Tonight I am going to see Blithe Spirit, a ghostly comedy by Noel Coward, and a favourite tale of mine. I am a believer in spiritual and ghostly presences, having had my fair share of no-other-explaination-possible experiences. However, I tend to look at the ghostly realm with a more scientific and questioning mind.
There is no doubt that something is out there, and that science has yet to provide an explanation that is universally satisfying, yet if there will be, one day, an explanation.
As a child, I was somewhat “Meh!” with regards spirits and ghosts. Didn’t really care either way. I can’t recall any specific encounters that I wasn’t able to explain away to myself in some way shape or form. Even when my grandmother (father’s side) passed away, and she appeared to me the night after her funeral, I passed that off as a dream, which felt unnaturally real, and left an odd dent in the bed-clothes that was still there in the morning.
She didn’t say anything, just sat at the end of my bed, patted my leg once or twice, before simply fading away. A dream seemed the most logical explanation, and a freak of circumstance took care of the spot where she had sat.
It wasn’t until my trip to England, something I touch upon in my series on depression, that I encountered something that couldn’t be simply, and tangibly explained away.
In the early part of my time in the UK, I was visiting family I have there. On one particular day, we were strolling through Cornish plains not far from the southern cliffs overlooking the English Channel. I had drifted from the rest and was rather enjoying the time and air, when I realised I wasn’t alone.
There, at my feet, was my cat, Smokey, a Russian Blue, who was utterly adorable and devoted. This cat had been my most loyal of friends, and was more person than cat. He would go on long walks with me, and spent every night curled against me. He was intelligent, and very loving. Apparently, when I made the move to England, and he stayed with my parents, he pined, eventually dying of liver failure.
Yet on that day, we was with me, at my side like he used to be, strolling through Cornish Hills, and I knew he had passed. It wasn’t like an Aha! or Oh! moment. I just became aware of the knowledge that he had passed, and that he seemed happy to be with me again.
My parents, concerned that I would be very upset by this, told my Grandmother (mother’s side) and asked her not to tell me, which seemed a little counter productive to me. My Grandmother did not agree with my parent’s assessment of my mental health, and after nearly two weeks of debating the matter, told me anyway.
So I was tangibly unaware of the passing of my cat for almost two weeks after the very cat in question had already spiritually told me. Understandably, my Grandmother was rather surprised that I already knew, and seemed to accept it when I told her about Smokey.
It was my first clear evidence that there was something beyond.
There have been a number of less significant events there after, and for many years, I could often sense my dear friend nearby. It was a few years after my return to Australia, when I was dating a woman who would become my wife for a time, when she saw Smokey sitting in his usual spot outside my bedroom window.
She knew that I had had a cat, and the circumstances of his passing, but I had not told her certain details about looks, and favourite places around the family home, yet she was able to give me an accurate description, and (as I said) place him in his favourite spot. This was more proof.
This was the biggest, and most impressive ghostly experience in my life. There were others, but this was what made me a true believer.