Halloween is basically a contraction of Hallows’ Evening. It has been written in shorthand as Hallowe’en and then shortened even further to Halloween.
Halloween is a celebration observed in many countries that falls every year on the 31st day of October. What you may not know is that Halloween (aka Allhallowtide, Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, or Hallowmas season) is actually a triduum, or 3-day prayer fasting. It is a Western Christian observance of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day which lasts October 31 through November 2. This is a time to remember the dead including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.
It is believed that the traditions of Halloween originated from ancient Celtic Harvest Festivals. Others believe that Halloween began solely as a Christian Holiday.
The Christian religious ceremonies of All Hallows’ Eve include attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead.
Dia de los Muertos
Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition honoring those who have passed away. This too is a multi-day holiday that involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember family members who have died and helping their spiritual journey. Mexicans do not see this as a day of sadness but a day of joy because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.
In the English-speaking world, this Mexican tradition is referred to as Dia de los Muertos.
So why the history lesson?
Thursday October 24, 2019, we lost one of our own. A father, husband, grandfather, brother, dive instructor, mentor, friend. Grady Weston gained his wings. This was sudden and unexpected. That night at the hospital we were all recalling stories of our last encounter, one being at 5:30 that evening. To say we were in shock would be a total understatement.
It would be easy to write this as an obituary. Listing all the surviving relatives, mentioning his military career, his services, and his passions. And while all those are great accomplishments, there was so much more to Grady.
We could all sit around and share stories that would have us smiling, laughing, and crying. We all have them no matter how long or short of a time span he was in your life. He always pushed you to be better whether it was diving, riding horses, or just in your everyday life.
If you needed him, he was there, no questions asked. And truthfully, there were those moments you never knew what he was about to say. He could catch you off guard faster than anyone. But the minute you were a friend, you were family.
Words cannot even begin to express how truly great this man was.