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Grandmother's Ghost

May 2002

When I was about seven years old, my parents were going through a divorce. Life as I had known it was disrupted and I was thrown into a state of depression.

One night, I was spending the night with my grandparents, as I did often because they lived next door to us and it was always so peaceful there, given what was going on at home.

That particular night, my parents had had a huge fight and I was terribly upset and had gone to sleep crying. I remember that my dreams were riddled with images of my parents arguing and stormy weather. Suddenly, I awoke, feeling very sad and still crying. As I sat up in the bed I saw a figure standing there. At first, I just saw the shadow, but the longer I looked, the clearer the image got, as if someone were slowly increasing the intensity of a dim light behind "it".

It was a woman wearing an old fashioned flannel night gown with long auburn hair and a very stern expression on her face. However, I distinctly remember not being afraid. Instead, I began to feel a strong sense of calm, like the ones you get when someone hugs you. This figure put her finger to her mouth as if telling me to "SHHHHHH" and suddenly disappeared.

The next morning I woke up thinking that I had just been dreaming and thought little else about it. However, several years later while at my grandparent's house for a family reunion, I was looking through old family pictures and saw the woman I had seen that night. It was my dad's father's mother. In the picture, she had the same stern expression and the same auburn hair. I was so surprised. I began asking my grandfather about her. While he had many memories to share, one thing that caught my attention was the fact that he remembered that she loved to wear a flannel night gown that his father had bought her for Christmas, one of the only gifts he had ever gotten for her as they were a very poor family. She loved it so much in fact that when she died, they folded it and placed in in her casket before she was buried.

Although I have never seen her again, I know that she is there watching over me and comforting me.

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