All posts tagged: stack of sticker sheets

This Halloween, Let’s Really Think About Death

This Halloween, Let’s Really Think About Death

Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Fourth of July commemorate events. Halloween memorializes the occasion of death. Baseler Totentanz / Getty October 30, 2023, 7 AM ET My youngest daughter presided over a stack of sticker sheets, sorting the best from the least inspiring. There were pumpkins and ghosts and black cats, but upon the discovery of a set of skulls, she stopped and pointed to a shape on the page she couldn’t identify. “What’s that?” In general terms, it was a hexagon. More specifically, it was a coffin. I told her it was a special box dead people are buried in (thus its presence among the skulls). She put the sticker set on her stack of keepers. I was pleased she had taken the news about coffins and skulls so smoothly. This is the peculiar magic of Halloween, the dizzying juxtaposition of the genuinely frightening with whimsy and make-believe. If most major holidays commemorate particular events (think Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July), Halloween memorializes the occasion of death. Halloween is a cultural institution with an …