A look at the part parental alienation plays in making Halloween one of the scariest times of the year.
For a lot of people Halloween is a great time of year and a lot of fun but for others it's a painful reminder of what is missing.
When you think of Halloween you think you probably think of costumes and trick or treating, both of which are of course associated with children.
Most parents have taken their children trick or treating and had fun with costumes, a privilege many take for granted.
What about the parents who have not had the opportunity?
There are millions of parents worldwide who are today grieving the loss of their children; their children who are still alive. These parents are suffering from parental alienation.
Days and occasions like Halloween are times that an alienated parent dreads. They may cope by distracting themselves or involving themselves with family or even isolating themselves completely but one thing is for sure, it can be one of the most painful times of the year.
I can speak of this from experience.
I'm fortunate enough now to have an equal parenting arrangement and over the past 6 years I've taken my son trick or treating 4 of those years, which I am truly grateful for. These past two years my son has gone with his mother, which is the right thing to do but it still brings me a feeling of sorrow and I've had to distract myself to cope with that feeling of sadness.
It's my turn again next year though and I can't wait for that.
If you're reading this as someone who's never had to miss a Halloween or contend with losing a child then please understand that when you see someone struggling at this time of year, it could be because they are an alienated parent.
If you're reading this as an alienated parent please take heart in that I and many people I know and have helped have managed to regain meaningful contact including Halloween and other occasions.
If you are struggling or know someone that is then please know that you can get support and guidance by joining our online forum on this site or our Facebook support group.