The “3 Deaths” & the Importance of Storytelling

storyteller art

This is an excerpt of email correspondence between my father and Graciela T Gonzales, a Historian at the Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA) in Corpus Christi, Texas. It struck a chord with me.

Señora Gonzales:

“Our culture is rich with intriguing family stories of times past. We finally have storytellers such as your daughter who are making an effort to share those important stories.  

There is a belief in our culture that a person dies three deaths:  the first death, when the physical body stops functioning – the heart stops, the breathing stops and one is pronounced dead;  the second death occurs when the body, our spirit’s shell here on earth, is laid in its final earthly resting place;  and the third death, the final one, occurs when a person’s name is no longer mentioned nor his/her life remembered.  

That is why I encourage everyone to tell their stories – so they can immortalize their forefathers and the important contributions they made to make our lives better today.”

More info about SAGA here:


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