Remembering last year on “Back to the Future Day”

My dad died one year ago today. The last time I saw him was two days earlier, on Oct. 19, when we had lunch at Friendly’s. I’m pretty sure that was his very last meal at a restaurant.

And, as everyone knows, today is also the date that Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reach in Back to the Future II, Oct. 21, 2015. I gotta say, if my dad had to die, I’m disappointed that it didn’t happen on this date instead.

For one thing, obviously, this is just a cooler date. Right? And also, he could’ve attended our wedding and heard about our trip to Scotland and I could have told him about how we drove through his old Scottish neighborhood. I also would’ve brought him back some shortbread cookies, which that you can get in the US, but they taste better in Scotland for some reason.

Oh well.

I miss him.

I’ve noticed something about how my dad’s death has changed how I feel about Halloween. It’s unfortunate that his funeral was a few days before Halloween, but it’s not like we could’ve done anything about that. I feel like the whole Halloween season has this shitty halo around it now, sort of how my mom’s death, which happened Dec. 13, 2006, created a shitty halo around Christmas. It’s just never the same after something like that happens so close to a holiday.

I’ve never been one of those super enthusiastic Halloween people, anyway.  I like a good party and dressing up can be fun. But there were many years when I didn’t acknowledge it in any way.

This year, though, I can’t help but view Halloween as a silly, hokey thing. (And furthermore, what’s up with our national obsession with zombies?)

Of course, that won’t stop me from going to a Halloween party this year, and I know it’ll be a great time. But I just feel like I just no longer “get it.” Maybe next year will be better, or maybe I’m just getting old.

Life goes on.


At my parents’ 50th anniversary party in 2003.

Caption for featured photo: My family went to Bushkill Falls in the Pocono Mountains when I was 9 or 10 and my dad and I rode these carts down a mountain. I remember being terrified! My dad took this photo and I love how we’re elevated and can see the winding path that runs through the woods, and how nobody else was around. It wasn’t often that we spent one-on-one time together and I’ve always remembered this.


  1. It must be difficult to have had your father miss your wedding. I don’t think there is a good time, but it is hard when it happens around a holiday. My mom’s father passed right at Christmastime, and several years later she still doesn’t celebrate with quite the same enthusiasm as she once did.

    I am glad you have happy memories to hold in your heart, as evidenced by the photo and your words.

    The whole zombie thing…I just don’t get it. I think I’m the only person on the planet who has never watched a single episode of Walking Dead.

    October 23, 2015
    • said:

      Thanks, Karen 🙂

      I’ve never seen an episode of Walking Dead either. I avoid all zombie entertainment!

      October 23, 2015
  2. said:

    I have a similar situation. My grandma passed away recently and we are going to have her memorial service on Halloween. It was the only day that we could make work, but it feels so wrong and odd.

    Until now, I didn’t even consider how I’m always going to be thinking of it on Halloween. DAMN IT.

    Oh well. All that we can really do is try to remember all of our happy memories, and indulge the pain when necessary. Or do you have better ideas for me?

    I love your photo 🙂

    October 21, 2015
    • said:

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandma 🙁 Compartmentalizing isn’t usually a great thing to do, but in some instances it can really help, like possibly in your situation. Maybe you can try separating the holiday from the memorial service in your mind if thoughts pop up about how wrong it is, replace them with thoughts about how nice it is that your family gathered to remember such a wonderful woman. It’s worth a shot! <3

      October 23, 2015

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