Halloween is always fun around here.
There are costumes and games and way too many pieces of candy.
There are trick-or-treaters coming to the door, and we’re falling over one another to hand out the treats.
Halloween is fun because it’s Halloween.
But Halloween is also a day with some sadness. Two years ago on Halloween our nephew and cousin Georgie’s heart stopped beating in utero, just a few weeks before we expected to meet him.
The boys were wearing their costumes when I got the news. I told them as directly and gently as I could. We went trick-or-treating in a haze.
So losing Georgie will always be part of our Halloween memories. This Halloween, in the midst of all the fun, we had conversations about Georgie. And we had some of the same questions we had two years ago. Some questions don’t have answers. I can try to explain, and I certainly do, but only God really knows why Georgie is in Heaven.
Especially because of the timing, Georgie—our little saint—is also on our minds on All Saints’ Day. And he’s also always part of All Souls’ Day, the day my sister and brother-in-law finally held him, and when they gave me the extraordinary gift of holding him myself. I will never forget feeling him in my arms and kissing him and wishing he would be here to grow up with his cousins.
Two years later the pain is not the same. There is still a hole.
There’s also joy. We celebrate Georgie. We are so, so grateful that he is in our lives. We talk about how he is our special friend in Heaven. And he is. And we are blessed.
Halloween is a day that seems to be created for children. Strangers open their doors to children who are dressed as their favorite characters, holding out buckets and bags for their favorite treats. Our children enjoy practically every minute—and we enjoy that time with them so much.
But every Halloween my mind also turns to a child I haven’t met on earth, a little soul, a little saint, a little boy we love who’s dressed in Heaven’s light, perfectly beautiful and perfectly loved in Jesus’ arms.
I hope as we celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that you, too, are able to find time to pray for and think of your loved ones who have passed away. This is such a special time in the Church year, a time when we can feel especially connected to those who have gone before us, those we look forward to seeing again—even as we miss them now.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.