It’s a social media world, at least in 2014 America. Much of my life is on Facebook: the personal, the political, the professional, and now, the paranormal?
When my father died in December I wavered between certainty he was in somewhere I’ve called heaven with my grandparents and aunt and uncle who preceded him in death and my certainty that he was nowhere, just a collection of atoms that stopped breathing and now waited to rejoin the earth once they liberated themselves from the chemicals with which we embalmed them and the lead-lined box in which we placed them. I have not moved much beyond this wavering. For the longest time, I could not feel my father’s presence anywhere except in dreams. Then his headstone arrived and suddenly I could feel him in wind around the plot of ground that housed his atoms’ box. My hands on the granite created a connection with those atoms and brought together the wind so that he could hear me and I could feel him. Now I understood why my mother always rubs the headstone of her parents’ grave after kissing her hand and says she loves them. The granite is a conduit to that something our parents have become or to which they have transitioned.
This strangely medieval sense of the physical and spiritual brings me to my second node of contact, much more modern: my father’s Facebook page. My mother left his page as it was the day he died. She didn’t turn it into a legacy page. On Facebook, my father lives on. On his birthday, friends and family wrote on his wall to wish him the birthday for which he never tasted his cake or blew out his candles. And on this wall I talk to my father. Do I think spirits read Facebook? Wait for notifications to bing in the spirit world? I do not see my father, like God in Bruce Almighty, checking his email or watching his social media. But my heart feels a release when I type the words on his page much as it feels when I say words that have been too long pent up to a friend, a loved one, or my hairdresser/therapist. When I write on my father’s wall, I feel a connection akin to when I rub the granite of his headstone. I feel him hearing me differently than when I think and ramble in my own head before I fall asleep. The act of typing, of posting, brings my thoughts into focus and directs them toward him. I feel him hearing me, which means I feel him, which means he is, somewhere. This thought is far preferable to me than the feeling that he is nowhere, a breath here and then gone in a chaotic uncaring cosmos. Does this make me deluded? Weird? I don’t know and for now it doesn’t matter.