Family ghosts

Family ghosts teach too.  At least that’s what I found out the other day.  While talking with a family member, her dead husband came to see me.  It was the second time.  The first I didn’t mention to her but this time I did.  More...


You see.  He wasn’t someone I was particularly fond of while he was alive.  This man hurt Claude and me.  No matter how I tried to be fair in thinking there are always two sides to every story, he was one of the meanest people I’ve ever known.  Because he was part of the family, I tried to ignore those qualities.  Truly, most people liked him but, let’s just say, he had his ways.


The lady with whom I was talking asked me to let her know if he ever came to see me but I didn’t.  After all, he wasn’t someone I wanted visiting and we didn’t really like one another.  When he asked me to tell her something, I told him no.  The feeling around him hadn’t changed much from when he was alive which wasn’t too long ago.  Not one of my favorite feelings.  So, I sat silently listening to my relative talk and didn’t mention it.


He came again while I was speaking with her at another time and this time I felt differently.  No, it didn’t mean I was glad he was there but I did want to ease her burden.  Each of the two times he’d come to my home after his death, we’d converse quickly and that would be that but this time, I told her.  She stopped for a moment as I told her what he’d said and then you could hear her voice choke up.  Next, I told her that he seemed happier.  She asked why and I said that he thought we’d forgiven one another.  This relative of mine said that was one of the last things he told her.  He’d said he didn’t want to go to the other side without forgiving me.


Though he’s still not one of my favorite people, and I’d rather not have to relay another message, I learned something from him that day.  The joy I felt from him when he thought we’d forgiven one another was immense.  What I don’t think he let himself realize when he went to the other side is that I’d forgiven him long ago but that didn’t mean I wanted to be close again.  Just because you forgive doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time to learn to trust again and to gain that trust.  But anyway, he seems happier and I’m happy for him.


Da Juana

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Replydeborahd
    Dear DaJuana: a while back I asked for your advice regarding a friend I’d been extremely close to for 20 years. She had taken advantage of our friendship a number of times, and more than ten years ago I finally severed the friendship. At the time I wrote you, I’d had many dreams regarding my old friend and I felt the dreams might foretell a crossing of our paths again. I wasn’t sure how I should handle that. You felt it WAS going to happen, and you said, “Smile, say hello if necessary, and keep on walking.” We sometimes have people in our lives who do not respect boundaries, and when we draw the line in the sand, they look askance. They ask US to change. Please take care of yourself and Claude; remember why you drew the line with these friends and keep walking. Deborah

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