Like all kids, I loved Halloween. I still love it, but it’s bittersweet for me. But when I was 5, almost 6 years old, my grandfather got into a car accident on the way to Florida and died the next day. After that Halloween was basically banned in my house – for years we weren’t really allowed to even mention anything Halloween related in front of my father (which was hard because I loved the holiday and dressing up). My brother and I still went trick or treating, but we were kind of quiet about it. And even though something really bad happened on Halloween, I still loved it (figures a holiday about candy would be bittersweet for me!).
35 years later, Halloween is still complicated for me. I love the dressing up and the trick or treating, but I remember and miss my grandfather. But it’s not about how I feel about Halloween anymore – the holiday is for my 3 kids now (oldest being 6). We’ve always tried to make it fun (and they don’t know about my grandfather) – because I don’t want them to carry the baggage I’ve carried for years about this. While my father hasn’t forgotten, he’s mellowed about hating Halloween as much. I was surprised he came with my mom and my oldest child to see Otto the Ghost at Hicks Nursery this past weekend and bought my son a pumpkin. He even called to see how their Halloween was, something he hasn’t done before. I still remember and miss my grandfather, but I’ll always still love Halloween.
Did this ever happen to you? A tragic event happen the same time as a happy time or occasion?