carlos “unresponsive” after checking on him. However, ProPublica acquired a video of Carlos’ last hours that dispute he was provided with adequate healthcare. Carlos became the sixth migrant under 18 years old to die in federal custody under the Trump administration, according to the New York Times. 

San Diego State University Student Dies After Being Hospitalized Following Frat Party

CARLY BERNADO / GOFUNDME

In November of this year, San Diego State University announced that freshman student Dylan Hernandez died over the weekend of November 12th. Hernandez, 19, reportedly attended a ‘fraternity event’ the Wednesday night before his death. By Thursday morning, Hernandez’s body “was found pulseless and apneic by his roommate in their dorm room,” according to San Diego’s Medical Examiner’s report. Hernandez was transported to Alvarado Hospital and he died Sunday, surrounded by family from his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. All 14 fraternities affiliated with San Diego State University (SDSU) were placed on suspension upon Hernandez’s hospitalization. A GoFundMe for funeral and memorial expenses raised nearly $29k at the time of mitú‘s publication of the story.

Mexican superstar José José’s

JOSEJOSEOFICIAL

Known for his melancholic love ballads, Mexican crooner José José left behind a legacy of music that captivated audiences with his baritone voice and lyric tenor. In 2017, José announced he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On September 28, the legend passed away in Florida. 

The Mexican Ministry of Culture announced his death saying, “We are sorry for the passing of singer José Rómulo Sosa, better known as José José of the prince of the song. Since the beginning of his career, the singer of El Triste became one of most beloved voices in Mexico. Rest in Peace.”

The singer and songwriter, who has been a beloved musical staple in the Spanish-speaking world since the 1970s, passed away this weekend.

When Latino legend Camilo Sesto  Latin passed away at 72 years old.

Born Camilo Blanes Cortés in Alcoy, Spain, Sesto has sold over 180 million records worldwide over the span of his 40-year career. Known for his romantic rock ballads, Sesto succumbed to heart failure on Sunday. He was 72 years old. Celebrities and fans alike mourned the loss of the artist on social media. 

When Cameron Boyce’s death rocked the entertainment world.

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The star of the Disney Channel franchise Descendants and the television series Jessie died on July 6.

When Edith González passed way from cancer.

While fans hoped the rumors of her death that swirled in June were false (it wouldn’t be the first time a fake death started trending on Twitter), beloved Mexican actress Edith González, who famously battled cancer, died.

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Naya Rivera Was Remembered In A Touching Tribute Featuring The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ By Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Naya Rivera Was Remembered In A Touching Tribute Featuring The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ By Demi Lovato

FOX

Months have passed with quite a few additional ups and downs but Demi Lovato hasn’t forgotten about her late friend and former Glee costar, Naya Rivera. Five months after Rivera’s body was found following a disappearance during a boating trip with her son, Lovato paid a tribute to the actress on Instagram.

In a post shared to her Instagram story on Sunday, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer, remembered Rivera in a video.

Demi Lovato/ Instagram

Lovato shared a video of the gleaming sun while she was on a hike and captioned the video “Miss You [Naya Rivera].” In a reference to a song that Lovato sang with Rivera, the singer played a clip of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” in the background.

Lovato and Rivera’s characters (Dani and Santana Lopez) fell in love after singing “Here Comes the Sun” during a shift at a diner in the fifth season of the musical drama series.

Rivera’s body was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on July 13.

Her body was found five days after she disappeared during a boat excursion with her 5-year-old son Josey. Soon after Rivera was found, Lovato reflected on her costar writing that she would “forever cherish” her role as Rivera’s girlfriend on the series.

“RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee,” Lovato wrote on Instagram at the time. “The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world.”

“My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.. ❤️🕊,” she wrote at the end of her caption.

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Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Things That Matter

Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Photo: joeelcholo/Instagram

Another day, another tragic COVID-19 related death. On November 3rd, a Los Angeles comedian Joe “El Cholo” Luna passed away from the coronavirus.

Throughout his battle with COVID-19, Luna documented his struggle through social media.

Just two days before he passed away, Luna posted a video on Instagram chronicling his COVID-19 journey. He shared the video with his followers for “educational purposes”. In the video, Luna got extremely candid about the realities of the deadly illness.

“Let me tell you, man, when I would hear people talk about what COVID did to them, I always said to myself, ‘You know what? I doubt it’s that bad’,” he says in the video. “I’ll tell you guys right now, I’ve been putting up a fight. I’ve been fighting for my life for the last week or so, man. This COVID shit is no joke.”

Luna described his symptoms: losing his taste and smell, fainting, having trouble breathing, fevers, chills, chest pains. He also contracted pneumonia. At one point, he even lost consciousness.

Luna explained that he had been discharged from the hospital a few days ago simply to be taken back to the hospital via an ambulance. “I ended up passing out,” he said in the clip.

He also revealed that his mother, his girlfriend, and his children had tested positive for the virus. His mother was also hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Luna was a diabetic and had previously lost both of his legs due to the disease. According to him, COVID-19 hit him especially hard due to his preexisting conditions.

Luna’s family and community mourn the loss of a vibrant man who had been full of humor and light when he was alive.

“We are currently all mourning him because not only was he a great son, dad, hubby but also a best friend to many of us,” wrote Blanca Castro on his GoFundMe page.

She continued: “He fought hard after losing both legs to stay ok. He fought hard with the everyday pain. He was my comedian superhero. Even when he was hurting he managed to put a smile on our faces.”

Because of his father’s bright spirit, his family insists on celebrating his death the way he would have wanted: with humor. “For his funeral, he doesn’t want anyone crying so we’re going to put together a show because that’s what he would have wanted,” said his son, Jose Talavera, to Fox 11 News. “He wanted people to be laughing and having fun,” said Talavera.

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