On Sunday (November 9) people from across the northern rivers made a pilgrimage to Crystal Castle to remember family members or friends who have died in a way that goes beyond the usual religious blandishments.
Local artist Sam Collyer was on hand to inspire, guide and help people create a momento mori to their loved ones. People also brought photographs or a special something to place on an altar for their loved ones.
A ‘gentle and inclusive’ ceremony of remembrance led by deathwalker Zenith Virago followed, with music from the Mullumbimby Choir.
At the end of the ceremony there was a candlelight procession through the Forest of Friends & Family at the Quandong Grove in the rainforest walk, which will become a permanent space for honouring the dead.
‘We offer this event as part of a social change to bring death, dying and loss back into our own hands and hearts,’ said Zenith, from the Natural Death Care Centre. ‘The NDCC has always had as one of its aims to demystify death and empower the community to reclaim it.’
Day of the Dead is an annual event, which this year was followed by Death Café at the Empire Café in Mullumbimby on Tuesday (November 11). Death Cafe is part of a global movement that brings people together for lively conversations about death. Its aim is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their finite lives.