Yes, I am writing about conversations with our dear departed ones. Of course I won’t know any truths until I pass over to the other side myself, but I feel with all my heart that those we have loved are with us still. I think that they check up on us and, since where they are is a place of peace, they no longer worry about us. I believe that they celebrate who we are and the connection that they had with us.
There have been so many times that I heard a funny joke and I would look up at the ceiling and say, “you hear that one, Mom?” And I swear I could feeling her laughing along with me.
Same with my dad. In his later years, he cautioned everyone he knew about being careful of their balance. He would always carefully place his entire foot on a step before he took another step. Too many people, he said, just run up and down the stairs without being balanced and wonder why they fall. So these days I am very aware of how I walk, especially up and down stairs.
When I was a little girl, I loved visiting my grandparents. My grandmother, whom we all called “Ba,” would tell me stories of her life, her childhood, her family and how things were back when she was a young bride. She had more stories than anyone I ever knew, and I would sit there in the kitchen with her, spellbound.
When her favorite sister, Alice, died, it was the first time I knew anyone who had died. I asked Ba what happened to people when they die. In her own way, she reassured me that death was not the end, but a beginning to another life. I remember tearing up when I realized that she, too, would die someday. She laughed gently, hugged me and told me this:
“My child, when I die and you see me in my coffin, know this: what you see is will only my shell. The real me will have gone on to meet all my loved ones and friends and relatives who have also gone on before me. Life goes on, even if we don’t see it.” Somehow that made sense, and it comforted me.
These days when I am acutely aware that I have more years behind me than in front of me, I remember Ba’s comforting words. Life does go on, even if we don’t always see it.