Remembering the departed
ON A string of paper hearts fluttering in the breeze and ringing trees around Heritage Park, Mullumbimby yesterday remembered its lost loved ones.
Gran, mum, dad, nan, John, Jaeson, Charlie, Taylem, Donald, Hannah, Serena, Peggy – the lives of young and old were remembered and celebrated at Sunday’s third annual Day of the Dead.
One heart-shaped piece of paper simply read: “Remembering all the suicides.”
Organised by the not-for-profit Natural Death Centre, the afternoon ceremony attracted around 100 people from across the town and beyond.
They burned incense, lit candles and brought photographs of their loved ones.
“We remember those who have left their bodies,” organiser Zenith Virago told the silent crowd.
As the ceremony proceeded – complete with an Aboriginal lullaby from the peace choir and a mournful violin solo – a monument to 15-year-old Jai Morcom watched over.
Jai died after a playground fight at Mullumbimby High School in late August.
Atop a tree stump at the park is a shrine to the teenager with photos, flowers and incense. A tall, rainbow-coloured flag bearing his name soars towards the sky.
Mullumbimby’s Day of the Dead is designed to celebrate life and demystify death, and is scheduled to be held again next year.