One Less Trick or Treater {My Attempt to Balance Joy and Grief During Halloween}

One of the many reasons I fell in love with my precious husband was our mutual love of costumes. Halloween has always been one of our favorite times of year, our own costuming “Super Bowl” if you will. I knew it was meant to be when he agreed to dress up like Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife, Beth, for our first Halloween together. For years we hosted an epic (in my opinion) Halloween Party which our friends still often talk about to this day. Somewhere in our shed there you can find a disco ball, smoke machine and strobe light collecting dust like “ghosts” of parties past.

When we had our beautiful babies, we delighted in picking out their costumes. Our son Drew had multiple outfits for his first Halloween including the most precious lemur outfit known to man. When we went trick or treating, we knocked it out of the park dressed like Dr. Evil, Mini-Me and Austin Powers. When our beautiful daughter Emmaline came into the world, my husband stayed up until 2:30 one morning making her “gum ball” outfit for her first Halloween. Last year, when we dressed like characters from the movie Annie, Emmaline amazed us both by keeping on her tiny red afro wig all night. It appears the Boswell love of costumes will be passed on to future generations.

This year has been different for me; in some ways I have been dreading Halloween. At first, I felt like the constant fatigue of having an active toddler was leading me to feel this way. However, upon reflection it became clear it was something altogether different. When I really stopped to let myself think about it, I realized this dread was caused by facing yet another holiday without my beautiful boy. Grief has been my constant companion since March 12, 2014, and it never ceases to keep me on my toes. There is no formula to grief, and it manifests itself in so many ways. Things that you got through seamlessly one year can bring you to your knees the next.

This year will be the 4th Halloween without Drew and I have been really sad. It has been more like grey a cloud over my head than a torrential downpour, but it has weighed on me heavily nonetheless. I wonder what he would have wanted to dress up as. I imagine how much fun he and Emmaline would have had together. I wish I could watch them fight over candy.

I think most of all I ache for all the memories that I will never get to make with my beautiful son, and I wish so much for Emmaline that she had her brother here. This is not going to change and some days will be easier than others. I also have some guilt because I know how much I have to be thankful for, but I am human and I am trying to allow myself to feel what I need to feel.

This Halloween, there will be one less trick or treater in Lakeview, and there’s nothing easy about that for me or any of the people that loved Drew so very much. I know I am not the only person who may be approaching Halloween with apprehension due to any number of things: loss, infertility, divorce. I wrote this to let you know you are not alone, and I wish I had the words to make it suck less.

I wish I had a magic formula to balance gratitude and grief, but I think all we can do is the best we can every day. Each day is a gift and there is still so much beauty to behold even when life breaks your heart.

On Tuesday, October 31, I will take to the streets with my very own Princess Poppy. I will not be elaborately dressed to match her and that’s okay. There is always next year …

About Georgia Boswell

IMG_1790Georgia Boswell hails from Minden, Louisiana, but she has been proud to call New Orleans home for 11 years. Georgia received an undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech and acquired a Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management from UNO. She enjoys reading, traveling and sampling the many treasures New Orleans has to offer. She met Devron during Mardi Gras 2007 and they officially became Team Boswell on May 23, 2009. They were blessed to welcome Drew Joseph Boswell into the world on November 27, 2012. Tragically Drew died in his sleep on March 12, 2014.  His death was attributable to SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood). Georgia and Devron, with the tireless support of many friends, started Drew’s Tunes for the two-fold purpose of providing musical instruments to young children and also to support research on the cause and possible prevention of SUDC. Since its inception, Drew’s Tunes has donated over $160,000 in support of its mission. These donations include over 1800 instruments to over thousands of  local children and $45,000 towards SUDC research. As of April 28, 2015, Emmaline Elizabeth Boswell became the newest member of Team Boswell. Devron and Georgia look forward to telling Emmaline all about her big brother and making the world more beautiful together in his name.



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