Monday, October 15, 2012

Some Thoughts About Hallowe'en, Easter and Death

This is a picture of the yard of a house a few houses down from us. We pass this house almost every day during our travels and Sam always comments on it. Not only is the yard decorated with fake gravestones and zombies rising from the ground but the house is also covered with wooden zombies, ghosts, and vampires.
We live very close to one of the major cemeteries in our city. This is a grave that is almost exactly across the street from the house pictured above. At the beginning of September there was a huge funeral procession from the Catholic church across the street from us to the cemetery. There were bishops, priests, and a ton of people. I later found out that it was a priest who had died.

Sam is always asking to see where "the dead guy is buried" (I think having the coffin carried down the street in front of our house made quite the impression) and also talking about "the decorated house." And when he first saw that house (and yard full of gravestones) he said, "That house is decorated for Easter" and that got me thinking.

The world believes that to rise again is scary and gross, and only our decomposing bodies would rise with our minds altered. Christians know that the resurrection of the soul to live with God in Heaven is the long awaited promise of redemption and we have faith "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1). The juxtaposition of the house decorated for Hallowe'en across from the simple grave of the priest has just made me think about death -- the world's view, my beliefs as a Christian, and how the two stand in contrast to each other. And Sam's continued interest in both places keeps that contrast at the front of my mind.
(NOTE: This post is not meant to be a statement about Hallowe'en. We celebrate it. I look forward to the kids getting dressed up and trick-or-treating (minimally -- they don't need all that sugar and junk!) but I've just noticed that instead of the fun holiday I remember it being, it has somehow gotten more gruesome and frightening over the years. And I don't know how to explain it all to Sam.)


  1. Awww, I totally know what you mean! Evan thinks all those "scary" decorations and stuff is so fun and has really enjoyed the funny stuff on display at some stores. I am actually so glad that he just sees the stuff as funny and isn't really afraid of it. He knows that it isn't reality, and at five, I have strived to teach him that reality is God's plan for where people go after they die. I agree about them not needing that much candy. Thankfully, Evan really only likes chocolate stuff so all the hard candy we get just goes to waste and usually ends up in the trash. Wasteful maybe, but who would I want to donate all that junk too? :-)

  2. It is a hard thing to balance! We're participating in our church's fall festival, but we want to be part of our neighborhood activities, too. At least C won't be sure of what's going on this year, so maybe we can learn how to navigate it without too much damage--ha!

  3. Wisdom comes with age. I'm glad, because I need it right about now! What a lovely post.

    If you knew me a little better, you would know that I was delighted to read such a post headline....I even have a good friend of mine nick-name me Kelly Grave-digger because she knows that I like to walk around cemeteries. : )

    1. I need to get older then! Ha ha ha!

      I love walking around the cemetery near our house. It makes me feel much better about dying because it always seems so alive there with people walking their dogs, jogging, and children playing. But it is all done respectfully. It is just such a great combination of death and life coexisting in a wonderful way.


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