Except for a few years early in childhood, I have never liked Halloween. The combination of darkness and creepiness makes my skin crawl.
And now, this side of child loss it makes me angry.
Why? Because for one night (really, for a couple of weeks!) Americans not only think about death, they spend millions of dollars celebrating it.
Not celebrating ACTUAL death-not the absolute horror of being told your child is gone, gone, gone. Instead it’s a fake, “funny”, silly made-up mockery of a very real, very awful truth.
Sometimes the “celebrations” involve desecrating cemeteries. And that makes me even more angry.
Graveyards are the final resting place of other people’s loved ones. My son is there! You don’t have the right to make his grave part of your truth or dare game.
So just don’t do it!
What makes me angrier still is that people will talk for weeks about what they want to “be” for Halloween yet shut down the first mention of a bereaved parent’s pain.
Conversation about costumes, haunted houses and scary movies is invited, conversation about burial and broken hearts is taboo.
Why, why, why do Americans embrace this paper mache version of death yet refuse to acknowledge or embrace the reality of death in daily life?
It’s no game. It’s no holiday. It’s nothing to laugh about or make jolly over.
It’s a very real, very painful, very awful part of my life.
I won’t participate in making light of it.