Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Internet Ghost

Do I believe in ghosts? Maybe.

I definitely think that when some people go, there are things left unresolved, an energy that lingers long after they are gone.

If you don't believe in ghosts and are completely sure they are imaginary, then I dare you to get locked in the boiler room of the Queen Mary alone at night. That actually happened to a friend and I, when we were there for a haunted house on Halloween one year. Somehow we got separated from the rest of the group and ended up somewhere we weren't supposed to be.

I don't recommend doing that on accident, by the way.

I've had a few very vivid dreams of my Dad since his death, the kind where you wake up and are totally convinced that whatever just happened was real. In one of them, he was warning me that something was going to happen, and that thing he warned me about actually happened the next day. There was an urgency in his message, such a forced communication that I woke up drenched in sweat and crying.

If it wasn't something that I had accurately been warned of the night before, I could just dismiss it as a dream and nothing more.

Then there are all the times that something happens. The song, the silver Camaro, the heart in the sky. Sometimes they all happen at once, and I become overwhelmed because those are the times when I need them the most.

I never used to believe in signs until I started to see them around me.

Does that mean he's a ghost? I don't think so, per se, but I think there's pieces of him still here sometimes.

Through the strange magic of the Internet, he's still here too. Literally.

He's over there ====>

He was the 20th follower on the blog. He had to create a gmail account just to follow me, and for anyone who understands my father's limited understanding of technology, it was a big deal. Except he didn't tell me he was doing it. He didn't ask me what he needed to do to follow me, or how to set up a gmail account, he just did it and appeared in my sidebar one morning.

He read everything I wrote from that moment forward.

He was the one who made me believe I was a writer.

If a day passed when I hadn't written, he'd call to make sure everything was okay. He didn't just read the posts, he read them. He figured out what I meant when I was being elusive and cryptic. He saw through the humor and wondered if I was alright. He could feel my worries and concerns, from a thousand miles away through a computer screen.

He's still there.

He's still there because when you die, you live on forever on the Internet. His email accounts, his Facebook page, all of it, his personal property.  I alerted Facebook of his death over two years ago They were supposed to somehow change the account after confirming he was gone so that he doesn't show up in searches anymore and people can't friend request him, but I don't actually know if that was done....because Facebook can't tell me anything about his account.

Every once in a while, I still click on him.

His profile picture was one of him and my mom with my four kids, on the steps of my house the day that my son was baptized. It was the last picture I would ever have of him here.

yes, the oldest is giving
his sister bunny ears.
It was the last time he would visit. The last time I would sit with him in my kitchen and drink coffee. A year after that date, we were on our way to see him in California, just weeks after he was diagnosed.

I wonder sometimes if it's better not to know when a time like that will be the last.

I just know that I miss him, even if, in a strange virtual way, a piece of him is still here, cheering me on from the sidebar.


  1. My dad's skype acct was online for about 6 months after he was gone, my mum used to hop on now and again and it would freak me out. I also hear my dad calling my son in my head all the time and I'm worried its a sign. Of what I'm not sure, impending danger, going insane, wo knows but grief does strange things and I travel this road with you. Thanks for sharing you inner thoughts

  2. On the days we buried my mom, and dad I heard them speak my name. My mom, with infinite sadness in her voice. My father, said you'll be alright.
    My dog, too. She used to sleep under my parents bed, and 'thump' her tail when anyone came home. After she had a stroke and we put her to sleep, I'd still here her tail at odd times- like "I'm ok".
    Oddest thing: shortly after my aunt Dee died, I got an email, addressed to me, from no one. No content. Never before, or since.
    "Matter can niether be created nor destroyed."

  3. I believe that our lost loved ones find ways to communicate. The other day, I happened to wear the one yellow shirt I have, which I rarely wear, and I also happened to have dressed the baby in yellow, which I don't do often. We went outside in the backyard to do something, and a yellow butterfly flitted into our path. I haven't seen a yellow butterfly in our backyard this year yet. I am convinced it was the baby's twin sister, telling us hello and she loves us.
    Yes, grief does suck, but I'm glad your dad is still with you.

  4. I lost my mom in July of last year; she was 89. I lost my dad in April of 2008; he was 86. I have often thought about writing a blog about what it is like to navigate life without my parents' presence here on earth any longer. I am 53...kinda old to start a blog but, I just might. Thanks for posting about your dad. The last picture I have of my dad was on 3-16-2008; he and mom stopped by to say "bye" to my daughter who was leaving on a spring break trip the next day with a high school friend. We were having ruebens and kraut and a guiness...a day early ... just so we could have a St. Patrick's day celebration together! Dad was 100% Irish and darn proud of it. That was the last ST. Pat;s day I would get to give him a card . He came into the hospital that I work at through the ED with a bleeding ulcer and never went back to his house again. He died in April. Sometimes it is better to not know when "the last time" will be. But it is good to remember that "last time", even if it makes me cry. Peace!


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