Thursday was the seven-day mass for Tonico. We joined many of our friends at the local Catholic church for this customary ritual.
We’re not a religious bunch, although Zozó practices her own version of a more traditional Brazilian polytheistic spiritualism that focuses on various saints.
In Brazil, where the overwhelming majority of residents identify themselves as Catholic (although a dwindling number actually attend mass, etc.), family events such as baptisms, weddings and funerals still center around the Catholic church. But it was telling when it came time in the mass to receive communion, barely a handful of people left their pew.
The healing power of family and friends sharing in our grief was the true reason for the mass. It was the soothing balm of shared remembrance and community support.
There will be a second mass of remembrance on the 30 day anniversary of Tonico’s passing.