I used to think this holiday was totally weird. A bunch of people decorate their dead relatives and friends graves, hang out there all night in a creepy grave yard whilst eating and getting hammered. Why would anyone want to do that? I guess I never really understood it until my first run-ins with death,and not like almost drowning, but losing a loved one or being close to someone who has. I also used to think keeping someones ashes in your house was weird and almost morbid, but there is comfort in knowing that person is technically there with you all the time. Death is such a strange and mysterious thing that we attached so much animostiy towards; we don't really want to hear, see or feel anything about it and try to get over and past it as quickly as possible.
I think holidays like the Day of The Dead are important. These people you loved are gone, they're never coming back, but that doesn't mean you can't still honor or celebrate them. And what better way to do it than with a big party including food and alcohol! I miss my Nana and my cats, and even thought I'm not from Mexico, I'm celebrating all the loving years they gave me with some delicious chicken enchiladas, margaritas, and Mexican hot chocolate. Call it a coping mechanism, but I think it's better to look at death as a celebration of what someone's done and not a disappointment in what they can no longer do. I encourage you all to do the same; remember the dead and have fun doing it!
PS- Sugar skulls (calaveras) are awesome too.