With Ears Wide Open
I would like to believe very much that we live on, somehow. It would certainly calm some of my fears.
I have a death phobia, to be perfectly honest. I am both repelled by it and oddly attracted to it. I find it seductive, though I am a reluctant paramour.
I look at those disgusting autopsy photos on the internet. They are horrifying. And mesmerizing. They scare me. Because it could be me lying there cold and waxen. And they comfort me. Because it's not me lying on that table, with my breasts hanging slack and empty at my sides and all my battle wounds on display.
I look at crime scene photos, accident photos, forensic photos. I am held in thrall, though my palms sweat and my stomach heaves. I just can't help it, though sometimes, I am regret having looked.
Would I have the same fascination with death and death culture if I had some sort of faith regarding life after death?
I don't know.
My friend, the one who died recently, was convinced that people could reach out from beyond the grave. She was a huge fan of John Edwards, and attended no less than five tapings of his show. I think she even got to ask him a question on camera once.
During our 2007 trip to Chicago, Terri, the owner of the guesthouse, came to hang out with us one night. We drank wine and chit chatted about all kinds of things; some meaningless, some deep and profound.
At one point, the conversation turned to "ghosts" and "spirits". The majestic townhouse in which we were staying was very old and naturally, my friend wondered if anyone had ever seen or felt any "presences."
Terri told us that many guests had seen or felt such presences. She told us about the history of the building and the neighborhood, and it didn't seem unreasonable that there would be some echoes of Chicago's tumultuous past lingering there.
My friend was terribly excited by the prospect that we might encounter one of these presences.
I teased her good naturedly, and later pooh-pooh'd her assertion, as well as that of several of the other girls, that they had indeed seen and felt something. I told them it was the power of suggestion that haunted them, and not a ghost.
Blogger, thy name is skeptic. And I'm a seeing is believing kind of gal.
Would you be surprised to learn then, that recently, my friend spoke to me?
I didn't listen at first. I dismissed it as a coincidence. A pretty amazing one to be sure, but a coincidence nonetheless.
But something about it must have gotten a hold on me, because I was compelled to share it with another friend of ours, who shared it with a family member of my dead friend, who then told her something, which, when she relayed it back to me....made my flesh break out in goosebumps and the tiny hairs at the nape of my neck stand at attention.
Still, I tried to talk myself out of it.
It's just wishful thinking, I reasoned. My grief is making me vulnerable to all kinds of things I wouldn't normally fall prey to. I'm grabbing at straws. I'm making something out of nothing.
But I couldn't get it out of my mind.
And then it occurred to me that she would certainly believe she could reach out to someone after she had passed on. If she had something to say, she would believe absolutely that we would hear her.
I realized I had let go of my doubts and hear her.
I know, you all think I'm nuts. And maybe I am. But practical to a fault though I may be, even I have to sit up and take notice when something like this thwaps me on the forehead.
I guess I'd rather be crazy than close minded.
So...I heard you, L. Loud and clear.
And don't you worry, hon.