Little Angels Procession helps families connect and honor lost loved ones

Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 3:36 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Honor and legacy – those were the major themes at the Little Angels Procession in Armory Park.

Families who lost young children were able to share their memories of their loved ones with the community. The event also served as a way to introduce kids to loss and the grieving process all through art.

“Art is one of the best ways to express your emotions, and this event gives those children and their families the chance together [to] process and really start to heal,” said Tonya Jones, the director of face painters at All Souls.

Courtney Davis, a volunteer at Little Angels Procession, says that including something a lost loved one liked, such as a flower, are ways kids have honored their lost loved ones before.

“Processing a death at a young age can be tricky, at any age let’s be honest,” Davis said. “But they’re able to memorialize their loved ones, and wear that memorial to show the rest of the crowd.”

Dia de los Muertos and the Little Angels Procession means much more than honoring those who passed – for families, it’s a celebration.

Christina Ramirez lost her son, Matthew, seven years ago. At Little Angels, though, she keeps his memory alive every year.

“I didn’t get to have a birthday for my son, so I consider it his day, where I get to celebrate him,” Ramirez said.

Maria Rodriguez lost her daughter Mily, in 2014. Today, she was able to share how strong her daughter was despite how sick she was.

“She taught a lot of people how to be strong and positive, and for me, that’s what I wanted to show, how strong and happy she was,” said Rodriguez.

“No matter the situation, she was always like ‘I can do it!’”

New connections were made today through shared experiences. Christina and Maria met each other today, and they also met Rosa Camacho-Bedoy.

Rosa lost her granddaughter, Adelita, after a tragic accident. Still, after connecting with others at Armory Park, she reflects on how much the event has helped her and her family process their loss.

“The thing is you find someone who understands how you feel,” she said. Camacho-Bedoy also shined light on how the event helps those who may not always express their emotions grieve.

“Adelita’s dad, who couldn’t come today, really relates to this. As a Latino man, they don’t really show how they feel, so this not only helped him, but it helps all of us,” Rosa said.

All the families say they are happy to share their loved ones, and they will never miss this event for anything in the world.

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