The Haunting in Josephburg

How does one politely tell the spirits to bugger off?

They mean well. I know this. Our dead family only has our best interests at the center of their wispy insubstantial hearts, but my personal preference is to live in psychically deaf ignorance of any coming catastrophes or even minor bumps. And I am not talking “bumps” in the night.

Or the early morning light.

I haven’t been able to get a full night’s uninterrupted sleep since Rob’s heart attack. Some of it, I will concede, is the reactivation of my caregiver’s spidey sense, but the physical presence(s) in our room are not helping.

For some reason, I am able to tune in to the frequency of the departed with nerve jangling clarity in the early morning hours. I wake nearly every night to the powerful sense of someone standing by the windows.

Thursday morning I was awakened by footsteps that started at the door and ended at the foot of the bed. I started because they were loud and opened my eyes to spy a human shape heading towards Rob’s side of the bed.

Sunrise filtered illuminated the shape and I assumed it was Rob. He is often up to use the bathroom on the main floor. I heard him ask,

“What’s wrong?”

“I heard footsteps,” I told him and thinking now that they were his, I went back to sleep.

Only it wasn’t Rob.

Later as I thought about it more – while sitting in the ER as the doctor tried to determine if Rob had suffered another heart attack – I realized that the figure was clad in light coloured clothing. Rob’s robe is dark and even when he shuns it – which he isn’t at the moment with my mother visiting – he is dark.

The chest pains turned out to be a reaction to the Lipitor, which is another kettle of fish for another day, but as I headed into town to spring Rob from the Fort Hospital – also a tale for a day soon – Metallica came on the radio.

Metallica is hardly in popular radio rotation anymore. When the rare song turns up, it usually comes at “interesting” moments in my life. As they were my late husband’s favorite band, I have to wonder at the timing.

“These are definitely messages for you, ” Rob remarked when I told him about it later.

Perhaps I should pay more attention than he did.

6 thoughts on “The Haunting in Josephburg

    1. Based on past experiences, they are never trying to just say “hi” or “you’re going to win the lottery!”. It’s usually to warn about severe health issues or impending death. Cheery bunch, our spirits. That said, I am not certain I want a point blank message. Ignorance is bliss for a reason.

  1. All this in the post is real and not fiction? Puzzled. Have not been on your blog for a while and I suppose I’m confused. Sorry.

    On your comment about the memoir, I’d like to say that a memoir can be like any other book, not necessarily a lesson hidden somewhere, but an expression of your individuality.

    Been reading “Old Friend from far away” by Natalie Goldberg, so am full of ideas on memoirs. Ok, I’ll stop rambling now.

    1. Yes, it’s real. The whole “ghost” thing is a longer story still, but main point is that our house is haunted and the spirits tend to manifest themselves just before big events like my husband’s heart attack or when someone is going to die. I could live without this early warning system myself.

      Good point about the memoir.

  2. I don’t know where this thought came from…but I wondered if there is something unfinished. Something you’ve started and need to see through until the end. Then the memoir came to mind but it might not be anything that literal. Just asking….

    1. Why would they care though? And what’s the hurry is more the question. A rather disconcerting question too.

      The problem with the memoir that I keep circling back to is “who gives a fuck?” Seriously, memoirs should have points beyond “here is the tragedy I endured and triumphed over and this is what I learned that you should know about”. Because who am I after all and what makes my take on death, widowhood, remarriage so special?

      Frankly, I am way out of step with the prevailing winds on all of the above.

      I roam far and wide and widow memoirs are starting to be a dime a dozen. Most of them are hookless in that they aren’t special. Spouses die all the time. Kids are semi orphaned. So what? And the whole “grief process” angle is made up. It’s no different than any of the 12 step/self-help crap that has become a cornerstone of what is wrong with society anymore. We don’t accept that most of what happens over the course of life is just life and our reactions, triumphs and failures have all been done before and with less navel gazing fanfare.

      I won’t dispute the reality that someone is trying to tell me something, but I doubt it’s the memoir.

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