Many movies have been played across the big screen that brings to our attention the matter of ghosts. A Christmas Carol comes to mind as perhaps the classic regarding ghosts, but more recently Patrick Swayze made us see his ghost right after death in the aptly named Ghost. Trapped for a time, he is not alone in this surreal world. With so many books and movies on the topic, it makes one wonder if ghosts really do exist. According to the Bible, we can not cross over once we have passed. But as humans, we are free-minded and curious as to the unknown. I’ve lived in a very, very old house (by American standards) for many years. I have quite a few tales to tell in regards to his old place; yet, I am going to tell a different tale. Whether you choose to believe it or not, is your choice. It is about the dead and their ability to contact the living. It is about a brother, lost long ago in a stupid car wreck at the age of 23.
A promise for after death
Six months before my oldest brother Mark’s death, I was preparing to get married. Being the oldest, he felt inclined to take me out for a night of drink and dance with him as my escort. I agreed, half-heartedly to be honest, but was also glad to have an evening with him alone. A one point during the evening, Mark drove to one of our local parks that, as children, we had spent many days walking or playing in. Turning the car off, he wanted to talk. What came out of his mouth was totally unexpected by me. I had thought he was going to try to give some ‘marital advice,’ but that was not it at all. Turning to me in the car, he was serious.
“If one of us dies before the other, “he began, “then we must promise to make contact.”
“Contact?” I laughed, “What, am I supposed to call you on the phone?”
“Yeah, or leave a note.”
“Fine,” I agreed. He was so serious that it spooked me. “Do you think you are going to die or what?”
“No, I just want you and me to be in contact; at least try.” He was serious.
The conversation was pretty short. He was satisfied and started the car; we went out and had a nice time.
I got married a few weeks later. He married shortly after me.
Six months later, on a rainy night in March, he died.
When I got the phone call, it was four in the morning. There was a full moon outside my bedroom window and I wondered if he was looking at the same moon as I was. The next day, I received a phone call from my best friend who had moved to Colorado.
Can dreams be real?
“Is everything all right?” She asked. “Because I had a dream last night…”
Immediately I wanted to hear her dream before I told her the news.
“It was about Mark, “she began, “Is he all right?”
“What was the dream?” I answered.
“There was this big wrought iron fence, with a lot of people behind it. I saw Mark and we said hello. I wanted me to come over to his side, but he said no. He said that only certain people were allowed on that side and, I was not one of them. After I woke up, I understood; he was with the dead on the other side, you know.”
I nodded in understanding, even though she couldn’t see me.
“He died last night in a car accident.” The words felt so strange and final.
“I felt like he was all right.” She said trying to comfort me.
My thoughts went back to my conversation in the car with Mark six month before. That evening, while alone in my apartment, I had a moment to myself. I pulled out my wedding album and turned to the page with the family. Staring at Mark’s photo, I began to cry. “You said you would call me!” I felt silly and sad as tears streamed down my face as I sat on the floor. Just then, the telephone (an old Princess model) that was sitting on the table across the room, gave out a loud ring, lifting the handset off the base and sending it flying across the floor. Granted, I had a long cord on that phone, but still it was shocking. There sat the handset, on the carpet. I looked at it in dismay. The phone had never done that before! Who was on the other end? Was it God? Was it my brother? I had just cried out to him to call me! Holy cow, I was afraid. I stood up and went to pick up the phone, I was shaking.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Alison, it’s me Lisa, I just heard about Mark.”
“Oh my god Lisa…” and I began to tell her about the phone, the conversation months before, our promise. Had he called? I always felt he had. He had connected with me just like he had promised. Of course he could not talk to me on the phone, but the physical act of the handset flying off the base and onto the floor five feet away… that was surreal.
Three Years Later
Fast forward a few years…I penned this little piece.
I awoke early, once again aroused by the jolting ending of but another dream.
“I’m not sure if it really means anything or if it’s just my hidden desire to speak with him again.” I said to my mother as we shared a morning cup of coffee. Ever since my brother had died three years ago, I’ve had dreams of him coming to my rescue in one form or another. But lately I was beginning to wonder if these were really just dreams formed of my own sub-conscious need to be with him again or if they truly were messages from another ‘world.’
Just believing in another world or life-filled sphere is not too difficult to do. In fact, not imagining a life beyond this one is nearly impossible.
As my little family grew, I began to think less and less about Mark. I had four little girls to keep me quite busy. One morning when daughter number three awoke, she came into the kitchen still in her pajamas, she was then about nine or ten years old. She looked at me and told me point blank,
“Mommy, I had a dream about Uncle Mark last night.” I was shocked. A dream about a man she had never even met? None of my children were even born when he passed away. I didn’t even have any pictures around the house of him other than the one in the wedding album and a few random snap shots in some old albums.
“How did you know it was Uncle Mark?” I asked curious and thinking back to my girlfriends dream.
“He told me his name.” She said so innocently.
“Well, what did he look like? What was the dream about? What did he say?” I was eager to hear this from this little child. What could she know about my brother who had died so long ago now?
“He had curly blond hair and he was on a horse. He wanted me to ride a horse with him, but there was fence I had to climb over. I told him that I was not very athletic.” She was so matter of fact. I laughed, thinking of Mark on a horse. He loved to ride, it made sense to me. Also, his hair was curly. But, I was worried too. Why would he want my daughter to come over the fence? Later that day I called my girlfriend and told her about the dream.
“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “He’s not trying to harm her, he just wanted to meet her.”
A few more years passed and another dear friend of mine lost her brother in a freak accident. Later, she called me to tell me that she had a dream and in it she saw her brother and mine both riding horses. They had been childhood friends so long ago now. I felt good about this information as sad as both of their deaths were. It told me, we see our friends and we can communicate that to the living- in a dream perhaps, to ease our minds.
Years later, during a rough patch in my own life, Mark came to me in my dreams, once again rescuing me from the bad situation. It seemed a “theme” his rescuing me in my dreams.
What is the conclusion? I don’t know. Do you? Are there ghosts that surround us? Make things move or show us signs of their presence. Maybe I will dream of him again, maybe not. I have yet to find out if the dreams which I have had, and my daughter and friends, were just dreams or something more profound. But, how could I really? No man on earth really knows what is waiting for him after death. Perhaps if we knew it would elucidate our fears of the unknown world that wait for us all. Until that time comes we can only ponder their meanings over our morning coffee.