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Have you ever seen a ghost?

I find this question fascinating. When I was a lass, I learnt from my beloved, rational, modern-thinking parents that people who see ghosts are poor delusional souls with an inadequate education, struggling to make sense of unexplained natural phenomena, or trying to build the world image to fit their unmet subconscious needs. This made sense to me, so it was a view that I accepted entirely.

Flash forward to the early nineties. My son is about four years old. He comes running inside and tells me he has seen a ghost. I am washing dishes. I tell him “That’s nice darling” in that sort of “don’t kids say the darndest things” way. His manner is matter of fact, not distressed or scared, so I don’t worry or pay much attention and he goes to play in his room. When I turn around, I see a ghostly white shape standing on the landing next to his bedroom. With a distinct human shaped head and shoulders and then just general body shape. No distinct limbs or hands or feet. No facial features. Maybe a bit under 6 feet tall. I think “what the…?”, look again, and it is gone.

Here are the questions I asked myself:

Could I have been subconsciously cued by my son’s remark to see something where there is nothing? But why would I be? I wasn’t concerned by his comment, nor even thinking about it. I’ve never considered hauntings or ghosts to be anything other than entertaining stories. I have no emotional investment in such a story.

Was there a trick of light? Well, if there was I have never seen one in such a specific form before. And never in that landing at the top of the stairs where there is nothing to cast such a light.

Did it feel scary? No. Just confusing. But no sense of menace. No sudden cold air like you see in the movies. And nothing of any significance happened after I saw it. Life just went on as normal.

So how do I explain this?

I have since read that the age of four is when children are the most aware of the spiritual world and capable of articulating it. Could Leo have opened my eyes to something? Maybe, but I have always been reluctant to buy into New Age theories too readily.

Whatever theories I come up with, I can’t explain it. I’m not sure it really matters that I can’t. What matters is that I am more accepting of the fact that things happen that can’t be explained. That life has mystery and depth beyond what is rational. One of the many lessons that having children in my life has taught me. And I’m grateful for that.

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