Who’s afraid of ghosts? I remember just a short time ago, I used to not walk out in the pitch black. I would look over my shoulder in the dark all too often. When looking in a mirror I would not look to the far edges for fear as to what I would see there – what eyes would look back at me. I didn’t want to sit alone on a chair in the dark backyard. When I walked up the stairs from a dark basement I would walk just a tad faster toward the end in fear of that ever present fearsome ghost grabbing me. Maybe these were normal fears, or maybe conjured up by the fear of the unknown.
But now that has all changed.
I embrace sitting alone for long stretches in the pitch black backyard. When I look in a mirror, I look to the edges, I look to the farthest point of reflection I can see, I stare at the little shards of a shattered mirror. I sit in the dark often, I stand on the deck at night alone looking at the chairs on the patio below me. When I get home late at night I sit in my still car alone for just a few more moments than usual. I walk slowly from the car to the front door. I am no longer afraid.
And I am sure I am not alone. I am sure every grieving parent knows why I do this.
I look at that chair and wait and wish to see Andrew there staring back at me and smiling. I recall the hours him and I spent during his last summer, sitting in those chairs talking and listening by the fire. I look in the mirror in hopes of seeing my son’s face looking back at me for just an instance. I stand on the deck alone hoping that I will hear his voice saying “Daddy, I am okay”. Just to hear his voice one more time.
I long to be one of those grieving parents who has a conversation with their child that was taken from them way to soon. I want to sit up at night and see him sitting at the end of the bed and have a conversation with him until he says he has to go – but tells me he is happy, peaceful and he wishes for me and Mommy to be happy again. I want to hear him say he will be there waiting for us when our times come. I want to be one of those who sees their child’s beautiful face looking back at them in the mirror, or their image standing beside them in the reflection. I want, or should I say I need to know my son is at peace, but I want to hear it from him, or from what he has become.
I long to see the ghost, that ghost that I no longer fear, but that I now embrace.