Why Do You Believe in the Paranormal?

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Losing Mom wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is dealing with the aftermath. Trying to keep siblings from gouging each other’s hearts out ranks right up there in the Top Two Most Difficult Aspects of Losing a Parent. Then there’s cleaning out the mountains of debris and accumulated detritus crowding Mom’s home of close to 50 years. And oh boy, could she pack it in! Every crevice and cranny was stuffed, quite literally to the rafters, with…everything. I found report cards from every grade. Every. One. The silly notes I passed between friends at school. Faded art projects. And while I have no desire to actually keep the majority of the stuff I unearthed, it still gave me a pretty serious pang to have to throw it all away.

Now comes the paranormal part…

Mom’s house is 1500 miles away from the home I live in now, in Seattle. I was last there a couple months ago, after Mom passed, to help with cleaning and to pick up some items. I stayed in my old bedroom and listened to the sounds of the house around me as I lay awake late at night. This creak, or that sigh as it shifted in the wind, and the clicks and whirrs of the appliances and heating system were all so very familiar.

Also familiar was the sound of Mom’s footsteps as she’d walk down the hall to the bathroom. Her tread was light, but still thudded softly on the thick carpet of the upstairs hall. And there – the squeak of the loose floorboard right outside my room. Two nights in a row, I heard those footsteps, and that distinct squeal that could only be the sound of weight pressing on that creaky spot. The first night, she even paused outside my door, and tapped on it softly.

Did I get up and answer? Nope. I’m ashamed to admit that when the absolute reality of life after death smacked me in the face at 1 a.m. I was afraid. Not of Mom. I wasn’t afraid of her spirit standing there on the other side of the door.

Nope.

It was a purely visceral reaction to the validation of everything I believed. The fear was because I sorta held onto a bit of doubt about – everything. That night, that tiny bit of doubt was obliterated.

Even after decades of paranormal experiences – physically running into ghosts, communicating with them, and having those experiences validated by other sources, I still held onto a tiny kernel of skepticism. And I was okay with that. I was okay with the dichotomy of believing and not believing. My own Schroedinger’s Cat scenario – both real and not real. I could tell people, “Well, this happened, but…” As if that ‘but’ gave me, and everyone else, a way to dismiss what I was legitimately experiencing.

Hearing Mom walk the hallway, just like she did in life, erased forever any lingering doubt I might have had. And that was just a bit terrifying.

It was also freeing. I no longer had to cling to that little kernel. There was simply no other explanation for the sound of her footsteps, and the creak of the floorboard than the presence of her spirit walking past my door. Period. And if her spirit was real, then it suddenly made everything else I’d seen, or heard, or felt, just as real.

The second night, Mom once more stood outside my bedroom door and gently tapped. This time, I talked to her. She was concerned about some family stuff, and I reassured her. She wanted to let me know she was okay, and still around. I told her I was grateful she came back this night, after I was so afraid the night before. We had a good talk, comforting, and she faded away. I knew she wouldn’t be back.

And that was okay. Because although her body was gone, her spirit lives on. I no longer have any doubts about that at all.

Tell me, what made you believe? I would love to hear your stories!

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