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Author Topic: Speaking with the Dead?  (Read 6765 times)
Altair
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« Topic Start: November 02, 2007, 11:18:44 am »

Today being el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in Mexico, I figured it was a good time to discuss something...

My grandmother died in June at the age of 95. We were very close; I used to call her every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to check on her and catch up. She'd been in robust health until the last two years, when she declined rapidly. A few days before she died, when she was really suffering, she said she was ready to move on and asked me to let her go; and I told her that I'd be fine, she should go whenever she was ready. "And I'm still going to call you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday," I told her.

Call me crazy, but I still do. I take a few minutes on those days, dial her old phone number in my head (sometimes I even pantomime pressing the touchtones), and carry on a conversation with her. She used to love to travel before infirmity made her homebound, and I imagine what exotic locale from which she's speaking to me, now that she's free to roam the world again.

So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this? Is this ancestor veneration? Mexicans are having picnics on the graves of their loved ones today, so how nuts can I be? Hilary Clinton has conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt, after all.

Do I *really* believe I'm talking to her? No, and yes. My spiritual beliefs include the concept that there's no real separation between the individual and the rest of the world; so my grandmother lives on in the world around me. So how can I *not* be speaking with her?

Thoughts, please!
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Ocelot
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« Reply #1: November 02, 2007, 11:31:58 am »

Thoughts, please!

I don't think you're nuts at all. Personally, I'm on the fence about what spirits/ghosts actually are because my general belief is that when we die, all of our bits become part of the greater divine. Though I have had personal experience with visible spirits.
It's funny you brought this up today though, just a little while ago I was discussing this with Shad and Andy in the MUX.

Anyway, I don't think you're nuts. Even if it turned out that you weren't actually communicating directly with your grandmother, what's the harm. It might be filling a need that you have inside of you which is important in and of itself.

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« Reply #2: November 02, 2007, 12:00:31 pm »

Today being el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in Mexico, I figured it was a good time to discuss something...



Thoughts, please!


I hope Ocelot is right; that when we die, we become part of it "all" again....but I don't know precisely when that happens.  My experience is that something personal sure seems to survive for a while at least.  I am going to a Day of the Dead party tomorrow....and carrying beloved dead in my heart.
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Mari
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« Reply #3: November 02, 2007, 01:09:21 pm »

Do I *really* believe I'm talking to her? No, and yes. My spiritual beliefs include the concept that there's no real separation between the individual and the rest of the world; so my grandmother lives on in the world around me. So how can I *not* be speaking with her?

When my grandmother passed away just before Lughnassad 2007, after I came back home from taking care of everything, for about a month, now and again, I'd dial her telephone number. Even though I knew I'd get the "disconnected or no longer in service" recording, I'd dial it anyway. It was the last connection I had with her. Or so I felt at the time. The grief process is very strange. At times when I didn't feel really silly, I'd tell her I loved her, that I hoped she was feeling okay, etc.

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« Reply #4: November 02, 2007, 01:17:11 pm »

So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this? Is this ancestor veneration? Mexicans are having picnics on the graves of their loved ones today, so how nuts can I be? Hilary Clinton has conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt, after all

I still talk to my father. Periodically 'just because' but also when my mother is being extremely difficult and stubborn about it. I will usually ask him to go talk sense into her, and when we try again, life is *much much* better. (This hasn't always meant she agreed with me, but it has usually gotten us to 'civil conversation with her recognising I might have a point, and avoiding unnecessary emotional leverage' which is really all I want.)

I haven't had any other deaths where they were people I talked to regularly, though.
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Altair
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« Reply #5: November 02, 2007, 03:17:56 pm »

my general belief is that when we die, all of our bits become part of the greater divine.

This is very similar to my belief. I would add that we always are part of the greater divine--inseparable from the universe around us--but we "forget," seduced by the illusion of separation that is our individuality. When we die, our individuality melts away, and we "remember".

Our uniqueness lives on in how our lives--what we did, who we were--changed that universe, in whatever small part.

Maybe speaking to the dead, an act that's inspired by the lives they lived, calls a bit of them back to what they were.
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Altair
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« Reply #6: November 02, 2007, 03:20:32 pm »

At times when I didn't feel really silly, I'd tell her I loved her, that I hoped she was feeling okay, etc.



That is not silly, in my book. I do that all the time.
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Altair
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« Reply #7: November 02, 2007, 03:24:48 pm »

I still talk to my father. Periodically 'just because' but also when my mother is being extremely difficult and stubborn about it. I will usually ask him to go talk sense into her, and when we try again, life is *much much* better.

My sister and I quarreled viciously yesterday--we rarely do, we're usually thick as thieves--but we made up today. And one of the impetuses (besides the fact that we both realized we were being idiots) was that I really didn't want to "call" my grandmother today (it's Friday) and have to tell her we were at each others throats!

I haven't had any other deaths where they were people I talked to regularly, though.

I'm glad.
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« Reply #8: November 02, 2007, 06:19:52 pm »

So am I nuts?

Absolutely.  And it's one of the sweetest things I've heard in a while.  Smiley

I haven't lost many people dear to me in my life (been really lucky that way), but if I do, I suspect I'll carry on talking to them well after they're gone.  Heck, I often have pretend conversations with my kid when he's not around.  Wink

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« Reply #9: November 04, 2007, 10:51:06 am »

Today being el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in Mexico, I figured it was a good time to discuss something...

My grandmother died in June at the age of 95.
Call me crazy, but I still do. I take a few minutes on those days, dial her old phone number in my head (sometimes I even pantomime pressing the touchtones), and carry on a conversation with her. She used to love to travel before infirmity made her homebound, and I imagine what exotic locale from which she's speaking to me, now that she's free to roam the world again.

So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this? Is this ancestor veneration? Mexicans are having picnics on the graves of their loved ones today, so how nuts can I be? Hilary Clinton has conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt, after all.

Thoughts, please!


If you are nuts, I hate to think of what that makes me - nuts to the 10th power maybe?  Grin

I communicate with my deceased relatives quite frequently. They can even pop in at quite the most unexpected times. Once I was shopping and saw some pillows that were embroidered with my grandmother's favorite flowers. I wanted to get them, but thought the color was off for my sofa (which had belonged to my mother-in-law) Well, suddenly my grandmother is there and she tells me to go ahead an get them, they might look good elsewhere, then my mother-in-law pops in and insists they will look good on her sofa....well, they get into it and start having a conversation about decorating with the pillows as though I wasn't there. Both were really into home decorating when alive, but they never met each other in this life. I bought the pillows, and they matched perfectly.

One thing with me anyway, when talking to the dead, is that it is not a normal word for word conversation, I refer to it as speaking in "full thoughts" it's like getting an entire paragraph or even page of information at once. I hope that makes sense.

So, rest assured that you are quite sane, comparativley speaking anyway -  Grin
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« Reply #10: November 04, 2007, 11:32:08 am »

So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this?

You are NOT nuts.  Smiley I talk to my brother every once in a while.He died in 2004 in a car accident (he was only 33). He and I weren't that close when he was alive, but now I talk to him often. Sometimes I swear he whispers answers to me! Last year, my car was having problems, and I didn't know what was wrong. I know zip about cars, except how to add more oil. I can't even change a tire. Yet I kept having a nagging little voice in the back of my head say it was the starter. One day it wouldn't start, and the mechanic said it was the starter. There was no way I could have known that! And then there was the time I felt that same voice telling me my tire was going to blow out. It did, one week later.

Oh, and my brother was a mechanic.   Wink

I still feel sad that I never spent that much time with him in this life, so I try to show him that I do love him by talking to him now.
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« Reply #11: November 08, 2007, 12:48:29 am »

So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this? Is this ancestor veneration? Mexicans are having picnics on the graves of their loved ones today, so how nuts can I be? Hilary Clinton has conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt, after all.

Do I *really* believe I'm talking to her? No, and yes. My spiritual beliefs include the concept that there's no real separation between the individual and the rest of the world; so my grandmother lives on in the world around me. So how can I *not* be speaking with her?

Last week, for whatever reason, I could smell my grandmother's scents everywhere - perfume, mints, a little cat hair. It's too bad I can't remember if it started before or after I began a short-term campaign to mention her everyday.

It's all bound up in the ancient Egyptian idea that to speak of the dead is to make them live again. I follow it sort of haphazardly (like the time I went reading off the names on the graves around hers until my sister told me to shut it) but it's an idea that I like. There's also evidence that letters and petitions to dead relatives were found in tombs but I've gotten the uniform impression that it's not something she would like to be involved in.

A bit rambly, so I'll go to bed. Hope that helped.
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« Reply #12: November 08, 2007, 10:40:24 am »

Last week, for whatever reason, I could smell my grandmother's scents everywhere - perfume, mints, a little cat hair.

I have a great aunt who passed in 1998. I smell her perfume everywhere. Her mother, too, now and again.
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« Reply #13: November 08, 2007, 06:37:47 pm »

Today being el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in Mexico, I figured it was a good time to discuss something...


Thoughts, please!


For me it's dreams, and your phone reference reminded me of this.

I have recurring dreams that I am in my grandmothers house, and I know she's dead, but no one else does.  Then again I'm the only member of my family who's there.  Me and Grandma and we talk, catch up and hang out.  We sit and do nails like we used to, and it's always night and we're always the only ones up.

What's different is the house though.  Instead of being an amazing dream house on a lake, like it was, it's a room inside a decaying husk of a house that is held in place by the light over the table.  Outside of the light over the table, the place is an old wooden skeleton of what it was.  The boards are showing through the ceiling and the floor and scary things are there.  The only thing that keeps us together is the light.

Then the phone rings, and she is gone.  I answer the phone and a voice (usually male) asks for Charlotte (her name).  All of a sudden the light is gone, and the entire house is decomposing around me, the walls falling down, and the wallpaper peeling and I'm left trying to explain to the person on the other end of the phone that she was here, but she's not here now, cause really she's dead, but I'll take a message and the next time I talk to her I'll tell her... but at this point I'm getting desperate to get out, because I know the place is about to collapse and then I wake up.
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« Reply #14: November 09, 2007, 12:48:41 pm »


So am I nuts? Does anybody else do anything like this?

I don't think your nuts.  I have experiences like this quite often.  I haven't yet been contacted by my grandmother.  She passed away so recently that I still have the wilted flowers sitting in my house.  I can't bring myself to get rid of them.  It's funny how our grandma's mean so much to us.  I was somehow living with the strange illusion she would live as long as I would.
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