All Souls Procession All Souls Procession

We remember together

Testimonials

A couple of years ago [my dad] called me and told me about the All Souls Procession. He said it was his favorite thing about Tucson. He said as he watched the people walk, he would think about his mother that had passed away when he was a kid.... It's going to be a difficult Christmas this year with him not being there. In his honor, my family will walk the Procession.

— Dora Monica-Ray

We walked in the All Souls Procession last year for the first time...hoping that to be with other mourners would help to ease the pain we all held in our hearts. All Souls was a wonderful experience for us. Although it didn't take away the pain of losing our Andrew, it served as a great reminder that we must celebrate his life, the memories he gave us, and the love we still have for him.

— Kayla Staggs

I felt [my mother] was right there guiding me the whole way. I would call my costume a representation of her innocence, boldness, her love for life and flowers. I carried a basket with her favorite flower, the rose, and a bible she gave me as a child. Thank you for this beautiful event which gives us all an opportunity to express outwardly the love we feel inwardly. Pure allegria!

— Charlene Scronce Goodman

Loved the ceremony! Fantastic costuming and dance ritual. Gave me chills!

— Julianna Hind

My beautiful children...were killed in a car accident in 2009. Not a day goes by that I don't miss them with all of my heart. They were the kindest, most loving, most amazing people I have ever met and I can't believe they've been gone for over five years. I'm so grateful to be able to honor them by walking in this year's All Souls Procession.

— Amy Pasterak

It was a simple moment, over in a flash, & I gave them both some paint to decorate cardboard wings. Yet that moment was special; it was charged with grieving, healing, & artful action. It contained the magic that occurs between people connecting. These two strangers were sharing their loss while in the act of making, & it was a privilege for me to witness that beauty.

Procession of Little Angels drops boundaries, it gives individuals a community opportunity for more things than I can possibly articulate.

— Jana McConnell

I want to thank all of the people volunteering [at the arts workshop] who were so lovely, understanding and kind, not to mention helpful! My friend and I had much fun, but more importantly for me it was the kind of cathartic experience I have been needing. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us heal, you are helping so many people with your wonderful spirit of love.

— Kris Veitch

It's a wondrous event. By turns irreverent, holy, and always deeply personal.

— David J. Maron

After [my daughter] died, I didn't think I could continue. I searched for anything that would help me bear the burden of grief. No religion, ceremony or practice gave me comfort until I discovered the All Souls Procession. Jackie was living in Tucson, attending the U of A and found the Procession to be a ritual that felt authentic. Last year we attended for the first time with another bereaved set of parents and not only did we find it a safe place to just be ourselves, we felt joy, love and collective hope. I felt Laura's presence, joyously mingling with the other beloved, departed people. I felt relief that a place exists where I don't have to hide my grief. The miraculous thing is that the grief can peacefully coexist with celebration. Thank you, from a place even deeper than the bottom of my heart.

— Susan Crouse

I feel like one water drop of an entire river. I feel so small yet so big at the same time. The community comes together and brings their own spin on death, loss, rebirth, love, life, and togetherness. We mourn, we celebrate and we are one for one night. It's a melding of cultures, beliefs, traditions and there are no rules. I like having no traditional or cultural rules! I like feeling small in a big crowd and I like performing on stage anonymously. I take people's prayers while I dance and pass them into the Urn to help ignite them at the end of the ceremony. I like ceremony, I don't have much tradition in the history of my family and this I can call mine, ours, Tucson's!

— Nicci Radhe

As a participant I felt connected to my grief in ways I never had before. As a volunteer, I become connected to others' grief, love, passion, forgiveness, wonder, skepticism, change, tradition, culture...you name it. So much connection, so much life, all wrapped up in this ceremony. It fills me up with hope.

— Eva Pena

In my four years of doing this, I have witnessed a vital outpouring of emotions and expressions during these times leading up to the walk and the day of. People rarely have a chance to express themselves about death and remembrance in a safe, peaceful and non-judgmental setting. The community event that is ASP offers this chance in an incomparable and magical way

— Kristine Bentz, Life-Cycle Celebrant

Thank you and thank you for taking your time to help all the living and the ones that have moved to a better place. God bless you.

— Christina Ochoa

I'm a veterinarian.... A bad part of my job is euthanizing dogs and cats, and some of them I wish I didn't have to. To put my list of names up in that Urn and watch it burn, it's cleansing, it's good. It's a great thing.

— Dr. Kipp Metzger

I saw [Max's] picture up on the wall at the Procession and I was just taken back, over whelmed. He was right there with me...It was a beautiful experience. It was an honor to see his tender presence right there with me

— Bernadette Cardwell Broomall

When I’m at the [All Souls Arts] workshop, and an old Mexican grandma comes in and makes a shrine and she’s never made anything before in her life, and she’s covered with glue and glitter and paint and she’s made some beautiful little flowers and stuff, and it all comes together at the end, there’s a moment there of….'Oh my god, I made this.' And that is really magical. It’s not quantifiable. It’s this powerful, powerful experience. That’s why I do this. Beyond all of the other things, that moment, the sharing of my passion for creativity, and seeing it all come together, that’s why I care.

— Mykl Wells

I am so looking forward to this year's Procession....I don't think enough 'thanks' could ever be said for all the hard work you guys put in to making this happen. Your efforts are so truly appreciated by those of us who come from afar (I'm only in Phoenix) to enjoy this time with our families remembering those we've lost. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

— Kayla Staggs

Some people only believe old, time-tested ceremonies are real, as though we’re not genuine enough in this era to create meaningful rituals of our own. I think it’s the other way around; we must constantly re-fresh or invent practices that spring up right here where we live, that belong to everyone who participates, and whose connective power can be felt by anyone attending.

— Karen Falkenstrom

Incredibly moving; the sight of everyone's messages being released by fire to the Universe makes me fall in love with life all over again. Thank you Many Mouths One Stomach.

— Christine Scheer

We performed the live soundtrack for the closure of Tucson’s All Souls Procession Weekend (2015). It wasn’t just the unusual size of the audience (many tens of thousands) that made the event special, but its heterogeneous composition, a rare mix of race, age, and lifestyle: from Pentecostals to LGBTQ activist, coming together in a massive public ritual. It had all the creativity of Burning Man, minus the hedonism and class-barriers.

— Filastine

Thank you [for the after-event site clean-up]! I drive by the finale site on the way to and from work. The difference between Monday at 6 am and Monday at 6 pm was amazing! Thanks again, wonderful people!

— Mary McFarland

Can not put into words how magical and healing it was! Simply beautiful. Thanks SO very much to ALL of the volunteers and everyone involved.... who made it SO very special!

— Sara Drey

My heart pounded as I saw the photos of my mother and her family projected on the main screen after the Aztec Dancers...I just felt so blown away and grateful to have those images sent out into the universe. Gracias y Gracias.

— Kathleen Carelton

I shed my everyday skin for one day a year, and on this day I feel the truest form of myself. I leave the ego, I leave my mind, I leave behind the burdens of everyday life and simply serve. I serve my community. And it's within this service, that I've come to realize my own sacredness, my own depth of love, my own capacity for empathy. And within realizing all these things within myself, I became more aware of them within our community. This is the day we all stop, drop, and love. We acknowledge the hurt in each other after the loss of a friend, family member, child, parent, animal companion, idea, relationship, even our favourite diner.

— Davina Araiza

It was the best cultural event I have ever been to.

— Dan Vander Ploeg

Beautiful blend of cultures... I will attend every year from here on out.

— Danny Arturo Lopez

Right after I put a letter to my brother in the Urn, I turned around, and a photo of him was being projected onto a screen nearby. It was surreal. He died unexpectedly, so I didn't have a chance to say goodbye.

Until last night.

Thank you.

— Daniel Riley

Our son was heartbroken. At the age of 5 he had to know how it felt to lose someone he loved. We decided to write Diana a letter and send it off, so it can be burned and she would get the message. He asks me now 'when do we get to send Diana a letter?'....this is something I intend to do each and every year. It has helped my son cope with his loss and grief. It has helped me help him to understand. Thank you for having this and letting us be a part of it.

— Jamie LeeAnn

I had to send you another message of gratitude. Me and my two kids were at the children's procession writing a prayer for the Urn for baby Hope, our first baby who never made it earthside to be with us. Although we never met, this baby gave me hope after years of struggling to conceive that some day I could have the family I always wanted. It was so incredible to be able to honor my angel baby with my earthside babies. Thank you.

— Lauren Terpstra

I took my best friend with me this year. She had just lost her uncle to cancer earlier that week, and in April the only father figure I've ever had passed away suddenly. So in addition to Nana and My aunt, we walked for them as well. There were lots of tears, and even some laughter remembering the good and happy times. Me and her have been best friends for almost 7 years and that night her, me, and [my son] Adrian bonded like never before. It was amazziinnng .. Words cannot express how grateful I am for all you wonderful people do to make that night happen.

— Rosita Michelle

Words to describe this gathering and our experience are inadequate. The veil between worlds that separates us from our children was thin and the connections we felt were many....We walked, carrying the love of our son with us, feeling his love and presence surrounding us. It was the most magical feeling knowing that we walked with others, those in the seen and the unseen world, love mingling together as one. Bodies die, relationships continue. Love is forever. We walked with David, for David and for us, forever David's mom and dad.

— Kim Minske Bodeau

My family and I have traveled down to the Procession for the past two years….Sadly, our list of loved ones that we walk for has grown, but the Procession is so healing, and therapeutic. It sheds light and love upon all of us, and leaves us with a feeling warmth and serenity…. I am reminded that past the mourning, should come celebration. My Aunt would want to be and is remembered with the utmost adoration. The procession is such a lovely way to do that! Thank you so much!

— Shannon Havey Ellison

To all those who put their heart, energy, and time into this event, I thank you from the whole of my heart! We are already beginning to look forward to another pilgrimage to participate...wrapped in the love and spirit of Tucson and those that have passed beyond our sight.

— Kim Minske Bodeau

Another post of gratitude for the heart of this event. When people see the children walking in the Procession, it may or may not be clear if they grasp the meaning of why they are walking. I want to share that my 7 year old son did profoundly understand. He asked on behalf of our family to hold the photo of his grandparents. He proudly held it up and showed it to the crowd lining the streets. And he walked deliberately with a space to his left because, as he said, 'I know that Grandpa is walking with me tonight.' Thank you for a venue where families can find peace, healing, and remembrance together.

— Lorie Anderson Caballero

This is our tradition and this is what our ancestors left for us and we are so glad that you allow us to present it and share it with our Tucson community. We share our traditions with the intention of remembering our loved ones as we have been doing this for more than 7000 years. We hope to stay strong and keep working together to commemorate and not let our traditions die. We're grateful for people like you that support diversity in Tucson.

— Diego Gil of Danza Azteca Calpulli Tonantzin

Thank you organizers for your dedication to such a wonderful event. I will never forget the first time we took my grand daughter Nevaeh. She was 5yo.... We saw a homeless man sitting at the curb and he looked so sad. Nevaeh and I say hi to him and we started talking. Nevaeh was so excited within 5 min. we heard this man life and he told us, here I need to share this with you ( I am crying ) he had a dog for 16 years, he had lost him a few months before and he pulled this Urn with the dogs ashes!!!! We 3 cried together. Then the procession resumed and we never saw him again, but we felt so special, this man sharing something so dear to him. For this I thank you. May god allow us many more years to celebrate with you and congratulations on this 25th anniversary. muchas gracias y dios los bendiga

— Perez Johnny

We're all broken in some way. I know mom's passing really has highlighted that for me. So I'm thankful for the annual opportunity to march or view the All Souls Procession because then the loss of her is a little less lonely. Thank you!

— Evelyn Alvarez

[My grandmother] asked that we celebrate her life by walking the procession, as we used to do with her before she passed. I know that my family & I will be so happy to see her face there with us!

— Riche Jones

The most beautiful and validating grief ritual I have encountered. Beautiful people who let us know we can "celebrate our beloved dead" forever. No pressure to "move on."

— Susan Crouse

The first time I went to the Procession of Little Angels it had more impact on me than the All Souls Procession itself...When my Mom passed away not only was I not allowed to grieve her or celebrate her, but I was not allowed to acknowledge her at all....Children having a safe place to feel whatever they want to feel...is really important.

— Lisa Foote

My husband, Ryan, and our daughter, Viviana, walk to honor Wyatt, my husband's brother, who passed away in 6th grade. We plan on using the Little Angels Procession each year to talk to our children about their uncle, so that his memory will live on.

— Michelle Marshall

I am traveling from California to attend the All Souls Procession to honor my Daughter and Celebrate the 32 years I was Blessed Enough to have been her Father. I miss All the ways she inspired me in Life. The ways she made me a better Man, Human Being and Father. Trista was a loving Daughter, Sister, Grand Daughter and Auntie. She dearly loved her family. The world is a less loving place without her.

— Dennis Skyles

The All Souls Procession allows our family to personally and artistically express our love and loss. This event has become a family tradition for me and my granddaughter Larisa.

— Anna Mendoza

I am so thankful that your organization provides a forum and event to acknowledge the lives and passing of our loved ones. Words can't really express how grateful I am that this event exists and how much I appreciate everyone that is involved. It will be such an honor and part of my grieving journey to be able to walk for my mom and Tony. Thank you for treating the often delicate and sensitive topic of death and mourning with such respect, grace, and dignity.

— Deborah Olivas

The Procession is both therapeutic and healing. In our culture, we are very afraid of pain, and we do this thing where we try to avoid it and pretend its not there. This is a great way to help deal with it. It helps people feel like they aren't alone in the depths of pain and loss.

— Dr. Karen McIntrye, Therapist

I never truly was able to grieve until I learned about the All Souls Procession, my heart was able to heal, and the spirits of everyone who walks is the most amazing feeling in the world. Thank you.

— Liz Gingrich

To see 100,000+ people honoring their dead in such creative ways is to see humanity at its realest. No corporate sponsorship. No profit motive. It's truly moving.

— Kevin Sells

My daughter and i went together this year for our first time. It is such a peaceful event
And walking behind the urn and drummers has a calming effect while you reflect on why you are there. Its beautiful. The celebration at the end is also amazing, the community really unites.

— Becca Ramirez

All of it is beautiful, but the most beautiful thing of all, to me, is that it is created by ordinary people, just like you and me, who come together to do this thing every year. We are ordinary people, but by coming together in this way, with a common heart and a common goal, we create something absolutely extraordinary. And to me, that is the most beautiful thing of all about the Tucson All Souls Procession.

— C. Meade

It's a lovely thought knowing that my family will 'be weaved' in the fabric of our community, in such a fashion. [Projected in the Ancestors Project.] What a cool thing !

— C Pothier
All Souls Procession
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