10 years ago on Halloween, I said my final goodbyes to my oldest son. I remember having my family over on Halloween, and my niece, Samantha, applying white makeup to my other niece, Marisa’s, face. My other nieces and nephews all dressed up. I was numb. Disbelief and denial shook my body.
As I walked down the road, I was surrounded by family who understood my need to trick or treat with my youngest son in memory of his brother. A couple walking next to us saw our lights on and children walking up to our door. The man said that he it was the house where the boy had just died. He couldn’t believe they were celebrating Halloween. Luckily for him, he slightly redeemed himself by adding that everyone deals in their own way.
Yes, we do, and we have for 10 years. We’ll always grieve, but we also celebrate Nick’s life and his brilliant spirit.
When I woke up today on Halloween, something had shifted. Maybe it was the fact that my adorable nephew, Liam, was coming over. Maybe it was the matching Minion goggles Luke and I planned to wear. Maybe I channeled Nick and decided to spend my day spreading humor and making people laugh. I wanted to be myself on our favorite holiday that also ends the tumultuous month of October.
Nick sent me so many messages this month. Not just to me, but to those who are open to them and pay close attention. He lets us know that he’s around and guides us daily.
Today, I reclaimed my spirit and Nick’s soared with mine. I enjoyed the time with my mom, my nephew and family, and visits from the fantastic community and children in our neighborhood. They brought laughter into my home, and that is the greatest joy.
I will always long for my son, and every October will threaten to make me fall into despair. But through it all, I hope to rise above it and bring laughter along with hope.
Thank you to everyone who brought our family joy on Halloween.