Nothing particularly inspired this post, beyond my parents and I having a conversation last night about if/when we feel the spirits of our shared dead relatives. As I’ve mentioned before, the lake house I go to in the summer has been in our family for almost 100 years, and it’s also where I spent the most time with my beloved Grandmother and Grandfather as a child (and where my father spent the most time with HIS grandparents when HE was a child), so we are surrounded by ghosts of various kinds of here.
I’m gonna start by saying that for myself personally, I have very very strong feelings of unseen presences around me and have my entire life. But I am also open to the idea of them being ghosts, or just that my mind has captured a strong snapshot of people I love that I can pull up when I want it, or that there is some kind of lingering psychic energy in certain places that I am sensitive to. It’s kind of like my feeling about God, I am sure of what I feel, but I have no need or interest in making it logical beyond a feeling.
Speaking of God, I am aware that brain has a certain area that is the “God-zone” and for some people it is larger and stronger than others. I know that the sense of connection with the great unknown is just brain synapsis firing off, and I believe in God because I have that brain bit, and other people don’t because they don’t have that brain bit. Or, alternatively, the way I was raised encouraged the growth of that brain bit so it is strong in me where it may not be strong of others. But the thing is, I also don’t care. Feeling connected to God makes me myself, to try to change that because of some logical scientific reason would mean changing myself to something I am not. I don’t care if God exists or not, I just care that he/she exists FOR ME.
Now, ghosts! I’ll start with my mother. She is very big on telling family stories, and she tells them clearly and strongly. Not just stories, images even. So I was raised with constant references like “I remember seeing your great grandmother sitting in that chair working on her cross stitch”. When you are a little 3 year old, you can immediately picture that in your head and the imaginary is almost as real to you as reality. So by a very young age I had all this super super clear pictures of my dead relatives sitting inside my brain. I don’t remember when it jumped to feeling like they were helping me or talking to me, but I have a very clear memory that must have been from when I was around 9 or 10 of trying to get my sewing machine to work, and my great grandfather’s presence being sort of vaguely felt next to me trying to give me advice and being bossy. He was a very very bossy man. A nice man, he wanted to help, but it was a very “just get out of the way and let me do this, I’ve got an idea how to do it better” sort of feeling to the presence.
I’m not saying I heard words, or saw an image, or anything like that. But you know how someone you know really well can be sitting across the room from you and without even looking at them, you know how they feel? Like, you are reading a book and your friend is reading a book in the same room, and suddenly you know they want to share something with you so you look up and ask them what they want? It’s not body language, because you aren’t looking at them, and it’s not hearing something, it’s sort of a shift in the energy in the room. That’s how I feel “ghosts”, a sudden energy presence of a particular feeling.
My great grandfather, as I said, was a very bossy man and a very strong personality. I heard so many stories about him all the time all my life, to this day. So either my mind created a sense of this person that it tosses up at me at moments when I would think of him (mostly when trying to solve a mechanical problem), or there is an actual spirit of him hovering around that pops over and forces itself into my awareness because he’s the kind of fellow who would always force himself in.
What makes me lean more towards some version of ghost or spirit, a lingering personality, versus just my mind creating images, is that the people I sense most are the ones with pushy personalities, not necessarily the ones I knew the best. I never even met my great grandfather, but by golly he still hangs around giving me advice. Meanwhile, my mother’s mother, who I spent tons of time with and had a very strong personality as well, she barely ever drops by. She was a very private woman who had a horror of intruding or being nosey or in the way. So even though my brain map should be able to pull her up much more easily than my great grandfather, the actual spirit would resist being brought up unless I really really asked for her.
Anyway, the nice thing is that Grandpa has started visiting me! Remember my Grandpa? Who died at age 100 back in November? He was gone-gone for a while, but just recently he’s started hanging out with me. Or, my brain has started tossing up a sense of him to me, whichever explanation you prefer. Again, I don’t have a clear memory of when it started, I just sort of got used to it being around. It’s kind of like when his father visits me, but way better. My Great-Grandpa is always “here, let me show you how to do it, this will work better”. It comes from a place of love, but it’s awfully bossy and you have to dig a bit to find the love in it. My Grandpa is more sort of a feeling of “I am so interested in exactly how you are doing what you are doing because everything you do is fascinating to me because you are the most amazing young woman in the history of the world”.
What do you think about all this? Is it ghosts as in “dead people who stay on earth” or is it some lingering energy of them or is it just my brain being weird? Is the fact that I only have love-ghosts and no hate-ghosts (yes, my family has hatefilled people as well, every family does) because love lasts and hate dies, or because my brain doesn’t want them, or because I choose to ignore that energy?
And what is your own experience? Have you had any strong feeling of a presence of someone who is gone? Was it a sense of love or hate or something more specific? Have you ever had a visit from someone you never met, or only people you knew in life? What’s your overall feeling about this kind of experience?