A ghost story.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

Just so you know.  Because what I am going to say next, I can’t even believe. 

If you are a parent to a kid or a fur-baby then you know the feeling, when you are sleeping, that somebody is watching you sleep.  It happens to me all the time and I wake up with glowing yellow eyes in my face.  Or a sleepy little girl who needs a drink and a cuddle.  You don’t hear them but something in your subconscious knows that you are being watched.  That somebody needs your attention.

I’ve had that feeling for quite a while.  Months, really.  I think it started in July.  Or maybe it was June.  I don’t really remember because it’s all hindsight at this point.  Most recently, I keep thinking it’s the cat.  (Kitty and I share a room and she is an early riser, demanding breakfast sometime between 4am and 5am.  She never says anything, just nudges me awake.  I am rude and toss her out of my room and close the door.  This is a daily ritual.  One of us should know better by now but I don’t exactly know who.)  It is almost never the cat and there hasn’t been a child in my room since August. 

Imagine that you are nearly asleep.  Your mind isn’t completely shut off yet but your body cannot move anymore.  Now imagine that you feel someone sit on the bed next to you.  And you feel a calm that you haven’t felt all day.  But you don’t know why and you are too close to sleep to turn and see what is really happening.

Now, replace “you” with “I”.  Because that’s what’s been happening with greater frequency.

Is this my imagination?  Stress?  Lack of exercise?  Too much coffee?  Too many naps?  Do I need to quit with the late night reading of the Young Adult/Supernatural/Urban Fantasy genre? 

Or, do I have a ghost?  Or, am I looking for some kind of contact or validation or anything at all to tell me that everything is going to be okay?

The most likely scenario is that I have finally gone off the deep end.  Because I don’t believe in ghosts.  But I do believe that someone else has been perching on my bed like they want to have a conversation.  Kind of like my mom did when I was home from college on break. 

But I don’t believe in ghosts.  I can’t. 


What if I don’t know what to believe anymore?


6 thoughts on “A ghost story.

  1. Jenn~ It is hard to know what to believe. And you can want to believe something desperately and not believe it at the same time. I will tell you this. Something happened to me 9 years ago. I too was given a calm reassuring visit when I really needed it and was missing somebody I thought I’d never see again. And truthfully, I didn’t see anything but it was a feeling, a knowledge. I know “who” it was….not “what” exactly but definately who. Details here don’t matter except that it was the most calming caring feeling I have known. Can’t describe it any other way. Calming….whatever you decide to believe, I hope that it continues for you from time to time as long as it doesn’t weird you out too much.

    • I wish that this were a calming experience. I was actually rather frightened, not knowing. My first thought was intruder but now I don’t know. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. One thought: Angels. Yep, many of the great religions describe them in their holy books.
    Have you ever read Anne Lamott’s book, Traveling Mercies?
    Your cat experience combined with this other worldly phenomenon reminds me of a part of her book where she has a conversion experience. Check it out.

  3. She went from being a practicing atheist to believing in Jesus.
    I think you’ll like her book. She doesn’t sugar coat anything.
    I like her because she reminds me of some folks I met in 12-step programs—honest and so REAL.

  4. Hi there, I came here from Aunt Becky’s blogroll, and while I’ve been clicking and reading, just compelled to read your story yet not having much to offer in terms of comfort (but trust this – much adoration & respect), when I read this post about ‘ghosts’, I had to share my experience.

    But before I do so, thank you for sharing what you have on this blog. I FEEL what you’ve written without having experienced one second of what you’ve gone through, I cried without even knowing you. Your writing is beautiful, I feel like you’re writing for you and it’s like finding someone’s secret diary, and the way you write is smack-in-the-head real.

    The story I’ll tell you is going on 14 years old. I’m 38 almost 39 years old, when I was 25 my Uncle Gary died. Uncle Gary was not a blood-relative, he was married to my mom’s twin, they never wanted kids. They traveled, and owned vacation homes, and she wore fabulous clothes but the truth is, he was a mechanic, a popular one but still, we’re not talking investment bankers here. But when you have no kids and both husband and wife work, even in the 70’s, what else can you spend your money on?

    Being the only daughter of my aunt’s twin, and I had 4 overactive, always wrestling and breaking their shit brothers, let’s just say my aunt/uncle were always more than happy to take me, and JUST me for the weekend, week long vacations during the summer break, etc. I became the child they never had, and I was very close to my uncle.

    He was my confirmation sponsor because my aunt was having ‘issues’ with the Catholic church at the time and didn’t want to get involved. I was ready to go to any one of my Mom’s other 6 sisters (yeah, Mom & twin aunt are the youngest of a family of 12) when Uncle Gary stepped in & said “I’d be honored if you’ll consider it” – and he did – and he helped me pick out my confirmation name, my own parents didn’t help me do that.

    I remember my Uncle Gary looking like Grizzly Adams (if you even get that reference, I’m that old). He was huge, not fat, just BIG. And he had this great head of hair and a big fuzzy beard. That’s how I remember him for most of the 24 years of life I had with him until he died.

    Fast forward to me being 24, Uncle Gary was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It spread to his lymph nodes. He saw a reputable oncologist, somewhere along the line he was presented with a clinical study to try experimental levels of interferon, which he underwent for a long, awful year.

    I remember the night he died, I was at the hospital. I remember going in to say our last good-byes even though I wasn’t his wife or a “blood relative”. I remember him BEGGING me for ice chips or a sip of water, I remember going to seek it out for him and being told it would hurt him somehow. Hell the man was DYING that night, if a few ice chips are going to hair lip him are we really doing any harm? It was confusing. It was awful. It was dreadful.

    Long story short, my uncle died from his treatment, not from cancer. My aunt received a letter from the study sponsor the day after his funeral reporting that he was finally cancer free. Yeah, no shit.

    The thing is my Dad was so sure my uncle was going to beat this that he was planning to take him to Las Vegas to celebrate when my uncle was feeling up to it. When my uncle died, my Dad wanted us, as a family, to go. My parents, my four brothers & assorted sister-in-laws at the time, plus my aunt. We all agreed to go except my aunt, she felt she needed time alone. We went on the trip.

    I’m not a gambler, in Vegas, I drink & lay in the sun. When I’ve had too much sun, I find my way back to my room (laughing at morons trying to pick up quarters that are super glued to the nasty casino carpet along the way) and I read in the room alone. I might re-emerge for dinner and more drinks, but I don’t gamble. Gambling makes as much sense to me as wiping my ass with dollar bills and I guess when they start making dollar bills as soft as Cottonelle wipes I’ll have to rethink my position but for now, for the story at hand, on this night I had a long day in the sun, followed by a heavy dinner and a few glasses of wine, I fell into a deep sleep.

    I dreamed we were in the casino of the hotel we stayed in, and I saw my Uncle Gary. He wasn’t bald and gaunt like he was when we buried him, although he was still wearing that blue suit, he was big and hefty with his full beard and wavy hair. In my dream I ran to him, and I HUGGED HIM SO TIGHT, he held me for only just a moment, and then put me at arm’s length, and handed me a toothpick.

    Being this was the early 90’s the internet wasn’t what it is now. I told my mom about the dream and when we got home we searched dream books, saw a psychic, did everything we could to try to find SOME significance to toothpick, even WOOD or BRANCH. Nothing really made sense.

    I finally asked my Mom if I could tell my aunt about my dream, she felt it was ok, so I did. We were at my aunt’s house when I told her, she was teary & walked away from the dining room table and I thought “OK, great, way to go, Kar…” – and she came back and gave me handful of toothpicks.

    She told me how she really wanted to go with us to Vegas that weekend but felt she needed to go through my Uncle’s things, he was big into donating to a Native American charity they were a part of and winter was coming, she wanted to be alone and collect his things to donate. From the laundry basket she hadn’t dared to touch, out of pockets of shirts she hadn’t washed in how long because they were the last things he had worn, the last things that touched his skin, she kept finding toothpicks.

    No one can tell me that people aren’t still with us after they pass. And you never know how or when they can find a way to let us know they are still with us. When they do, you don’t question it, you just let yourself feel that warm comfort and know that you’ll see them again.

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