By Simone Del Rosario. Nov 10, 2014
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – It’s the day Tusconans remember the dead. On Sunday, Tucson celebrated its 25th annual All Souls Procession.
Since 1990, it has grown from one local artist honoring the memory of her father to 100,000 strong on Sunday night.
It’s a night to mourn, remember and celebrate lost loved ones. People paint faces, wear costumes, play music and walk the miles-long procession.
Sylvia Brown is walking in remembrance of her grandmother and walking to heal.
“Even though they’ve been gone a long time, it still helps,” Brown said of the procession. “You still are sad about them being gone and this helps with the healing process.”
For Mark Ray, the healing has just begun. He lost his husband David to heart disease in June. He is surrounded throughout the procession by their closest friends.
“It’s a fresh wound as far as our grief goes for David and we’re really hoping this kind of solidarity and love for David will be a part of the healing path for us,” Ray said.
The group does not don the typical costumes of the All Souls Procession. But their hawaiin theme honors David’s memory. Hawaii was his favorite vacation spot.
But in Tucson, surrounded by strangers who share a bond, Ray sees the potential to heal.
“The experience and the atmosphere that’s down here; it’ll be another step,” Ray said.
The steps are not easy to take, as Ray wipes away his tears. But with each step, they all grow a little stronger.