Posted by: nightmistwalker | October 29, 2014

Ghosts Among Us

Today, while walking across the grocery store parking lot, my mother was confronted by a woman. It took a moment for her to recognize “Carol”. Carol and I grew up together. We were in school together from 2nd grade, were members of the same Girl Scout troop (Mom was the leader), and lived for a while in the same neighborhood. Mom was delighted to see her and spent a few minutes catching up with her about her family.

Carol lives in the same house she grew up in. Mom checked to see if she knew all of Carol’s neighbors and asked how things were going. “Everything’s fine,” Carol assured her, “and Dad stops in occasionally to keep an eye on all of us.”

That caught Mom’s attention. Carol’s parents have been dead for 18 years.

“Your dad is still there?” she asked.

“He’s outside,” Carol responded. “Every once in a while, I can smell his pipe smoke. And, even more occasionally, I can smell Mom’s perfume in the house.”

Mom shared with her my experience with Dad’s spirit coming to tell me that he had died. Then, those two women stood in the grocery store parking lot and discussed the little they knew about ghosts.

When Mom called me tonight, it was to share this encounter. “She just came out with it,” Mom marveled. “There was no hesitation, and she didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed. Why did she tell me this?”

It’s Samhain, Mom. Carol is honoring her ancestors. Spirits and scents are connected in many cultures around the world. The veil between the worlds is thinning, and we are compelled to share our stories.

We rarely share those stories around campfires anymore. We have the Internet, now. Some of us have become less afraid to discuss them. One of Mom’s astonishments was that Carol was so open about sharing this. I assured her that these are natural occurrences that are more common than she realizes. We don’t hide anymore.

This is the season to share our stories. We have a few days until the Big Night. What ghost story do you have to share with me?

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