What happens after we die?


Don’t get nervous, this isn’t some overly heavy metaphysical post or anything. I mean, what human activity happens around us after we die? I suppose it isn’t really surprising to say that it depends on what culture (or subculture) one is born into or dies in (outof?).

I have been fortunate to witness many different types of funeral, burial and other “goodbye” rites and rituals over the past few years. This weekend, while visiting a cemetery in the town of Tepotzlan, I was privy to another. I have to admit I found it somewhat surprising. There was a procession walking in from some other part of the town, a full marching band playing very up tempo (dare I say happy, carnival) music and people dressed in everyday wear. In the front were the pallbearers carrying the casket, and many people held brightly colored umbrellas (the sun was out in force) and were carrying baskets of food, which Julio told me they would be eating in the cemetery itself. This type of funeral is quite a different affair from the somber, dressed in black, boxes of tissues affairs that take place in many communities in the US. It was also the case here that many in the town came out for the affair, not just family and friends.


  1. Coincidentally… Speaking of subcultures, a friend on my message board started a discussion on the gay tradition of “Sainting” a friend’s residence after his death.