Hurry with the Headstone

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My mother died on October 31,  1997. Her  death was especially hard for  me because we had  grown so close during  her last year.  I wasn’t  there when she died, and this fact always stayed  with me.

I had  the task of picking out her  tombstone. I wanted  something nice, so I ordered a stone with flowers etchings on it.  They told me that this might  take a bit longer due to  all the extra etchings.

My husband Miles often sleeps in our  spare bedroom,  where I had set up Mother’s bed, Miles is one  of those  people who never remembers his dreams. One day in  November, he came into our room and announced that he had just talked to my mother. This didn’t  upset  him; he was  more in  a state of awe.

Miles said that Mother told him to tell me to get the   headstone on her grave because she was “tired of telling folks  who I am. “She mentioned the flowers that were  being  etched  on her stone. (I hadn’t  told Miles  about that because it cost so much.)

I knew in my heart that Mother talked to Miles  that  morning. No  one else had known about the flowers, and  her quotations sounded  exactly like what she  would have said to me.

Of course,  I immediately had the  headstone job rushed,  so that Mom wouldn’t  have to “tell folks” who she was.

Electronic visits

Two months after my husband’s unexpectedly death in  1992,  his spirit came to visit. I had  fallen asleep in bed when my  stereo woke me up, playing full  blast. It startled me, But I  didn’t  think much of it . I assumed I had  left it on accidentally. Then I remembered that it had not been on the night before.

The next day, I mentioned this incident to my friend, “Eleanor,” she said, “Paul came to visit last night.”  My friend had been awakened on her sofa by her Dog barking at her dog barking at her door. She turned to see what the Dog was  upset  about and saw Paul standing by the door in white clothing.

She sat up, rubbed her eyes, and said his name,  but he was gone. On Paul’s birthday in 1997, my daughter katie called to   say she needed a ride home. When I went  to the car, I had a  message on my cell phone.

That was  strange, because my  daughter was the only one who  ever called me on it.  When I  retrieved  the message, I was shocked to find  that the entire conversation that I had  had with my daughter on my home phone was recorded on my cell phone voice mail, I have  been told  that this is  impossible.

Paul’s favorite time of the  year  was the holidays. That  same year we were  again packing for Christmas vacation. Katie had a  Tamagotchi doll,  which were all the  rage a  few   years back. The battery had run dead and she had not played  with it  for months.

While she was  packing,  it began beeping. She  looked at it and its little display window read, “Hi Katie.” Since  there is no way to type anything into the  toy, I knew that it was Paul. After a while, the screen went blank. This happened again on Christmas Day.

Since Paul  was quite a  bit older than me, he always joked  about coming back to visit if he died . I now  know he meant  it.  It has been more than a year since  his last visit. I miss  him,  but it was time for his  spirit to move on.

Eleanor Ahlstrand

 Sacramento, California

October 1999

 

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