BY ALAINA LEARY
I still remember the first Halloween after my mom died. Halloween was a magical time of year for us, almost transcendent. Without her, my favorite holiday felt a little hollow, like it shouldn't be allowed to exist without her there to share it with.
Re-creating the magic is now something I try to do every year. It has gotten easier, as I find new ways to feel close to my mom now that she's gone, and now that I have a girlfriend who is just as into Halloween and magic as I am.
I do things like taking trips to Salem, MA, which is 30 minutes north of where I was raised. I read tarot cards. I light candles and hold amethysts, which were my mom's favorite gemstone. I practice a sort of daily magic, a ritual that's meant to keep my mom close. In fact, right after she passed, I created a literal altar to her in my bedroom, an entire shelf that held things she had owned, and objects that reminded me of her.
This Halloween issue exists, in part, because of my mom, and because of the magic childhood I shared with her. It exists so that all of us have something to dive into that will bring us a little closer this Halloween.