Last night, as my husband and I were laying in bed, we heard a loud thump coming from the kitchen. It sounded like someone had run into one of the kitchen table chairs. Being closest to the bedroom door, I got up to go investigate. There was nothing out of order. Chalking it up to maybe an animal under the house, I went back to bed.
It wasn’t until this morning that it hit me. It’s that time of the year again. Every year, from around the beginning of October until November 1st or 2nd, my life gets very, very strange. Odd noises. Odd smells. Sometimes, the dogs act up more than usual. I may have an odd dream or three about people I’ve never met before. Some years are more active than others. Some years are so quiet, I give no thought to strange noises or can easily dismiss them with plausible explanations (like the thump from last night).
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I’m a female John Edward. And I’m not saying I’m special or something like that. In fact, more people have brushes with the paranormal than they realize. They just simply aren’t aware of it. My only claim to any kind of awareness is the legacy of my family.
My paternal grandmother could predict a death of a family member whenever she dreamed of an antebellum mansion shrouded in fog. My father knew he was going to die years before he did. My mother claimed she could sense ghosts and even saw a few. I grew up hearing stories and not having my own intuitions dismissed.
That, I believe, is the difference. When people don’t dismiss the intuitions of a child, but instead listen to her, then that child doesn’t feel the need to bury what she thinks or feels. It’s when you make a subject either taboo or the source of ridicule that you allow for superstition and fear to take root. A parent’s job is to guide a child, not to tell her to shut up and eat her jello (but that’s another post for another day).
For years, I simply ignored what I saw/felt/smelled. I figured it would all go away in time. Though my parents encouraged me to accept the legacy of our family, that we notice things more than others (like how some people’s eye sight is better than others), they didn’t really give me the tools of how to deal with it. I adopted the “if I ignore it, it will go away” mentality, which of course did not work. When I became Catholic, that all changed.
I learned that this is the time of year where those who have died are honored and prayed for. I learned ways of praying for the dead during this time of year (though it’s a practice I maintain all year round). I think it’s made the years slowly quieter. No one has called my name and the walls aren’t bleeding, so I suppose those are good signs.
As far as last night’s bump is concerned, it really could have been a raccoon or a possum that got under the house. Or it could have been a spirit of a person buried in a nearby cemetery. Either way, I think I may step up my prayers, during this time of year.