Day of the Dead Ritual

catrina-leveledHow old is the habit of denial? We keep secrets from ourselves that all along we know…. For perhaps we are like stones; our own history and the history of the world embedded in us, we hold a sorrow deep within and cannot weep until that history is sung.  — Susan Griffin

The desire to forget prolongs exile; the secret of redemption is memory.  – The Baal Shem Tov

On November 2nd, 2019 we led our 22nd annual Day of the Dead Grief Ritual.

I am convinced that we would solve many things if we all went out into the streets and uncovered our griefs, which perhaps would prove to be but one sole common grief…The chiefest sanctity of a temple is that it is a place to which men go to weep in common.  A miserere sung in common by a multitude tormented by destiny…It is not enough to cure the plague; we must learn to weep for it. Yes, we must learn to weep! Perhaps that is the supreme wisdom. – Miguel De Unamuno


In both West Africa and Central America they say that we are required to offer two things to help a recently deceased person complete his or her journey to the other side and become an ancestor: our tears and our beauty.



How to Lead a Grief Ritual

Francis Weller (Sonoma County)        

Maria Owl Gutierrz (Hawaii)

Earthrites Collective (Sonoma County)

Cheryl Jones (Oakland)

Martin Prechtel (New Mexico)

Malidoma Some´(Florida)


Martin Prechtel Speaks on Grief

— Martin Prechtel on Grief and Praise

— Michael Meade on the Funeral of George Floyd

— Francis Weller on “The Geography of Sorrow”

— Francis Weller Speaks on Grief

— Francis Weller on the Five Gates of Grief

— Barry on the Sixth Gate of Grief

Barry on Popularity of The Day of the Dead

Barry on Rituals of Grief

— Barry on Grief and Remembrance in Greece

Barry’s article, “A Day of the Dead Ritual”

— Grief and Our Ancestors: Robert Bly and Malidoma Some´

— Sobonfu Some´on Grief and Recovery

— Carolyn Baker interviews Barry and Maya

— Carolyn Baker: If We Have No Future, Why Grieve?

— Rafael Jesús González on Día de Muertos

— Dia De Los Muertos in Los Angeles

— Joseph Campbell on the roots of Halloween

— Arthur George on Halloween and Samhain

— Barry on Cultural Appropriation

— The Art of Grief: Poetry and Music


Names of the Dead: 2019-20

Now the dead flow through all of us still glowing. – May Sarton

What is remembered lives.

– Ruth Bader Ginzburg, judge

– Ram Dass, teacher

– Eavan Boland, poet

– Michael McClure, poet

– Derek Mahon, poet

– Jewell Mathieson, poet

– Lisel Mueller, poet

– Diane DiPrima, poet

– Ruth Weiss, poet

– Louis Jenkins, poet

– Ernesto Cardenal, poet

– John Lewis, activist

– Chizu Iiyama, activist

– Kevin Zeese, activist

– John Hume, activist

– Charles Evers, activist

– Huey Johnson, activist

– Terrance Hallinan, activist

– Diana Russell, activist

– Ronald Lewis, activist

– Ardeth Platte, activist

– Mario Aranda, activist

– Joseph Lowery, activist

– Phyllis Lyon, activist

– Denis Goldberg, Activist

– Barbara Babcock, activist

– José María (Chato) Galante, activist

– Margot Antonetty, activist

– Delbert Africa, activist

– Harry Britt, activist

– Margy Wilkinson, activist

– Lee Thorn, activist

– C.T. Vivian, activist

– Helen Reddy, singer

– Joseph Shabalala, singer

– Jonnie Nash, singer

– Bill Withers, singer

– Kirk Douglas, actor

– Chadwick Boseman, actor

– Terry Jones, actor

– Max Von Sydow, actor

– Olivia De Havilland, actor

– Corey Fischer, actor

– Sean Connery, actor

– Toots Hibbert, musician

– Jerry Jeff Walker, musician

– Eddie Van Halen, Musician

– McCoy Tyner, musician

– Ellis Marsalis, musician

– John Prine, musician

– Peter Green, musician

– Little Richard, musician

– Charlie Daniels, musician

– Eddie Gale, musician

– Shere Hite, writer

– Dan Baum, writer

– Ruth Klüger, writer

– Pete Hamil, writer

– Stephen F. Cohen, writer

– Gail Sheehy, writer

– Marilyn Yalom, writer

– Ward Just, writer

– David Graeber, writer

– Michael Brooks, writer

– William Greider, writer

– Terrence McNally, writer

– Maurice Berger, writer

– Umberto Eco, writer

– Larry Kramer, writer

– Carl Reiner, writer

– Rudolpho Anaya, writer

– Stanley Crouch, writer

– Winston Groom, writer

– Julia O’Faolain, writer

– James Redford, filmmaker

– Judy Montell, filmmaker

– Ronnie Goodman, artist

– Christo, artist

– Gahan Wilson, cartoonist

– Herb Wong, Jazz promoter

– Freeman Dyson, scientist

– Jeff Byers, storyteller

– Jean Erdman, dancer

– Perry Rosenstein, philanthropist

– Rafael Gomez-Nieto, Spanish Civil War veteran

– Donald Morris, psychotherapist

– Ennio Morricone, composer

– Matt Herron, photographer

– Cecelia Chiang, restaurateur

– Kobe Bryant, athlete

– Whitey Ford, athlete

– Joe Morgan, athlete

– Lou Brock, athlete

– Bob Gibson, athlete

– Tom Seaver, athlete

– John Thompson, athlete, coach

– Gayle Sayers, athlete

– Al Kaline, athlete


– Nine members of the Palestinian Sawarka family killed in Israeli bombing

Activists killed:


– Firmino Guajajara

– Raimundo Guajajara


– Homero Gómez González

– Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre  

– Julio Valdivia

– Raul Hernandez

Costa Rica:

-Yehry Rivera


– Cristóbal Anaya González

– Patrocinio Bonilla


– Almaas Elman

United States:

– Anthony Huber

– Calvin Horton

– David McAtee

– Dorian Murrel

– Garrett Foster

– Italia Marie Kelly

– James Scurlock

– Jorge Gomez

– Joseph Rosenbaum

– Michael Reinoehl

– Oluwatoyin Salau

– Robert Forbes

– Sarah Grossman

– Summer Taylor

– Tyler Gerth

– Tyler Williams

Unarmed people of color murdered by police, jailers and White Supremacists:

– Alfred Delarosa

– Andres Guardado

– Adrian Medearis

– Amani Kildea (hung from tree)

– Anthony Angel Armenta

– Anthony Eduardo Pacheco

– Antonio Valenzuela

– Armando Savatierra

– Armaud Arbery

– Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal

– Breona Taylor

– Carla Christina Crumpton (hung from tree)

– Carlos Carson

– Carlos Delgado

– Carlos Adrian Ingram Lopez

– Catherine Gomez

– Cornelius Fredericks

– Daniel Gomez

– Daniel Hernandez

– Daniel Prude

– David McAtee

– Desiree Nicole Garza

– Dijon Kizzee

– Dion Johnson

– Dominique Alexander (hung from tree)

– Douglas Lewis

– Edgar Melgar

– Eric Galvan

– Eric Lurry

– Erik Salgado

– George Floyd

– Hector Hernandez

– Javier Ambler

– Javier Vidal

– Jeremiah Medina

– Jesus Caballero

– Jesus Bonito Garcia

– Joe Louis Castillanos

– Joel Acevedo

– John Alvarado

– Jonathan Price

– Jorge Gomez

– Jorge Martinez

– Jose Luis Castellanos

– Jose Moreno

– Jose Soto

– Joshua Vasquez

– Juan Ayon-Barraza

– Juan Montalco

– Juanito Ovalle

– Julian Lewis

– Kurt Reinhold

– Marcellis Stinnette

– Maurice Gordon

– Maurico Hernandez

– Michael Williams

– Mike Ramos

– Nakia Crawford

– Nicholas Chavez

– Pablo Elias

– Priscilla Slater

– Raymundo Aaron Ceja

– Rayshard Brooks

– Robert Avitia

– Robert Fuller (hung from tree)

– Rommel Mendoza

– Ronald Greene

– Rosario Angel Alvarado

– Ruben Escarrega

– Sean Monterrosa

– Steven Taylor

– Titi Gulley (hung from tree)

– Tony McDade

– Valente Acosta-Bustillo

– Vincent Ralph Pena

– Walter Barton

– Walter Wallace

– William Green

– Willie Brown Jr. (hung from a basketball rim)

– Yamil Acevdeo

Transgender persons murdered:  

Aerrion Burnett

– Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears

– Alexa Neulisa Luciano Ruiz

– Brayla Stone

– Bree “Nuk” Black

– Brian “Egypt” Powers

Brooklyn Deshuna

– Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells

– Draya McCarty

– Dustin Parker

– Felycya Harris

– Helle Jae O’Regan

– Jayne Thompson

Johanna Metzger

Layla Pelaez Sánchez 

– Marilyn Cazares

– Merci Mack

– Mia Green

Michelle (Michellyn) Ramos Vargas

– Monica Diamond

– Nina Pop

– Penélope Díaz Ramírez

– Queasha D. Hardy

– Riah Milton

– Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos

– Shaki Peters

– Summer Taylor

– Tatiana Hall

– Tiffany Harris

– Tony McDade

– Yampi Méndez Arocho


– Herb Moore

– Andrea Freeman

– Kathy Williams

– Sandy Eastoak

– Andrew Gardner