TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The 30th annual All Souls Procession remembered thousands of lost loved ones Sunday night, Nov. 3. The procession started as a small tradition and grew to what it is today, bringing in hundreds of thousands of people.
For two life-long friends, the procession is about more than remembering their loved ones.
“She has been doing my makeup every year,” said Rosanna SantaCruz, who was remembering multiple family members.
She and her friend, Lizette Figueroa, have been friends since they were toddlers and coming to the All Souls Procession for four years.
“When we get together, it’s a bitter-sweet moment,” said SantaCruz.
A life-long friendship filled with life is also tied with loss. Figueroa and SantaCruz both lost loved ones on the same day in December, though years apart. Figueroa said she lost her brother in the 80s in a drunk-driving accident. It was her birthday.
“My husband’s going to be gone, it’s going to be 4 years in March,” said SantaCruz.
“So, my birthday’s been a little tough ever since,” said Figueroa.
Each message put into the urn, and each sugar skull and head dress worn, is a chance to remember their loved ones, in a positive light. Both Figueroa and SantaCruz said they remember the happy times as they march the 1.5 miles with the procession.
“A lot of peace knowing they’re no longer in pain and that we’ll see each other one day,” said SantaCruz.
This year, the All Souls Procession had Doulas who helped participants cope with any pain from grief they may be feeling. The clean-up after the procession will get started at 10 a.m. on Monday, and organizers said they could always use more hands.