I was driving the kids to school the other day and while I made the turn out of my street, my eye caught a gravestone, skeleton and gruesome head coming out of the ground on my neighbour's lawn. I still felt sick to my stomach as I kissed the boys and sent them on their way.
I couldn't stop thinking about what I had seen and how it had made me feel. I went to work that day and spoke to Candace about what had happened. Was Halloween going to mean something totally different, now that Zack died? Will we decorate our house like we had every other year to be the "creepy" display on the street?
I'm the type of mom who decorates for EVERY holiday, and yes, last year, we had a gravestone, bones and a bloody sign on our door. And yet, this year our Halloween container still remains in my basement. The boys have been bugging me to "get our scare on" this year, but I've been hesitant to bring the decorations upstairs. I really just thought it was because I wasn't really into celebrating ANY holiday...but I'm starting to realize that it was because of what Halloween represents. Seeing the makeshift grave on my street made me feel so sad. Having just lost my son, I make several weekly visits to his gravesite. Zack's grave, surrounded by Elmos and his photo, brings me such comfort and strengthens my sense of spirituality...not fear and macabre. It's where I go to be closer to heaven or maybe just close to his body where I last saw it. It's actually a place where I find peace and quiet...not ever imagining that it could also be a place for witches and goblins.
I had to remember some Halloween history when I started to write this post and I was interested to reread the origins of the holiday. Historically, November 1st was considered All Saint's Day, a day to commemorate the saints who had died and scare away evil spirits. On All Soul's Day, November 2nd, the celebration was about praying for the souls of loved ones (who were not saints). October 31st became the Hallow's Eve before these two celebrations and has evolved over time into a night of fear, costumes and sugar. According to Native American philosophy, it is the time of year when the “veil between the two worlds is the thinnest.” It's the time when the spirit world is closest to us and most connected to our physical world here on earth. It might actually be a time when the spirits of those who have died feel even closer to us and signs become clearer.
When I asked Ty and Jayden about the house down the street, they thought that it looked so "awesome" (they obviously had not made the connection that I had made). I certainly wasn't going to mention that their brother was actually at a cemetery and that Mommy didn't really feel like having a graveyard on our lawn this year...
So what do I do?
|Is THIS our new Halloween decor?|
Do we go to the Dollar Store to stock up on new spider webs, bugs, witches and pumpkins instead?
Do I decorate my house like everyone else with severed limbs and skeletons?
This is one of my fave Halloween Photos of me and 2 of my guys....