A Halloween fairy tale…of sorts

A Halloween fairy tale…of sorts


It’s Halloween time! The kick-off to the holiday season of treats and time spent with loved ones. I hold some of my most treasured memories around Halloween – we did it up big in the Atwood household on Locust Avenue.

Ironically, the tradition behind Halloween has roots in honoring the death of loved ones. In many places it is still a very traditional day of celebrating the dead. Today, however, in America it’s about costumes and candy. But that’s cool. Because to me, it’s all a celebration of life, no matter how you spin it.

I was always a princess for Halloween. As a little girl, I followed every fairy tale princess possible; in a way they were my first idols. (Until I was introduced to Debbie Gibson, but that’s a different post.)

When I was 12, these fairy tale characters suddenly became more real. Weird right? Let me explain. Have you ever thought about how a common thread for most of our fairy tale protagonists is that they all have a dead mother? I hadn’t really thought about it, until my own mother died.

When my mom died, I had long forgotten about Cinderella and Snow White, but I remember looking around at all my real-life friends and not a single one of them had experienced the death of their mother. But Cinderella did!

Suddenly, I had an entire different perspective on life – my innocent belief in any fairy tale had been punctured.

However, then I realized that even Cinderella’s story had loss and grief, we just never got to that part of the story. And unfortunately for me, I could never really get to Cinderella to learn that part of her story.

It was this realization when I was younger that would eventually take me down a path to make sure all of us grieving children could have someone to share our stories with. I started Kate’s Club because no children should have to grief alone – not even fairy tale princesses – not even Cinderella or Snow White.

Kate’s Club is a magical place where our kids come together to celebrate each other and honor the loss of their loved one in a safe and comfortable, and empowering way. That’s the beauty of when we “face grief together” – it really is a piece of something so special, I like to think it can be a little piece of a real-life fairy tale.

If Cinderella and Snow White were to come through the doors of Kate’s Club today, I know they would be met with a lot of hugs, and a gentle inquiry about their story of their moms. So as we celebrate Halloween, whether through costumes and candy, or through tales of fairy princesses, let’s remember the beauty in all of it as an opportunity to celebrate life and honor those we have lost. And always look for the magic that happens when we face grief together.

For more information on Kate’s Club and our upcoming Memory Walk (November 15th) visit www.KatesClub.org

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