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Heartwings Love Notes 747: An Appropriate Costume
Heartwings says, “Transition from one form to another is merely change.”
Halloween costumes will soon proliferate as children roam the sidewalks for trick or treat. Dressed as ghosts, scarecrows, or pirates or masked as the current political figures the wearers follow a tradition that goes back many centuries. Halloween in the United States is in some respects similar to the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead. It comes from a long tradition of honoring those who have moved on from their bodies to the wider life of the spirit.
There are remnants of the element of fear from that time, however they are no longer taken seriously. It was once thought that the spirits of the dead could inflict harm or at least return in some way to communicate with the living on October 31. It is an ancient belief that on that night the veil between this world and the next is thin. In days gone by some hoped to consult spirits of the dead at that time, believing they could tell where treasure was buried, or what the future held. Some of the games and traditions of this time are connected to that belief.
My grandmother passed on when I was in college and hers was the first dead body I ever saw. It did not frighten me. She was prepared for burial and set out in her living room prior to the funeral the next day. I was staying at the house and went in that evening by myself to see her. As I approached her body I realized that wasn’t really my grandmother. Observing the body I saw that it was just clothes she had worn once and now no longer needed. Death did not then nor does it now seem to me to be something of which to be frightened. Life is more than a physical experience.
Halloween costumes can serve as a reminder that there is little to fear from the transition called death. A change of clothing is appropriate to a change of form. Just as I can’t fit into my baby garments or the clothes I wore for my first day of school, I can expect someday to outgrow this body, and to discard it for clothing suitable for the form I will then inhabit. While the unknown is always a little unnerving to contemplate, whatever happens whether in this life or the next is an adventure to which I look forward.
May you find nothing to fear in life, and everything to anticipate with joy.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
PS Please let me know if you have enjoyed this Love Note, or even if you didn’t! Tell me what you do or what you don’t like. I so enjoy hearing from readers and promise to answer you as soon as I can. If you are seeking a gift for a friend or relative consider my book, Heartwings: Love Notes for a joyous life, available on Amazon or ordered from Barnes and Noble. There is a kindle edition as well as one in print. For an autographed edition, write P.O. Box 171, North Grafton, MA 01536, enclosing a check for $17 to cover postage. Do let me know how you would like it signed.