I spent the entire day yesterday failing. I feel burned out, fighting to put words down on a page—not just words but to create a beautiful and soulful story about all the research I’ve done about my Great-aunt Glenna and the women who shared a parallel life with hers.

I have a lot to say, too much, all jumbled inside my mind like sharp, bright pieces of glass inside a Kaleidoscope. No matter which direction I twist, a new pattern emerges, brilliant, strange, wonderful, and horrible. Every nuance is comparable to the one before, awe-inspiring at best and interesting at worse. The problem is with me.

I don’t trust what I’m doing. I am as surely confident that I don’t know what I’m doing as I am that every other person knows exactly what they’re doing all the time.

I keep thinking that once I have Glenna’s medical history, then I’ll know how to tell her story. However, I recognize that all the information I’ve come across might be as complete a history as anything else.

Add to all this the latest concept I’ve come across that I’m unsure about because it deals with the paranormal.

I see the paranormal as a literary device only. Something used to drive a theme or mood or to thrill. I do not believe in ghosts that aren’t metaphorical. To me, any spiritual interaction can be accounted for by the earthly mundane.

Is that a ghost walking up and down a staircase in that old house? Or is that where all the water pipes were placed, under the stairs, not to obstruct the crawl spaces? See? Mundane!

I roll my eyes whenever a ghost Geiger counter or ghost-o-meter is brought up either on TV shows or once during a book club meeting one October.

Is it a ghost-sensing gadget, or is it more like a magicians’ trick hat with multiple pockets and a fake bottom? See? Earthly mundane! But then this happened…

Someone I know, we’ll call her Lena, recently got a reading by a Medium. (Even writing that sentence, I fought to control my eyes, tilting up and into the back of my ocular cavity).

I’ve known Lena for decades, I’ve shared good times and bad times, and I trust her. I’ve learned a great deal from her. I believe she is a true-blue empath—empathic to the nth degree!

Lena can walk into any room, anywhere, and get bombarded with every single emotion from every single person there, without anyone saying one word to her. Because of this, people are drawn to her. They spill their deepest, darkest secrets. It’s a little weird. It’s also very hard on her, weighing her down and wounding her into despair. I wouldn’t wish that kind of emotional gravity on anyone.

Anyway, Lena has a natural brightness, an aura that radiates from her, like a shiny new penny, and people are hopelessly drawn to her. So, it wasn’t a big surprise when she told me she wanted to get a mystical reading by a mystic. Of course, she did! I figured at least she could get someone else to share her burden like a fantastical Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Lena spoke to the Medium on the phone. He talked to her about her natural strengths, extraordinary capacity towards kindness, her draw for equality, etc. He proclaimed she had lived multiple lives withstanding a few reincarnations, and then he stopped.

“You have two personages with you at all times,” he told her, “Can you feel them?”

“No,” she said, “but I haven’t really looked.”

The Medium described one of the ghosts, who she was, her name, and why she was always hanging around (all good reasons, I might add).

The second Casper puzzled the man. He wasn’t sure what they wanted, who they were, or why they were there—sounds like the equivalent of a wedding crasher to me, only one that can walk through walls!

The Medium described the second being as almost frantic, high energy, and obsessive. “I’m not sure why she’s there.”

“Who is it?” Lena asked. “Do I know her?”

“No, she’s from before your time, but she’s somehow connected to someone you’re close to.”

The man asked Lena more questions, trying to determine who the ghost could be, stating that it meant no harm.

“She’s very drawn to you. She sees herself very much in you—your strengths and abilities—those are stronger than anybody else she’s ever been around. It’s like she’s so excited about it and can’t calm down!” He stopped. “Do you have trouble sleeping?”

Lena confessed she rarely slept well.

“Ahh, it’s this spirit. She thinks that she can connect with you—talk to your subconscious while you’re sleeping. You don’t seem to notice her when you’re awake, and she’s desperate to connect to you.”

“Why?” Lena asked.

“Because she was just like you. I think she means it as encouragement.” He stopped again. “What connection do you have to the word ‘creepy’?”


“I don’t know,” the Medium said, “she keeps telling me to use the word creepy.”  

He went on telling Lena whatever the ghost wanted him to say. The ghost explained that when she was young (and alive), she would hear spirits all the time. They would talk to her, and she would repeat the last little bit of what they said out loud. She couldn’t help herself. When she did this, she would get in trouble. This ghost (when alive) didn’t know how to ignore these spirits, and it eventually ruined her.

“Do you know who it is?” the Medium asked, again.

A name popped into Lena’s mind. Glenna. Glenna, as in my Great-aunt Glenna!

When my friend told me the name, I didn’t know what to think. However, the Medium shared other bizarre and specific things that I had never told Lena, thinking they were too obscure or strange or just not interesting to discuss.

This made me question whether I’m right to dismiss a parallel realm, to believe that what I see is what there is. Truthfully, I don’t know about other beings, outer space aliens, or ghosts. I have no idea what I’m doing in this life. How can I possibly be the expert on other lives? This thought skewed reality for me.

Was Glenna creepy? Yep. However, what if Glenna wasn’t insane, just intuitive? In another time and place, what if Glenna would have been revered for her cosmic gifts and treated as a spiritualist, a Medium, or a prophet? What if she was listened to but not judged? What if she was a conduit to help other people but was shut down, shut off, and shut up’ed?

I suppose what haunts me is the idea that a child who might have had an exceptional ability (very much like Lena’s) was punished so severely for it and is now haunted by the living trying desperately to convey that Lena is okay, that she is unique, that my great friend, is not, in fact, crazy.

What do you think? Do you believe in an afterlife or ghosts or even Geiger counters? Write me!

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