Friday, February 22, 2013
I'm not sure I believe in life after death BUT I do believe in ghosts. I've known a few. Some are those who I knew before they passed but most are just ghosts - beings, if you will, that I didn't know in life, that is, their life. Maybe I did know them and either they have not made this clear to me as yet OR I knew them in another life. Which brings up another issue - I'm not sure I believe in reincarnation.
I know it is odd. How can I believe in ghosts and, yet, be uncertain of life after death and reincarnation? Well, there it is. It is how I feel. I truly want to believe in the great beyond. Who doesn't? An eternity of nothingness scares me more than taking up residence in hell. However, I do not rule it out. I am hoping there is something more. Maybe my ghosts can convince me that there is more after we depart this good earth.
Let me state emphatically that I am not or have I ever been afraid of my ghosts or anyone else's for that matter. They can boo all they want. Actually, none of my ghosts have ever booed. Where does that come from? Even Casper didn't boo. Plus, I believe a ghost cannot really physically hurt you. They are a little unsettling I will admit and do take some getting use to. But my experience tells me most ghosts either want to connect or just want to hang around a familiar place or person.
My first ghost appeared to me when I was about 6 or 7. I had a sprained arm inflicted upon me by Mrs. Topinko. She dragged me by my - was it my left arm? - to my house from her's across the street to confront my mother. Mrs. T had caught me picking tulips from her precious garden. I don't remember much else about that incident except that by day's end I had a small cast on my arm. However, what I do remember WELL was that night in my bedroom. I woke to see a beautiful lady glowing in the far corner of my bedroom who I perceived to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. Well, she was garbed all in veils and flowing fabrics of white and blue - looking just like the holy pictures we got at school from the nuns. I was so excited. I screamed for my parents and they came running. The odd thing although it didn't seem odd to a young Catholic boy at the time - the odd thing was that my arm was healed. I'm telling the truth so stop rolling your eyes. All I know is, at this young young age, I was a happy convinced Catholic eager to believe all I was taught at church and school. Catholicism is great fun for the young with all the saints and miracles and fantastic stories. My head was freshly filled with these stories and I, like many Catholics, loved the Virgin Mary so much - more than any other saint or deity. She was the only one I loved more than Saint Anthony. Anyway, I was sure my apparition was Mary.
My next ghost appeared decades later in apartment 16G in Manhattan. I was home alone with a darkened room, a lit candle and a Ouija board I found earlier that day discarded in a city trash can on 9th avenue. A friend had died recently. He was the first person I was ever close to around my age at the time which was YOUNG - my first death of a friend. So, I got stupid and tried to conjure him up with the help of the board from the garbage - AND I DID. It wasn't pretty and I learned absolutely nothing from the experience except that an untimely death does not look good. It didn't scare me - this unpleasant experience BUT it did prompt me to return that Ouija board to its 9th avenue bin.
Then there are the visits from loved ones - mothers, fathers - in dreams that are so lucid. I don't know if these qualify as hauntings but whatever they are - were - they are welcome and have mostly been warm and fuzzy experiences.
What about the things that happen the very day a person dies. Lights flickering, voices heard, music playing, radios turning on, light beams bouncing off or hovering near mourners. Are these ghosts, too?
Are ghosts just our minds willing their appearance. Do we long so much to conquer life's greatest mystery by producing ghosts, apparitions and even the occasional miracle through the power of sheer human charge?
I do have a ghost with no friend or familial connection. He is currently "living" in my house - basically the front of the house - the piano room. He is around 12 years old and sings - a sweet soprano voice. We - yes WE, because, Glenn has admitted to hearing him - we can hear him sing only when he feels he is alone. This mean, when we come home - as we enter the back door, we hear him sing - sounds like a vocalise - in the front room - the music room as it were.
I even know what he looks like. He is around 12 years old with yellow hair falling on a cherubic face clothed in a light brown Victorian suit with a white shirt of small ruffles. He looks very much like a singer to be sure. He is not of this house, I do believe. You see, I brought him into this house soon after I bought it. People say he looks like me when I was a child. I can see that.
Having fun at an antique mall on Saturday afternoon buying things for my new old house, I was drawn to a small painting of a little boy softly looking - at me? Like a puppy in a kennel eager to be adopted, this boy in the painting seemed to urge me to buy him. So I did. I brought him home - hung him near the staircase in the piano room and went on with my day. Glenn and I went out again. I don't remember where - perhaps to eat. Anyway, on our return that early evening, it was the first time we heard the singing. When it was apparent we were home - what with doors closing and conversation and exclamations like "Did you hear that? Some one's singing. Did you leave the radio on? TV? No. No." With all this 'commotion" the singing stopped. I immediately attributed it to the painting.
We have heard the boy in the painting sing his song for many years now - not frequently - but we hear. Now, every once in a while, he will sing even when we are obvioiusly home - although only if we are not in the piano room. It is not scary. It is, I don't know - OK - yes - OK - quite OK. Funny, but we have never named the boy. It wouldn't be right. He probably had - has a name. I wouldn't want to confuse him. After all, I don't think he knows he is dead.
I feel ghosts are people who have not completed their act of death. Once they completely die, they will cease to be ghosts. They will simply cease to be. And maybe that is why they hang on - haunt - to avoid that final curtain.