Tag Archives: ghosts

seeking in the darkness

These days I can’t sleep. I have tried sorts of measures: drugs, teas, homeopathic herbs, meditation, alcohol, acupuncture. Nothing helps with any consistency.  My eyes are wide open in the darkness. The early morning is a quiet, otherworldly time, laced with the nonsensical. My heartbeat is noisy in my ears. Minutes stand still yet hours fly by. I wander barefoot on hard tile floors, a specter in my own home. Sometimes I stagger outside and the cold air shocks my skin, reminding me of my mortality.

If I could make contact with my mother, it would have to be here, in this space where my spirit seems slightly disconnected from my body, where time and space take on a different texture. Irrationally, I believe if I could make contact with her, if her ghost could tuck me in and rub my back as if I were a colicky baby, then I could fall into a heavy and restful sleep. She could soothe my worries and I could drift away in the sunlight of her smile. But I feel nothing except the dog pressing against my leg, a reflexive attempt to keep me grounded. I see nothing, no green lights floating in the darkness, no ghostly shadows of her smile. I don’t feel soothed.

Even in the witching hours, magical thinking fails me. I seek her in the blackness and find nothing, Frustrated with my empty grasp, I think ugly thoughts about everyone who ever said “yes, my loved one is gone, but I feel them with me all the time.” Comically, a group that includes me. So I keep wandering, or lying still in the darkness, listening to my breathing, until my soul gives up this endless searching and I collapse into a fitful sleep for another few hours.

one of the haunted

Halloween.  Día de los Muertos. The season of the undead, of ghosts come to visit the living.  The stories we tell this time of year speak of forbidden desires and longing for that which we cannot let go. The fear of ghosts we felt as children grows into a thrill to think maybe those that have left us aren’t really gone, that maybe they can come back to give us messages, check up on us, or just to have a good time in the way you can only on Earth.

I have always had a skepticism about the afterlife, but when my mother was dying, I held her thin hand and asked for her to come visit me after she had gone.

If you can, anyway that you can, I want you to come to me and let you know that you are there.

She amused me and said she would try.

She hasn’t done a very good job.

I live 40 miles from Mexico, and calavera skulls stare at me from store windows. Miniature skeletons drink alcohol or play mariachi tunes.  Carved pumpkins glow yellow in the dying sunlight.  It is the season to celebrate the haunting and the haunted, but I am not one of them.

She simply isn’t here.

I don’t hear her voice, feel her sweet presence.

She is gone.

In this season of ghosts, I wish my dear one would visit.  I wish I was one of the haunted.