Flash Essay Prompt: Hauntings

My four dead siblings haunt me. Not in a bad way, please understand. It is as if they are always nearby, as if they are sprawled on the couch and chairs near me now, reading, laughing, talking to one another. They also sometimes talk to me, but usually not. I can see them in my mind’s eye – I am using that phrase “mind’s eye” so you won’t think I am hallucinating. I’m not. It isn’t as if I am confused about reality. But they might as well be in full view because with almost no effort on my part, they are all here with me, all as I remember them, though younger than when they died, all in their mid to late twenties. Do other people do this? I am not seeing dead people, I know, but I am routinely visited by those clear memories/images of those closest to me who also happen to be dead.

Sometimes when I walk, I can feel two of my siblings walking beside me and two walking close behind. They are my guardians. They aren’t oppressive and they aren’t talking when this happens. They are just right there with me. It is as if they are linked with me through time and experience and family to such an extent that they are part of my DNA.

I realize this all sounds weird. Perhaps even a little unhealthy. Who needs the memories of these people to be so strong that they produce a sense of connection beyond the grave? And yet, for whatever reason, I feel them.

Not that I am constantly thinking of them. No, lots of time I am busy with my life and they are not on my mind. But if I do think of them, then there they are. I can hear my sister’s laugh – she laughed a lot. I can see my brother George sprawled out reading a novel – he read a lot. I can hear John joking – he joked a lot, and Jim giving advice – he advised a lot. They love me, each of them, and they support my efforts completely. They are my cheerleaders in life, pushing me to take a new and tougher road, encouraging me not to settle for less, to dream big. After all, what have I got to lose?

Some people would say that I just need to let the dead rest and get on with my life. I can see their point. Surely, it is a good thing to let the dead rest. However, it could be argued that having four of your five siblings (one is still alive) close to you in spirit (or in one’s heart) is a perfectly fine way to live a life. Some might even tell you that they have a mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife or child who visits them as well.

The most important aspect of this “haunting” is that it is not scary. It is not eerie or negative in any way. It is not even odd if you look at it from my point of view. These are four of the closest people in my life and it seems only natural that I would be reluctant not to think of them. The fact that there are four, well, I can’t help that. There are four. Oddly, my parents are only occasionally around and my best friend, who died too young, almost never makes an appearance.

I hope you won’t find this creepy. I wish I could convince you it’s not. It really isn’t. It is simply natural. The energy of love doesn’t dissipate fast, I think. No, I think it fades very slowly, especially if that love was strong.

The truth is that I hope that’s the case. I would miss my brothers and sister more than I already do if they weren’t around. Maybe they stay close or I keep them close just so I won’t miss them so much. That is possible. Probable more than possible.

Whatever the case, I can say I have known love. There is evidence of that in this feeling of closeness now. I am lucky in that regard. Yes, I am lucky, indeed.

I know they would agree.


7 thoughts on “Flash Essay Prompt: Hauntings”

  1. Exquisite piece of writing, Len. And OMG the picture — not a dry eye in the house. Thank you for sharing your love fortune with us.

  2. Wonderful piece of writing, Len. It reminds me of a book I just finished called The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, about the older brother of a woman who had struggled with addiction much of his life, he being the “bad boy” to her “perfect girl.” She, too, felt, and eventually talked to, her brother after his accidental (?) death and eventually they wrote a book to detail his afterlife. It could be just a nice story but there are things I experienced in my so-called “non-traditional” NDE that make me think there’s more to it than just imagination.

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