Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Loved Ones Never Really Die

Lydia “Red” Talbot is aided through getting her mojo back by her husband, Mac, who’s been dead three years. His return is both shocking and comforting for her and a big part of the book, Red Mojo Mama.

There’s a reason why Mac returns to his wife this way. It’s because I lost my beloved husband in 1998 and all these years later he haunts me, in a good way. Oh, I don’t see him – Devon “Pete” Hall – in the traditional sense that people talk about ghosts and nowadays he rarely comes around anyway. But that wasn’t true in the beginning and I tried to let Red have a similar experience.

Whatever your religion, most people believe in an afterlife of some kind. I don’t have any secret keys to how or why, but I’m completely convinced that we become something else on a different plane. Part of the reason is because I’ve experienced times of knowing Pete was around me. I still do – not as often as I’d like, though.

I’m sure this will seem too weird or too personal for some, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to say for a while and giving Red her ghostly husband was part of that. Here’s the rest.

When Pete first passed away, my first awareness of his presence was very physical. Twice I felt him pass through me. Once it felt as if he was massaging my terribly bruised heart. I relaxed that time – quit crying and was able to return to work. I know I didn’t imagine it – he WAS there.

Then there was a whole series of instances when I would smell him. Not just in the apartment where our little family had lived, but in a house in another state, with all his things put away. The strong scent of Lagerfeld, cigars and Ben-Gay permeated the air around me, suddenly and regularly.

My favorite way he presented himself, and the only way I still sense him, is with the appearance of butterflies. Once, we had gone as a family to the San Diego Zoo and all of us entered the butterfly exhibit, where the magical winged creatures fly freely. While most people had a butterfly, or two, land on them, Pete was swarmed with them. One persistent Tiger stayed with us throughout the time in the exhibit and finally Pete had to shoo it away.

Whenever I’m sad or just kind of blue, a white butterfly will appear out of nowhere. Pete’s favorite song at the end of his life was “If I Could Change the World,” by Eric Clapton. About a year ago, I was feeling devastated and at a traffic light turned on the radio. That song came on and at just that moment I looked out at the hood of my car – right then a white butterfly landed smack-dap in the center. No one will ever be able to tell me that this wasn’t Pete giving me encouragement.

So, I made a conscious decision to put ghosts in all my stories. Why? Because I love writing the part of a happy ghost and because I believe that spirits are all around us, especially those of the ones we still love whether they are with us anymore or not.


  1. I understand and this speaks to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Leticia - I wasn't sure about putting it up. I appreciate your support.

  3. I've never experienced a presence, but two of my daughter's have and my 4 year old grandson. My oldest daughter has seen and heard things in our 100+ year old house that no one can explain. My youngest daughter has had dreams and felt the presence of people she has lost that were close to her. The most profound proof that I have is my grandson's experiences. My oldest daughter lives by herself with him in the house that was originally owned by her deceased father-in-law. My grandson sees him all the time. He's even told my daughter some of the things that he has told him. He calls him grand daddy, which is what the other grand children called him. He died 10 years before my grandson was born. Even though I've never experienced it, no one can convince me that there isn't an afterlife and that those we have lost aren't somehow watching over us. I would also never question anyone else's experiences. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Creative - I really appreciate your comments and relating your experiences. I think there are many out there like us, who are sometimes made to feel ridiculous. That's one of the reasons I wrote this. Thanks again.

  5. What a perfect post for me to find on the eve of my father's funeral..thank you so much for sharing! Great timing :)

  6. Lisa - I'm glad it was good timing for you. I wish you peace.

  7. What a moving post. My neighbor's husband died years ago. One morning, when she was having a hard time just getting out of bed, he came and laid down beside her. It gave me goosebumps when she told me about it.

  8. I just teared up, in a good way. Thank you so much for sharing. It sounds sort of corny, but this post provided with a sense of relief. Thank you.

  9. I lost my 21 year-old son in 1997. I can tell you that I've had many of the experiences you've had. He let's me know he's around with either a heads up penny or a white feather. I was in the mall and was having a particularly hard day. Needless to say, I turn and on the floor, in the mall was a white feather.
    He used to come much more often. I think as time passes, they move onto whatever the next level is and it becomes much more difficult to get a sign to us.

  10. What a beautiful post! I know this comment is late in coming, but I just saw your Tweet and had to come over.

    You made a fifty-year old man cry. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Nor am I leaving without clicking the follow button.

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. I wish you nothing but peace and blessings.

  11. Bryce - I kept meaning to come back and thank you for your comment. I'm so happy that you reacted that way. Often, people think these thoughts are silly. Thank you with all my heart. I hope you'll see this.