My First Experience with Death Happened on Halloween
I remember the day all too well, Halloween 1973.
I remember coming home from kindergarten with a bag full of candy that the school handed out. I was sitting on the front porch with a couple of my siblings and we were all eating the candy talking about going trick-or-treating that night.
My aunt Anne Marie, who was also my kindergarten teacher, lived across the street from our house with my grandmother, pulled in her driveway and waved to us as she went into her house.
Seconds later she came running across the street screaming "get your father, get your father". One of my sisters started teasing her saying"Ooh, we are going to tell Mom". My aunt just kept screaming get "your dad, get your dad".
I don't remember which one of us went inside to get my father, but my father came out and she whispered in his ear and my father sprinted across the street towards my grandmother's house. We all sat there on the porch not knowing exactly what was wrong, but we all knew something bad happened inside the house.
A few minutes later, a hearse that doubled as an ambulance pulled up in front of the house. My father greeted the two men at the door and they went inside. At that point, my father came over to our house and told us all to go inside.
My grandmother suffered a massive stroke and passed away. From that point on, my mother hated Halloween and rightfully so. She would still let us go trick or treating and she would still hand candy out to the kids, but she was no longer a fan of October 31st.
My mother's mother was the only grandparent I ever knew. Her father died a couple of years before I was born, and on my father's side, his father died when he was 4-years-old and his mother passed away when he was just 16.
I think about my grandmother and my mother every Halloween, I just wish it was a good memory.
The photo above is my grandmother holding my mother in 1931.