Dear Great Pumpkin,
Like Linus, I fear that I may be alone when I say that I believe in your existence. However, I am comfortable with that. My request is simple. I wish for Halloween to have its deserved respect. People are rushing through October and looking towards Christmas. They begin dragging out Christmas lights and garnish decorations before the leaves have finished falling. They do not take a moment to appreciate the eerie splendor of the holiday. The quiet peace of a foggy morning. The surreal silence of a dark night; moonlight creating a spotlight on all of the creatures of our nightmares. Dead leaves crunching under our heels and the earthy smell of dirt. Bare branches like the fingers of skeletons. All creating the perfect background for us to dream of monsters. We pretend like the scariest things in the world are ghosts, zombies, or dream walking murderers. It is an escape from our real fears – cancer, money, being alone. Even the act of wearing a costume allows us a vacation from ourselves. Let’s us pretend we are someone else, something else even if only for a night.
Of course Halloween is not only about the things we fear. It is about the dead. In many cultures, this is the time to celebrate our loved ones that have passed away. It is to remember them. To take time and reflect on their lives. But so many of us are not comfortable with death so we push this notion away. We do not want to acknowledge that one day we will be gone too. We understand the concept but to truly accept it, is something else entirely. Maybe I am a strange, creepy person (or maybe it comes from years of medical experience) but I feel that there is a beauty in death. That it is not always shrouded in sadness but sometimes there is peace. And that those we have lost deserve to be remembered instead of pushed away because it is hard.
Halloween marks the beginning of the end of the year. On the surface it may seem to be filled with gloom and sadness but it is not. Oh, Great Pumpkin, allow people to see the holiday for what it is. A time for us to step away from our worries. A celebration of life. Hope for the potential that awaits in the New Year that is just around the corner.