It is wonderful that five thousand years have now elapsed since the creation of the world, and still it is undecided whether or not there has ever been an instance of the spirit of any person appearing after death. All argument is against it; but all belief is for it.” — Samuel Johnson
When I was a little girl, I was taught that spirits were real and some people could even see them walking among us. Hence, the topic of spirits and ghosts was not taboo.
My husband grew up Catholic. When it was uncovered that my family believed in spirits, my husband seemed certain that Catholic’s don’t believe in that. He was open-minded to it and accepted it to be true, but warned me that he didn’t think his mom believed in that stuff.
Flash forward to 2012. My husband never pressured me to seek out what the Catholic faith was all about. But as time passed and I grew more curious about my spirituality and life purpose, I felt it was the right time to attend classes to learn about his Catholic faith. In fact, he attended them with me!
Imagine my surprise when one night an inquirer asked the priest to explain the Catholic Church’s stance on spirits. My eyes grew wide and I sat up straight. I wanted to hear the answer to this one! In fact, I was nervous to hear Father’s response. Up until that point, everything the Church was teaching enhanced what I’d learned on my own, so I hoped that his answer regarding spirits would reflect what I already knew to be true!
After a moment of silence so he could gather his thoughts, Father began: “I don’t believe the Church has any explanation for spirits, so you’re free to believe what you want.”
I was elated! I wanted to sing “Hallelujah”!
Father continued by saying that he believes there is a connection between those who are dying and those who have already passed. He went on to tell us the story of how his mother who, during those last few months of life, saw her husband and mother.
At home, Father noticed that she suddenly started to cook two bagels instead of one. When asked who the other bagel was for, she’d reply, “Your dad.” Her husband had passed several years before.
And at the hospital, she’d ask Father, “Where did my mom go?” Apparently, her deceased mother was visiting her in the hospital.
I raised my hand to comment, “I was taught to believe that dead relatives come around those who are dying to help make the transition easier.”
I was grinning wide on the inside because Father agreed!
Then I noticed another inquirer shake her head back and forth with an expression on her face that read, Stop talking about this spirit stuff. It’s freaking me out. I giggled to myself. Either she doesn’t believe or has seen them herself and was praying to never see them again.
It was then that I recalled how my son was my own proof that this does happen. He’d seen the spirits of two family members at the bedside of his grandfather in 2011 when his grandfather was on life support. I remember crying when we were able to confirm the names of those who’d past to the names my son spoke.
For me, knowing that they will come around me near my death is comforting. In fact, every time another relative or close friend passes, I view it as one more person who will greet me on my death bed.
And that makes me smile.