Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween: My beloved dead

Today is Halloween. I've always loved Halloween. When I was a kid I would spend many days planning my costumes; to this day my favorite may be the year I dressed as a shadow, all in black with filmy veils. I would stand behind people and imitate their movements which turned out to be a lot creepier than it sounds. As I grew older I became one of the adults who always has their porch light on for trick-or-treaters, even when I lived in a neighborhood where no one went out past dark.

Last year Kevin and I did what we always do - did - on Halloween. With great forbearance he would watch scary movies with me while I answered the door for trick-or-treaters. When there was a particularly wonderful costume I would yell for him to come look. Unlike previous years, last year he rarely came. He didn't feel well. We didn't yet know what that meant.

This is the world I live in now, one where every day, every commonplace event has associations with Kevin, our relationship and, from now through the end of March, with his illness. Everyone says the first year is the hardest because of all the "firsts" and I am certainly finding it challenging. I expect this year I will keep tissues handy while I answer the door.

Halloween is traditionally a time when we consider the dark. When we pay homage to the ghouls and ghosts that always surround us. Tonight we enter into Dias de los Muertos, the day of the dead and I have an alter set up for Kevin and my other beloved dead to welcome them in. In truth, this is no different than any other day for me now. What else can I do?

In some ways my life is now a perpetual Halloween. Every day I speak to the dead. Every day I pay homage to the unseen around me. Every day I welcome my beloved dead in because that is far preferable to closing the door on possibility.

Tonight I will watch scary movies, though not as scary as the ones I would watch when he was here. I will answer the door and pass out candy. I may yell for Kevin to come look at any particularly wonderful costumes and hope that he sees them. I will set out some of his favorite food and share a meal with him. I will celebrate my dead, because there is no other choice but celebration of life, even when that life has ended.

Happy Halloween.

(31 weeks. I love you.)

(c) 2014 Laura Packer
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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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