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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Stan State Students Perspective on Grief During Día De Los Muertos


Warrior Cross Cultural Center Mural for Dia De Los Muertos. (Picture Curtesy of Simeon Zaragoza).

During this time of the year, many people celebrate Día De Los Muertos. The holiday is derived from the rituals of the preHispanic peoples of Mexico. Día De Los Muertos takes place on November 12.  

Many CSU Stanislaus students on campus are celebrating Día De Los Muertos, and are taking this time to remember, love and share. 

Jasmin Hammond , a business sophomore, states, “One way I cope with grief is by surrounding myself with supportive people. Whether it be people who were close to my loved one or not, it’s important to surround yourself with security and support.” 

Sonia Luna , a senior of exercise science, said coping with the grief of a loved one is hard. She recalled how she coped with the death of her favorite uncle when she was 15. 

I remembered it clearly because it was a few days before my birthday,” Luna said.

Luna recalled her uncle always being there for her family, as he was often buying groceries and making sure they were all okay. 

“He was the best anyone could ask for,” she said “He was my mom’s older brother and as an older brother, he made sure all of his family were taken care of.”

She added that her biggest regret was not being there for him when he needed it.

“And until this day I still carry that regret with me,” Luna said. ”But the only thing we can do is remember the good times we had with him.”

Carolina Alfaro, Warrior Cross Cultural Center director, shared some advice about mourning during Día De Los Muertos.

Sometimes I go to the cemetery to visit my loved ones,” she said. “Being able to decorate it, and give them themes for the holidays helps me.” 

Alfaro said: It’s never easy to deal with grief, but you learn how to cope with it and Día de Los Muertos allows you to do that.

“It allows you to remember and honor and celebrate in such beautiful ways whether it’s through play and laughter,” Alfaro said. “There’s no manual on how to deal with grief, but Día de Los Muertos allows you to have a small tool kit, a manual of its own to say here it is. This allows you to think of ways to honor your loved ones. 

Polet Diaz, program coordinator of Undocumented Student Services, shared her story of losing her best friend.

“At that time, there were a lot of emotions because unfortunately he was murdered and so the grieving process was hard,” she said. ”I was angry, I didn’t know what was happening and he was so young.”

Diaz said one of the things that really helped her was to share memories of him with her close friends who also knew him. 

“During that time, I did a lot of art since I was an art major,” Diaz said. ”I painted, drew, and did photography. This allowed me to talk about my pain through my art.”

Grief is inevitable. It is the love that no longer has anywhere to go, or s the continuation of one’s love for those we grieve.  

If you have questions, or are interested in learning more about Día de Los Muertos, you can visit the Warrior Cross Cultural center located in the Library, L203.  

Warrior Cross Cultural Center Phone number: (209) 667-3511  

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Stan State Students Perspective on Grief During Día De Los Muertos