Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth is a book that has been struggling to be written for nearly a year now. Even harder, though, is the struggle to publish it. Since this information is something that I feel needs to be released from my creative consciousness and into the All That Is, I am choosing to share this in my own way. So, I will be publishing each chapter on my blog separately and as they are completed.
Staying aims to explore why spirits choose to stay bound to the Earth plane. I have chronicled my personal experiences using my psychic lens. If you’ve lost someone, feel spirit energy or experience the paranormal in your life, I hope to give you a broader understanding as to why “haunting” happens.
Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth
Chapter One – Grandma’s House
I think it bears mentioning that regardless of my family’s intuitive tendencies, they have guarded these gifts in a haze of fierce denial. Talking to dead people was not considered appropriate Christian conversation – or even the conversation of rational adults. Even today, my relatives speak about the work that I do in hushed tones and behind closed doors. It is little wonder that I suppressed my, shall we say, unconventional talents as long as I did.
It is also not surprising that when I went to visit my Grandma Julie in the summer of 1999, she roundly refused to believe me when I told her that our dead relatives continued to roam the halls of her Minneapolis home.
It was a typical muggy, Midwestern summer when I landed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport fresh from my first year of college and eager to escape the teenaged emotional catastrophe I had created back home in California. My grandma and grandpa bought their modest three bedroom home in the early 1950’s, and promptly began raising a family. After four children, six grandchildren, and two husbands, both the house and my grandma had seen a lot. As is typical with older homes, my grandma’s house served as the backdrop for domestic upheavals large and small. It had that lived-in feel of a home that held many secrets. It was also the home where both my great-grandmother and my grandpa died.
And yet the history of the house did nothing to convince my grandmother that her late husband and mother were wandering around there or anywhere. To her, they had gone to heaven, and that was final. I wasn’t so sure about that.
Night after night I approached her with, what I thought, was ironclad evidence of the persistence of our dead relatives. And night after night, she rebuffed my claims, chalking it up to my overactive, and slightly dramatic, imagination.
From the first night of my stay in Minnesota, I heard all manner of strange goings-on in the hallway outside of my room. This room, I should add, was directly next to the room where my great-grandma stayed during the last days of her life. Every night, I would hear shuffling footsteps and hollow thumps – like the sound my 94 year-old great-grandma would make on the way down the hall to the bathroom using her walker. The skeptic in me, trying to talk myself down from near-hysteria, tried to explain the noises away by blaming them on one of the three cats in residence. But I knew perfectly well that none of the cats would set so much as a toe upstairs after I decided to go to bed. They would sleep on my bed all day and evening, but the second I announced I was retiring for the night, they would march downstairs. It was such an absurd show, I thought I was imagining it.
Finally, the thing that absolutely could not explain away were the intense temperature changes coupled with the over-whelming feeling of someone standing near my bed. Now, the late summers in Minnesota are extreme. High heat and humidity coupled with wild thunderstorms made me yearn for the calming offshore breezes typical of my home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Or at least for air-conditioning, which my grandma never had installed. So when a cool breeze began wafting over me in the early morning hours, chilling my sweat-dampened skin, I was more than a little unsettled. I was terrified.
As scared as I was, I knew it was more a reaction to the newness of the experience and not to any perceived malevolence. Whoever was shuffling up and down the hall and standing over me in bed was not evil or demonic. Once I realized this and got my wits about me, I figured that this presence as most likely my great-grandma and that she was simply dropping by to see me, sort of like a ghostly visitation. I eventually calmed down enough to recognize this and acknowledge her. When I did, I felt calmer, I felt the presence subside and the cool cloud lift away from me. My great-grandma had left.
Analyzing the experience many years later and through a psychic lens (after acknowledging said lens, of course), I began to understand a few things. First, my grandma’s house was most likely not “haunted” by anything or anyone. I was in a place that was familiar to my great-grandma, and that made it fairly easy for her to connect to me. She had to be a little dramatic about it because I wasn’t paying attention. But when I did, I realized that all she wanted was to be acknowledged by and commune with the great-granddaughter she loved dearly, but rarely saw.
I also realized that sometimes people can be “haunted.” That is, that some human beings can trigger ghostly activity based on their emotional state or their sensitivity to paranormal activity. At my grandma’s house, I was a sort of lightening rod for ghostly energy. You could say I was simply in the right place at the right time.
To my knowledge, no one else has had any other type of paranormal experience in that house. But I’ll never know. In late 2001, my grandma succumbed to cancer while I was living abroad in Australia. My relatives sold the house before I returned, and I never again set foot inside. And while I can choose to communicate with my late relatives consciously, I rarely do. They are together in the after-life and they are happy and they know that I am happy – and that is all any of us need to know.