Dear COPE Families,

As we approach the holidays and grow anxious in anticipation, we can make choices that can bring us some peace and comfort.

Even a holiday like Halloween can bring up pain since it reminds us of a time when our children were young and happy. Costumes. Carving pumpkins. Candy. So many memories of a sweeter time. Now we wear our own masks to conceal our discomfort with the many Halloween decorations that remind us of death. We can look away but they surround us everywhere. Where will we put our thoughts? Where will we decide to be?

I remember my disappointment as a child trick-or-treating when I arrived at a house left dark. After the loss of my daughter, Michelle, my house was left dark and nobody was home. And then gradually, there was a dish of candy left at the driveway, and then a light on and the dish by the door with a few small pumpkins. And yet, when I see Halloween decorations today, I still look away and make a choice not to be home.

Halloween takes us into November and December, and the more difficult holidays we have yet to navigate. During Halloween we can practice making choices and taking actions that will give us peace and comfort.