It was only through Joe Carroll's death and dying that I was finally able to draw close to the man I'd long ago fled. Before that, the idea of honoring my father after he'd departed this world would have seemed unimaginable.
Halloween no longer retains the sense of awe and wonder associated with Hallows Eve and Samhain in the past, yet it remains an intriguing, still-evolving ritual that fuses a wealth of folk beliefs and cultural traditions.
Halloween may be silly on the surface, but Samhain offers us the opportunity to face the deeper difficulties of life and death. When you've had your fill of candy corn and costumes, take a moment to step outside: A new year is beginning.