Tag Archives: Mexican funeral

Saying Goodbye For The Last Time

17 Dec

We got a very unexpected message on Monday. Our dear friend Gabriel had died. He was 63. On Sunday,Gabriel had just placed second in the annual Laguna Bacalar kayak marathon when he complained of not feeling well. Two heart attacks later, the doctors could not revive him.

Mexico is our home for ten years and we still have much to learn. One thing that we have learned is that when someone tells you that you are family they mean it. That was certainly the case with Gabriel.

Mexico City 2017

We met about eight years ago when I was out kayaking and saw him and his wife Monica pull up to a dock in their motor boat. Lisa badly wanted to ski and this was my attempt to make friends with someone who had a boat. It is hard to describe but we’ve been family ever since.

From that day on we were included in so many activities, dinners, parties, and assorted family get togethers, including his daughter’s wedding. We know their children, grandchildren and extended family. When Lisa and I married in California in 2014, Monica and Gabriel put on a reception for us at a local restaurant. It was so much fun.

There were even two brides on the cake!

In Mexico, when someone dies, they are laid out at home. A vigil was held and as word got around on Monday, people showed up with food and flowers. Family flew in from all over the world.

His life jacket and paddle rested on the coffin.

Gabriel’s body was cremated and on Tuesday there was the most amazing funeral I’ve ever attended. Boats, kayakers and paddle boarders all gathered on the far side of the Laguna. The wind made it hard to hear but it was clear that Gabriel was beloved by many. His daily Insta sunrise photos will be missed.

Laid to rest in his beloved laguna.
With his beloved Monica. Maya, his chihuahua will miss him terribly.
Picking me up on our dock for a day of sailing.

It has been a hard week. I am still processing. We also celebrated Lisa’s birthday and remembered the death anniversary of my brother. Gabriel had a full and wonderful life. That’s what I want to remember.

DOS TORTAS

It is not important how long your life is but how you live it. Adiós Gabriel.
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