This is a season for remembering loved ones. Many cultures and religions celebrate and remember their departed at this time of year—Día de los Muertos, All Souls Day, and (of course) Samhain.

Our group met to commemorate Samhain—the start of our new year—this weekend past, which we ushered in with a broom making workshop. The resulting brooms were then used to sweep out the old, making way for new blessings. And, of course, we honored and celebrated our beloved dead in ritual.

Throughout this transitional time of year, I am reminded of the intensity of my early grief after my father’s sudden and unexpected death. I have not gotten over or gotten past his death—but I have grown around the depth of my loss. Lately, I find myself smiling at his memory more often than the tears come. It is a bittersweet change.

I wish you all comfort in times of loss, memories to sustain you, and peace in your own company as we progress into the darker, introspective part of the year.