Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Talking To The Dead

Following a well worn path, I think more about ghosts as I age; surgeries, illness, the deaths of my grandparents, of children of women I've known, sudden losses to agonizing to be borne, yet sometimes are.( I say sometime to acknowledge the fact that not everyone makes it after this kind of loss. No. Some are lost to drugs, some abandon their families physically, some emotionally, some unravel mentally, some kill themselves. When a person is told You are so strong to keep going and they reply What choice do I have? I think of the others. )

The first time someone I knew as an adult lost a child was five or so years ago, when a woman I'd known intimately through a private online Attachment Parenting group lost her oldest son, Jordan. He had been ill, that was all, just sick, the way everyone gets sick. Only something happened to his heart- it got very sick, and he went to bed and never woke up. His father found him the next morning. I will never forget Mr. Curry rushing into the bedroom and waking me, voice trembling, to tell me that her son had died. He was a beautiful, sweet boy with dark hair, tall, a religious and faithful boy who loved his big family and cars. Jordan.

When my Grandmother Elizabeth died, I was in the next room. My mother, my aunts, myself, Mr. Curry- I can't even remember who all was there, just that we all were, and that in the half hour before she died, when she had been voiceless and clouded, she sat bolt upright and asked in a worried voice
What time is it? My mother told her. She lay back down, appeased, it seemed. I left the room, to breathe, and she died while I was in the hallway. I look at the trees and the sky and wonder, now and again, if she's anywhere, and if she is, could it be there? In the gem green palm of the leaf of her favorite tree?

Up on Saturday night, Ever sleeping in the bed, I watched a story on what I thought was about Loretta Lynn, the country singer, but turned out to actually be about her haunted house, a colonial built in the late 1800's that stood next to a church which was used for medical purposes during the Civil War. Loretta's own son died close to that house, her oldest boy rode his horse through the river and never made it to the other side. The children were interviewed about their various encounters with ghosts, and the daughter talked of a woman in white, 'expressionless', floating into her room, then taking two, three steps backward into her bathroom when the little girl called to her Nanny. These kinds of stories and interviews have been around since people have been talking, but I'm recently hearing them all around me.

Two weeks ago my preschool started collecting books for a sale one of the teachers is having to raise money for her class, and I snagged a few books to read and return. I read one of them that weekend, a book by a medium named John Edward. He talks about spirits, how they visit him, how they see their 'opening' like a door opening, when he talks to someone they loved, and they move toward that door and clamor for his attention. What they want most, he says, is to tell us it's OK. They don't want us to suffer or worry. They are all right. If your child died and you could talk to them on the other side, what else could you want to hear more?
I'm OK, Mom.

This Wednesday on Channel 10 there is an interview and 'tests' with a well known psychic. I'm recording it, I'm watching it. These things are popping up all around me right now, and I'm keeping my eyes open. Do I believe in ghosts? I don't know. I am too aware of everything I don't know and don't understand to presume that I know there are or aren't ghosts. I know physics is amazing, and I know Albert Einstein said 'The more I study science, the more I believe in God.' Einstein's God wasn't a God of magic or spirit but a God of infinite Universal science spun as a great, incredible being that we cannot or do not comprehend. I know that black holes, quarks!, the miracle ( I believe it is ) of finding Pi in everything from the center of every single snowflake to every single eyeball, the traveling of light, the beginnings of life- all these things are amazing and mystifying and wondrous to me.

I wouldn't like to be bullshitted if my child died.

But I think the temptation to reach out, with any grain of hope- however miniscule or far fetched- to my child would be so great that I would try.

Would you?

Drax said...

I hate to reference the stupid X-Files, but yeah, sure, "I want to believe," I really do. It would be nice, it would be a comfort. But I think it's our hearts and imagination that connect the dots between the shadows, ja? If we go looking for the intangible, we will certainly find it. It's all around us if we're willing to perceive it, if we WANT to believe it, and that's fine. The natural world is a haunted house.

But sentient afterlife post physical death? Not a chance in Hell, my sweet mama poet goddess.

Misfits Vintage said...

I'm a scientist, critical thinker, atheist. And I went to a psychic after my Mum died. Looking for something, anything... to provide just a minute of comfort and peace. I don't believe in it but when you're desperate, you act instinctively, not rationally. And who knows, I could be completely wrong.

Sarah xxx

Ms. Moon said...

Of course I would but it wouldn't make it real.
I think a lot of these mediums prey on just that- the desire to know our loved ones are fine.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post, and yes, I would. Since mom died I've "heard" her "talking" a couple of times. I had to be very still, very open and quiet, but she had a message for me. Was it her, God, spirit? Or my mind playing tricks. Either way, it was clear and comforting. Recently my son's girlfriend went to the Oregon Coast for one night and had a dream that mom was "young, glowing and happy." A message to me and my son, I'm sure. The kicker is that the Oregon Coast was one of mom's favorite places on earth. I think she's trying to tell me that's where she wants her ashes.

Elizabeth said...

Of course. I believe the divine is in everything -- that souls are eternal -- that we're all connected. I believe in keeping my eyes open and my ears as well. I believe in psychic "hits," the power of the imagination, transcendence and the inexorability of fate.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I really like John Edward. I think he's the real deal.

I would try to contact the dead if my mom or dad died. Definitely. I would have to know they were alright.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, yes yes yes. I've had a session with a local 'sensitive' (she's really quiet about her abilities, does work with the state and local police with her gift and she doesn't advertise...). She knew TOO MUCH and knew absolutely nothing about me for it not to be a real gift. It was really beautiful. I buh-lieve. I think love is so powerful, that it doesn't stop once we cross over, you know?

Amanda said...

I don't think I could reach out. It would be too much. I so totally agree with you about all of this: I know that black holes, quarks!, the miracle ( I believe it is ) of finding Pi in everything from the center of every single snowflake to every single eyeball, the traveling of light, the beginnings of life- all these things are amazing and mystifying and wondrous to me.

That's exactly how I feel about spirituality. Maybe there are ghosts, but they aren't like... lost spirits, or whatever. maybe they're a natural phenomenon.

Denise Emanuel Clemen said...

Ghosts can be corny hype, I suppose. And anyone who takes someone's money to reach loved ones on the other side. Hmmm. I wouldn't pay it. That said, I've been visited. Yeah.

Sannah said...

Beautiful post. I think that if I ever lost a child I would search for any sliver of connection. I don't know if I believe in ghosts. My father died when I was 11, and a few years later I had a strange experience, which at the time I felt totally confident that it was him/his spirit. However, the memory has dimmed, and so has the belief.

Lora said...

I would reach to the end of the earth to find something, anything, if my son died. I would open my heart and my eyes and my soul as wide as I possibly can stretch just to feel him one more time. Two more times. Every time.

I would believe in the unbelievable if it meant feeling peace. Love. Reassurance.

Petit fleur said...

Oh hell yea.

As my cousin pointed out yesterday, if you are in enough pain, you'll try anything. His pain is physical, but I see no difference. Pain is pain.


Annie said...

I believe in life on this earth, the connections that we forge, the good that we do, and the memories we leave with others; and I doubt, very much, that there is anything beyond.

I know there are people who do believe in a life after. More than once, I have smelled baby powder and roses looking through my deceased mother's things. I do not believe that fresh smell is in the items. I believe it is in my mind. It is a comfort to think that she is near, but I know that she is not. She is near in my heart.

Treasure your life. Treasure your loves. I know that you do. I would not waste energy looking for a life after death. I would celebrate that life, and share your memories. I believe your grandmother is in that leaf, because she is everywhere. My mother is everywhere.

krista said...

the idea that there were ghosts used to freak me out when i was younger...not because i was scared of them but because i was worried they could see everything i was doing in private and it made me nervous.

now that i have a child (and one more due to arrive on sunday) i think about how my heart would shred and leak and streak the floors if i lost them and i think i would look to the walls for words. i would look to the center of a flower for a sign that miracles happen. and i would definitely find myself somewhere between silence and noise, wondering if i was paying enough attention.


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