Wow. This subject hit me hard. My daughter Amy died suddenly on Christmas Day and the day after Christmas I was awakened with a cry that clearly said “mom”. This exact same experience has happened 3 times in the past to me with the voice saying “Jan”- my name. I could never recognize the voice but it was so clear and real. I’ve been considering talking to a psychic and now I’m really thinking of it!

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

I'm pretty woo woo as far as Catholics go. We're big on memento mori, thinking about death all the time. Also, it probably doesn't help that I sing at funerals (always too many funerals, never enough weddings), so I sometimes feel like a siren (only not sexy). I'm with you in that I believe energy doesn't die. I do think my mom's spirit is still around--or maybe a piece of it. Once, when my twin boys (whom my mom never met) were pre-school age, my kid took on one of her mannerisms. And I just had a flooding sense at that dinner table that she was there, in my kid, for a second. Maybe I was kidding myself, missing her, but it didn't feel like it.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

My husband's sister Mary Beth was the most loving, wisest, basically best human being I have ever known. She was another sister to me. nineteen years ago, she was killed in a car accident. A few months later I had a dream that was clearly sent by her, somehow. I don't mean this in a religious sense, but it was so out of the ordinary, so vivid, that I know it was a visitation.

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Dream Magic

It’s always summer when I see him

rounding the planter box just inside my gate,

easy in his body, striding like a man

in the prime of his prime.

He looks up. His sea-blue eyes flash.

He grins broadly.

“I’m here to fix the roof,” he says.

He was not the roof-repairing kind of dad,

not his roof, not his neighbor’s, not mine.

But the discrepancy doesn’t faze me—

he had surprised me before.

For an instant before grief

knocks me to my senses,

he’s as real as

when we laughed together—

in houses now razed

that stood on streets

now unrecognizable,

in towns that belong to others.

I am older now than

he was when he died.

Little is as it once was

except my heart that hurries to greet him

when, young and smiling, he rounds the planter box

in summer.

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The night my 11-year old nephew tragically died (after 11 days on life support) he was in a dream with me, playing cards. There was a scary card shark in the game (who I now see as Mr. Death) and I kept telling my nephew not to let him see his cards. “Oh Aunt Kelly,” nephew says, “don’t be silly.” Later he’s running off over green grass in a Hallmark moment, under sunny blue sky. He had Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and hadn’t been able to run in a long time. He turns around and gives me a giant warm smile, then runs away. I wake up to learn he passed in the night with his loving family around him. My grief hasn’t been as hard as my family members, I think because of that dream. Or visitation, as I prefer to think of it. It was 5 years ago this month.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

My mom passed away a month ago tomorrow. Around the time when she passed (4am), my cousin (her nephew)'s glucose monitoring device shot down and spiked back up. They had a close relationship. Also, I live in another state and was supposed to be visiting weeks earlier but I got super sick the night before I was to leave. My postponed flight meant that I was able to be with her mere minutes after she passed. If I went on my original trip, I would have been 1500 miles away.

I was also planning on taking her to Northern Ireland this year, but her cancer diagnosis put that on hold. The night before she passed, I brought my VR set up to her hospital room and she "went" to Northern Ireland in 360 video form. When we left at the end of visiting hours, we were expecting her to be discharged the following day. She ended up having trouble breathing during the night and they were unable to stabilize her.

Not really "ghost" stories per se, but just some interesting things surrounding her passing. I miss her every day, and I'm open to her energy reaching out to me - but nothing else significant has happened.

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i was thinking about my grandma as i read this, my mom's mom. she passed away last April, and i get weird little signs every now and then that i'm not sure if i should attribute to my love of Signs, or to something bigger moving around me. Mostly numbers, dates.

The last date she wore a shirt (documented, along with laundering history, in her careful neat handwriting as her memory failed, in little slips safety pinned into the tags), July 9, 2021. I pulled the shirt out to wear it, randomly, July 9, 2022.

The project I always worked on, talking on the phone with her, a scarf with the weather and temperature of each date, started beginning of 2021. I got behind fast, but I would chip away at it on the phone w her. She passed away April 16, 2022. When I was able to bear picking up the scarf to work on it some more, I looked at the notes I had made on which date was up next. I had put it down having finished April 15, 2021. The scarf had the yarn for April 16 on the needles- unmade. She died the morning of April 16, 2022, ten minutes before my mom and I got to her nursing home to visit her. She knew I was coming- my mom told her the night before. My mom grieved and grieved that she wasn't there when her mom passed. I said, with all my zero knowledge of how to comfort the grieving, "Maybe she went before we got there, to spare us from watching her die."

I don't know how to feel about this stuff. I have so much of her shit. I helped my mom go thru all of her stuff after she passed, and I kept too much. It's all around me in this apartment- furniture and clothes and jewelry. It's a source that will not renew- if I get rid of something that was hers, there is no more. Once it is gone, there is no more of her things that will come to me. It's how I feel about the sadness- every time I let myself sink into this sorrow, I feel this fear that it's going to fade, and I'm going to forget her, and forget what she meant to me, and that the grief will end, and it will mean the love is over.

as i started typing this, listening to music, the song ended and "mother" by Kacey Musgraves, came up on shuffle.

"Bursting with empathy, I'm feeling everything

The weight of the world on my shoulders

Hope my tears don't freak you out

They're just kinda coming out

It's the music in me and all of the colours

Wish we didn't live

Wish we didn't live so far from each other

I'm just sitting here

Thinkin' 'bout the time that's slipping

And missing my mother


And she's probably sitting there

Thinking 'bout the time that's slipping

And missing her mother


and sitting here typing the rest of the comment, Ariana Grande's song "ghostin" comes up on spotify. This shit- these little nods of empathy from the universe- is why I believe something is happening. I'm not sure. I'm a Christian, and I think my grandma is happy in heaven. And.... maybe there is something of her here still, in me or around me. I miss her. I did my best to love her and be there for her while she was here. I'm still trying, even though she's not here anymore. Maybe she is still here, somehow.

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That veil has parted for me a few times, although try as I might I cannot make it happen. It's always a surprise. An impromptu visit. No time to tidy up before the company arrives. Most recently, in recovery from anesthesia for a quick minor surgical procedure, the veil was torn wide open. It would have been a lovely experience but for the nurse yelling at me.

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I love stories like the one you just shared. We had a smoking ghost in our house in LA in 1999. (We moved in 2000) I knew it was an older woman. Hubby and I would both smell cigarette smoke at the same time. We were non smokers. Our smoking ghost helped put our two year old daughter back to sleep one night. S was crying and as I approached her room I heard a very distinct, gentle Shhh, coming from her room. Our ghost was soothing her and S stopped crying. I of course froze in the hallway. When I went into my daughters room no one was in there but my girl was sound asleep. I have other stories too but that was the most powerful. While I’ve never seen an apparition I have felt them. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

I love the description of "the veil". I have felt it most strongly after the death of a loved one, I have absolute clarity about exactly how to proceed in life, what I need to do or say, but unfortunately, try as I might, it fades in a few weeks. And like another reader has said, I am unable to summon it back. many years ago, I had a neighbor who was gravely ill and I drove him to the ER; while keeping watch over him in the ICU, he opened his eyes, having been unconscious, and clearly said,"go downstairs and open the door, my son is here". It was night, I did go to the lobby and shortly a man was knocking at the locked door and yes, it was his son, arrived from CA. My granddaughter who was only 2, regularly spoke of visitors to her bedroom at night; she wasn't afraid and I do believe it was her two great grandmothers. I had been experiencing heart problems and didn't share this with my daughter; she had a dream, a visitation really, from all my deceased aunts and mother admonishing me to take care otherwise I would be joining them at the table shortly, wherever that may be. Yes, I believe the body may be gone but the energy persists.

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I don't believe spirits persist after we die, except insofar as people live inside of us, in our hearts and memories.

I've only once had any kind of interaction with something that felt like a ghost, and though it was really freaky it also happened in that weird space between sleep and waking, so I suspect it was just my overactive imagination. I did do an ayahuasca ceremony this fall to try and lay some things having to do with my abusive brother to rest. He died in December 2020. In the weeks after that experience he visited me twice in dreams. Was it actually him? I don't think so. But it did bring me a tremendous, and long sought after, bit of peace.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

Yes! I’ve been visited recently by a friend who died 20 years ago & have had such an urge to write about this. Thank you for sharing your experience & those of other writers. When I was a Thanatology student last year, I found research about how after death communication with “discarnate entities” helps the grieving & ppl who study the efficacy of mediums -- as well as near death experiences who encounter dead loved ones they didn’t know had died. It was all amazing & mind opening & I can’t wait to read the other stories.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

I have been visited by Jehovah’s Witnesses if they count as part of the spirit world.

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I think it's incredibly brave to admit to a fear of death, and I'll do it here also. I learned from Buddhist teachers in my 20s that death is actually part of a huge wheel of existence that encompasses this life, the next, all past and future lives, and also some ghosts, but knowing that hasn't made me less scared! I've experienced plenty of strange intuitions/feelings/experiences related to people I've loved who have died, and I also believe it has something to do with a certain kind of brain sensibility, as if some of us can tune into frequencies that are actually ongoing but invisible. As I close in on 50 I've come to understand that tragedy comes to every human life in the form of loosing our loved ones, and no one gets to escape that paradigm. Mostly I just pray that their deaths, and my own, will be peaceful. In the end that might be the best kind of death that any of us can hope for.

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Mar 6, 2023Liked by Sari Botton

When I was a young teen, maybe 13, many of my family members had been having visits from my grandfather in the year after he past. To keep our grandmother company, my sisters and I were divided into sets of 2 and would take turns sleeping at Grandma’s house. I was terrified of receiving a visit, and would go to bed each night there ending my prayers with “please don’t visit me, please don’t visit me, please don’t visit me.”

One night I had a dream. I was in the high school gym, in the stands with my family watching my eldest sister play her basketball game. Suddenly, I saw my grandfather at the top of the stands, and I went to sit with him. “Grandpa,” I remember saying in earnest, “come on, everyone will be so happy you are here!” “Let’s just sit and watch the game for a while” he replied, and I obeyed. He was different in the dream, younger, hair more dark then white, and he was wearing a classic red sweater of his with a beige bucket hat. My eldest sister ended the game with a buzzer beating 3 pointer, and that was the end of the dream

The next day I woke up relaxed, and ate breakfast with my sister and grandma making no mention of my dream. As soon as she and I were in the car to school however, as I opened my mouth to say something, my eldest sister said to me “I had the strangest dream last night! I was playing in a basketball game, and when I looked up I saw grandpa, apart from everyone but you were sitting with him. He saw me win the game.”

That’s my visitation. And to this day it gives me goose bumps.

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My mother was receiving palliative care a state away in Georgia. She'd been in and out of ERs, hospital rooms, doctor's offices, and surgeries for over two decades already, so when they said it could be "days, weeks, or months" I assumed months. Still I wanted to go to her right away, but there was a hurricane, a state of emergency in both of our states. Dangerous conditions, gas shortages-- I wasn't going to risk my own life to get to her yet again. I'd been making the six-hour drive just about every vacation I had from my teaching job for years. I could make the trip the following weekend.

I went to bed that night and had a dream that I had gone to her. I stood by her bed and saw her spirit rise up out of her body. She was young again (about 35-40) and beautiful and she looked happy. I woke up and told my now- ex, I think my mom just died. A few hours later I got the call.

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