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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Good-bye Ghosts

Before I start to write this, I need to be very clear about something; I have never, ever, believed in ghosts! And not once, under any circumstances, did I ever imagine that I would start believing in them either. But over the last couple of years some strange things have been happening and, while still skeptical, I have a different opinion now. And I am not referring to the creepy, scary ghosts and demons you see in movies; the ones who haunt you out of your own home. I am referring more to the friendly and familiar ghosts, like a deceased family member… or Casper, “the friendly ghost”.

When it comes down to it, I think the reason I never really thought about the possibility of ghosts before is because no one close enough to me had ever passed away to make me think about things that way. Like, oh sure, some random dead guy is “haunting me”… give me a break! But, unfortunately, I have had a couple of big losses in my life in the last few years and they have clearly had an impact on me.

My maternal grandfather passed away just after I started High School. From then until the day she died, whenever anything weird would happen my Nana (maternal grandmother) would curse him as though he was the one who actually caused whatever it was to happen. I remember sitting in her apartment one time and something made a noise in the kitchen. As I got up to see what it was, she just shouted “Stanley! Leave the pepper alone!” and told me not to bother with it. I was curious though and, sure enough, she was right. The pepper shaker that had been sitting on top of the stove had fallen and made a mess. How did she know that? And yes, there are a lot of stories about my grandfather and his over use of black pepper whenever he cooked so that was extra freaky! Personally I still thought she was nuts, but since she passed I have found myself doing the same thing… only I have been calling her name out now instead!

We have a few large picture frames on the wall of our master bedroom. They have been there since the time we moved in and had never been an issue, they just hang there after all. Not long after my Nana passed away, DH went on a business trip and one of the picture frames started “tapping”. At first I thought we were having an earthquake or something, but nothing else was moving. I waited for it to stop but it clearly wasn’t going to so I got up and put my hand on it until it was quiet again. The next night, the same thing happened and this continued over and over again until DH got home. Weird! The next time he went away I was almost fully asleep when I heard the tapping again. I remember sitting up in bed and, just for fun, I said “Nana I am trying to sleep!” out loud. I started climbing out of bed to put my hand on it as usual, but it stopped all by itself. And, I am not kidding, the frequency has diminished over time but whenever it happens now all I say is “Nana” and it’s over. Of course, DH thinks I am crazy because it only happens when he goes away but I swear I am not making this up!

And then, last summer a new “visitor” arrived. At first, I couldn’t figure it out because my cat would just go from what is now the nursery to my office across the hall back and forth frantically. And, for some reason, she would always end up scratching at the closet door in my office afterwards. I swore there must have been a bug or something, but the actions were too repetitive to be that. Here we go, another ghost? And then one day last spring I heard something fall in my office so I went to see what it was, assuming the cat had knocked something over. I couldn’t see anything so I opened the closet and saw that a bag of popcorn I had stashed there on a bookshelf had fallen to the ground. I picked it up and thought nothing of it, until that same bag had fallen over and over again during the coming weeks. And, to make matters even more curious, my office door started closing itself nearly all the way every time the popcorn bag would fall! I still thought it was the cat somehow, until I realized she was right next to me half the time this was happening! I don’t know why, but something was telling me that it was my father-in-law who had passed away the year prior. It started around the time we began IVF again last summer and there was something about the nursery being involved that just made me wonder.

And I am not the only one getting “visits”. My mother-in-law was in the US a few months ago and swore she saw a friend of my father-in-laws while she was shopping. She called out to him but he didn’t answer her. The next day that same friend called her at home and said that he had missed a call from her the day prior, but that was impossible because she wasn’t even home! Clearly my father-in-law’s doing, right?

Around the same time this happened, and about a month before we told my in-laws that we were expecting, my sister-in-law’s mother also had a dream about my father-in-law. He came to her and said “in a few months, I can finally go in peace”. I didn’t know about this until after we made the announcement, but I remembered then that the first thing my mother-in-law said when we told her about the baby was that she could finally leave him alone because she had been praying to him every night and he can rest in peace now… and yes, I thought I was going crazy until I played the video back and that is exactly what she said!

I have read that sometimes ghosts with unfinished business can linger in this world for a number of reasons; like a father making sure his children are doing ok despite a sudden death (which is what happened in our case). Others may think of these ghosts as their guardian angels, usually an ancestor considered to be guiding and protecting you along your life's journey. Whoever or whatever they were, they seem to have moved on ever since this pregnancy took off on the right path. It’s kind of sad, in a way. I had become so accustomed to their behaviors, that the first time the picture frame didn’t tap while DH was away I almost felt like calling out for my Nana. And as for my father-in-law, wherever he is now, I truly do hope he has found his peace because I know a lot of people were asking him to help us!