Friday, February 22, 2013

My Ghosts

                                                      
 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.
                                                          

23 comments:

  1. I second All you've said in your excellently written, heartfelt, & strangely Neil Simon-esque essay.
    As a former devout Catholic (turned loosely Buddhist / Agnostic), 1st Gen. Italian gal, I 'Get It'. Your views on a (hopefully!) potential afterlife, saints, Mother Mary LOVE, & the Ghosts (I had a German child singer, deceased relative visits, Ouija oddness, a visit from a recently deceased friend, the sights, sounds, & the vivid visitor Dreams!!!!
    Great job on a Fascinating topic! I'm Thrilled to find a kindred "Spirit"... Xo, Amber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amber. Maybe Catholics practicing or not, have a special affinity toward the supernatural. What with the fascination with saints and miracles it is pretty logical.

      Delete
  2. I think there is a play in there somewhere, about ghosts hanging onto to life to avoid the final curtain. Thanks for the ghostly idea, but I better write it down or it will simply cease to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go with it, Vinny. Just dedicate it to me and I won't sue.

      Delete
  3. I don't know how I feel about ghosts. I have seen a few myself, the Indian, sorry, Native American, in Mimi's room in West Valley when I was a child, and the one that stands beside my bed in the wee hours of the night. I also believe that I was kissed on the cheek by my friend Martha a couple of days after her physical death. These experiences were not frightening at all. Well maybe the Indian on the nightstand when I was 12 years old was a little creepy, but the others I find comforting. I don't know who or what they are and I'm fine with that. I do however strongly believe in the afterlife. I am confident that I will be going to heaven because of my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior. I am not preaching, just stating the comfort in my belief. Love you Unc T & Glenn :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find most people are not frightenned by these experiences. It is a Hollywood convention that tells us we are supposed to fear these things. Yes, AM,many times it is comforting or just plain "cool" I do believe there is something of substance to all of this - a foreshadowing or hint to us that more is in store for us after we depart.

      Delete

  4. To have Mary appear to you.. what a wonderful experience. I do think there are spirits that walk the earth..good & bad..I had some experiences with them..I never saw one..but I felt them around me at times..there are times I have smelled cigarette smoke,we are not smokers..but I beleive it's my Father..I have experienced the light bulbs flickering with my family after my Mother passed away..and saw on light on the wall in her bedroom also..our Priest on Ash Wed.just talked about the spirits that guides us at times...I felt my father kiss me in a dream..I woke up..it felt so very real..would love to hear your little ghost boy sing.. I enjoyed the Ghost story blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember the lamp turning on and off the day Ma passed away AND Aunt Lee couldn't take it anynore. She looked at the lamp and said, 'Okay, Bertha - that's enough!" It was a funny moment. I now believe Ma gave us that moment.We needed it and, Aunt Lee could be so funny even when she wasn't aware of being so.

      Delete
  5. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christine Gordon ScarsellaFebruary 22, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Intersting.......but from the stories Jerry told me Mrs. T. should have been watching her own boys !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My sister & I are believers. My mother makes herself known to my sister with her perfume. "Maude" was the only person we knew who wore "Chantilly" perfume. Every now & then, when a family crisis occurs, my sister smells the Chantilly for about a minute. My mother lived with my sister & passed ten years ago. There is absolutely nothing in that house that resembles that smell & all her clothes, etc. have been long gone. So my sister just acknowledges her & goes on with what she was doing. Mine was her second home & I hear strange noises that my dog & cat react to. I was touched once (no really) & I still see her in dreams. So you're not alone. By the by, the family thinks we're crazy except for Liz. These experiences aren't scary but strangely comforting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, it is said that familiar fragrances and such - smells, sounds - are ways our departed loved ones connect with us. It must be frustrating to them when it isn't acknowledged or noticed in some way. It must be worse for them if this reaching out scares us. As for me, I welcome these expereinces. I want to believe they are real.

      Delete
  8. I had one instance where I knew my dad was hugging me, but my sister Donna sees them like it's going out of style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How wonderful, Gary. I'm not surprised about Donna. Some women in our family seem to have the "gift".

      Delete
    2. not always a gift! People are very skeptible and won't acknowledge as a gift, but "craziness". Is your house still "occupied?"

      Delete
  9. Just got back from the store and had to respond to you after finally getting to read your fabulous blog, The Kitchen Sink. It was so enlightning and lets me know a whole other deminsion of you. You are truly a "sensitive", don't ever doubt that. I too share your questions about the here after. Like you, even though I've had contact with departed souls, I still question what's really in store for the living. I don't know if I told you, but when I was at your lovely home, there is another soul with you. It's a middle aged male, average to shorter, dressed in a Victorian period suit, short dark hair and very sad eyes. I saw him the day I stood at the bottom of your stairs in your piano room. He looked at me as if to say, please don't come up. He wasn't threathening, just doesn't want to be discovered or in the presence of anyone. He just seemed like he did not want to be found out. I also felt that he has been there for awhile. I do agree with you feeling that the young boy came with the picture. I brought an elderly lady home with an Eastlake chair. When the chair was sold, so was my lady, she's never been back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, what a post - thanks - the boy hasn't been around of late - don't feel him but he has been "away" before. Funny that this soul you detected is also of the Victorian age. Perhaps I was meant to bring the painting into my house for him. They may have a connection - father? - As for this soul, all I can say is. I do on occassion hear footsteps from upstairs late at night. My bedroom is on the first floor. I hear them while in bed. Again, I do not get frightenned just curious. These footstep "hearings" are not infrequent but not enough to be annoying.

      Delete
    2. That is your gentleman. I do call him a gentleman because I felt he was {is} very dignified, yet very sad. I think he paces because he's under some kind of stress. perhaps some trauma he experienced during life. I felt so strongly after reading your blog I couldn't control not telling you about "the gentleman". I do believe that he wanted you both to know he is there. Remember, though, he does seem to be a peaceful soul, just troubled. I do wish he would seek help so he can finally find peace. Maybe the little boy sings for him. I like that thought

      Delete
    3. I like that idea, too that the boy soothes him with song.

      Delete
  10. After your Uncle Don died, I had the most vivid dream. I was still living on wasson Ave and I was in front of the building when a car pulled up, driven by a lady and Don got out and walked over to me wearing his favorite flannel shirt keeping his arms crossed over his chest. I asked why he would not kiss me or at least hug me. His reply was "if I do I would not want to leave and go back. Dont't worry I am okay". And with that he walked back to the car got in it, never looking back and left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so real, Aunt Annie. These visits in dreams are for me the most convincing arguement for a life beyond.

      Delete
  11. Why are you the coolest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are pretty cool too, Christyn. Thanks for checking my blog.

      Delete