HW: Ghosts

Grama’s ghost drifts by.
She wears her smile and gray curls.
Does my Grama live?

Ghosts are everywhere. Not the apparitions in Disney’s Haunted Mansion or the pellucid warriors floating above Hogwarts, but the twins of loved ones and colleagues from our past. I saw my grandmother’s ghost in Raley’s just the other day.

That’s her on the left. She was my rock before CC and I were wed. Wise and loving, I wish I’d been a better student before she passed in 2005. Her life lessons are eternal: be kind; be patient; things work out the way they do for a reason. Maybe if I had listened, I would have been with my mom when she died in 2008.

Regret is forever, people.

So I turned around in the store, and there’s a lady with my grandmother’s hairstyle and coloring, plus she’s about the same height. It was my grandmother for a millisecond, followed by the pain of remembering that she’d been dead for more than a decade. But, oh, that millisecond was sweet.

Therein lies the contradictory nature of mourning. When we see the doubles of our loved ones, or their drifting ghosts in the haiku above, we feel the pain of loss. The rough part is that sharp pain is love, morphed from the experience and mourning. We forget that sometimes.

And for what it’s worth, Elizabeth Taylor is my mother’s ghost. I can’t watch Liz’s movies without thinking of Mom because she was a beauty, too. I miss my mom and grandmother very much.

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