When (and How) It All Began
I see dead people. No, really, I do. I have since I was 8-years old. Before I was 8, all I knew about ghosts was what I saw in cartoons such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, or what I'd see in kid's TV shows or kids movies- people under a white sheet with holes cut out for the eyes. And then something happened.
I remember the day that he died. I was in school when it happened one April afternoon. My mom picked me up from school and said, "Your grandfather died today." I asked her, "Is he still there?" She said no. We went to my grandmother's house (my grandparents lived next door to my mom and dad and I) and I went up the old green-carpeted stairs and went inside his bedroom. All I could see were the creases on his white sheets from where he had been laying down. He wasn't there anymore. But the next day, he was.
My mom and I spent the night in my grandmother's bedroom on the floor which was next to my grandfather's bedroom. There was something different about that night in there - something in the atmosphere, something wasn't quite right.
The next couple of days were a blur. They sort of meshed into each other. We were busy with funeral arrangements. In Chicago, it is typical to do an Irish style funeral - 3 days of an open casket wake and then the burial. There I was, in the front row at the funeral home, right in front of his body. When it was the first day of his wake and the first moment we all saw the open casket, I whispered to my mom, "Are you sure he's not alive in there?" She looked at me puzzled, "Yes, Christina...", she said. Something didn't seem right. I felt as though his soul was still trapped in that body. I still can't really explain how I knew that at that moment, it was just a feeling I had, an overwhelming feeling that I just couldn't shake off and still can't. We came home that night and the next day...
I saw him. I made my way up those stairs (and about a few steps away from the top you can start to see inside his bedroom) and the closer I got to the top, the more I couldn't believe what I saw. I saw him sitting there, in his bedroom. He was sitting on a rocking chair that his grandmother made (we still have those chairs in my house right now, here in El Paso) and was wearing what he was usually wearing toward the end of his life - a white tank top and pajama pants. He looked confused. I was confused. But it made sense to me. I put 2 and 2 together - he truly wasn't "gone" yet. His soul had been stuck.
It made me scared. My heart was beating hard and fast. Why is my grandfather still here? As the days passed, there he was... in his room - either on the rocking chair or sitting on his bed or even laying in his bed asleep. He never looked at me (or so I don't think he did), but I felt like he knew I knew he was there. He never tried to communicate with me. And some days, it didn't bother me, I'd just pass by with a quick glance and other days I would run past his room and not even THINK about looking in. It would scare me most of the time. But some days I could handle it and others I couldn't. He never left his room.
I told my mom about it and all that I remember her telling me in response was, "Oh, really? Hmmm..." She never really told me any more or any less. I also started to have dreams about him. Dreams that I still remember to this day. In these dreams, he would appear to me as when he was in his spirit form. And this time, though, he'd try to communicate with me, but no words ever came out of his mouth. All I could tell was that he was lost. He would have this distraught look on his face, mouth words that I couldn't understand and would cry (but no tears would come out). I would tell my mom about the dreams and she would tell me that it meant that I should pray for him. And so I did.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago. My mom and I were talking about my grandfather and how I would see him there still in his room. To this, my mother told me a story. A story that tied in everything that I had experienced with his spirit.
She said to me:
"Christina - That day that he died and we spent the night in Ma's room (her mom, my grandmother), he came to me. You were asleep. He was right above me, floating. He was trying to tell me something, he was mouthing something to me, but I couldn't tell what it was... He seemed lost and confused and sad..."
For a few minutes, I had no reply to her. I was taking it all in. Knowing this made me sad. Ever since we moved to El Paso, Texas in '96, only here and there would I have a dream about him. It has been a long time since I've dreamt about him. Many years of prayers, many years of hope, many years of love have led me to believe that he finally found his way. And in 2008 when my grandmother passed away, I am convinced that they found each other once again.
...Which Leads Me To My Next Little Story
My grandmother (whom I was very close with) passed away in December of 2008. Being in front of her casket though, was a completely different experience from being in front of my grandfather's. I felt like what was right in front of me was a beautiful, empty shell. There was no soul in that beautiful body of hers. Her soul had risen straight to Heaven. In the house that we live in, there is no such thing as her ghost. The only times I see her is when her spirit decides to contact me. And when she does, she's beautiful as ever. She has a constant big smile. She's happy. She is happy where she is now. She isn't lost in this plane that we call Earth. She has moved on to brighter pastures. She is with her family. And she smiles and smiles and smiles...
Ever since I saw my grandfather's ghost, I have been seeing/experiencing/feeling/communicating with ghosts. I've seen them everywhere. I've felt them. I've heard them. Some are lost. Some have decidedly come back to this plane for their "unfinished business". Some are stuck. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are young. Some are sad. Some are happy. And others are just plain silly... From this point on, I will continue my encounters past and present with these spirits. I hope you tune in. And I'd love to take Q&A with you, so please, feel free to comment.
Love & peace,