Halloween is a time of year for decorating, parades, candy and costumes. It can also involve Vampires, cobwebs and fake blood. In addition, there are decorations which take things a step further with created corpses in trees, fake graveyards and tombstones. All of these elements are combined in Haunted Houses which scare some and delight others.
Throughout my girls' childhoods I made them costumes and monitored their trick or treating. It had always been a fun holiday. Until, it wasn't.
While most view it as fun, the Halloween atmosphere can be fatal to some. If you find your thoughts linger darkly on the idea of the cemeteries and tombs, please reach out and get some help. This website, for example has so much help available.
I just want to tell you about a young man that had these kinds of feelings during this time of year who didn't seek help. My daughter attended a small parochial school with two classes for each grade. Right at Halloween there was all kinds of excited talk about trick or treating and there were the normal Halloween decorations.
Unbeknownst to Emily and her classmates, one boy I shall call C was having very different thoughts. Right on the eve of Halloween, he hung himself from his bedpost. It was beyond awful for the entire school.
The 6th grade class was about 60 members who were devastated. They cried, sobbed, talked and questioned. Some of their questions were about his faith and the after life.
Many other questions were ones they could barely formulate. The entire school and parents attended his funeral where we washed the walls with our tears. Seeing his best friends as altar boys, sobbing on the altar, is something I hope to never see again in my life.
I am sure C did not want to bring the school to its knees. I know he did not want to impact his best friend's life so much that I am not sure he ever recovered. I am positive he did not want a young lady in his sister's class to hang herself as well.
I can say with certainty that C did not want to ruin Halloween for everyone in school. For my daughter and her friends, their childhood holiday disappeared forever. In 8th grade they tried again, this photo was their not so successful attempt. (The rain didn't help.)
Emily and her class just never liked Halloween again. They would remember C and feel bad that they hadn't been able to help him. That he didn't reach out to them.
I believe that C was confused, unhappy and in pain. He sought a solution, a permanent solution, to a temporary problem. I know with all my heart that life would have gotten better, that he would have found his problems could be solved with the hope of those who loved him.
Emily and her friends still remember him but their pain has faded, just like his would have. This year Emily's daughter exclaimed, "I just love Halloween" and Emily told me she was able to share that joy for the first time. Because there are always ways to make things better. Always.
If Halloween has you down, think of C. Pick up a phone and call 1-800-273-8255 or click here.
Save your life. Make C's example help you find a way out. You and everyone around you will be so glad.
My next post will return to sewing and quilting, I just hope this one helps someone.
If you are a quilter or a sewist, check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation!
If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, look for the Subscribe by email box on the side rail for subscriptions. Just type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. You will receive a verification email. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.