I often talk to my Grandma Cristy when I make my bed because I have her Dolly Madison bedspread, ivory chenille with that classic pattern. I love centering it, lining it up on the corners, and smoothing it to look beautiful and perfect, except for the flaws of long use. And I think of Grandma doing the same thing for so many years and naturally bid her good morning, maybe thank her for all she gave me, maybe tell her something specific to the day. Same with my mother, her daughter. When my favorite photograph of her catches my eye, I usually say, “Hi, Mom,” and am apt to chat at her for a minute. Our sister Robin died too early, and we were hoping expectantly that she would communicate from beyond somehow. I don’t think anyone has yet received anything of that otherworldly nature. But when I’m feeling blue and a robin perches on a nearby branch, I take it very personally. Most often when I think of her, I simply utter a regretful, “Oh, Robin,” as in,”Why did you have to go?”
Some of you know, Rose Harris, the matriarch church lady character in my Sunday by Sunday series. She’s always running things by her deceased husband Charlie. She reminisces, tells him what’s going on with their family and at church, seeks his advice. It’s all one-sided but important to her, helps her get through. Several readers have said they relate to Rose talking to Charlie, and they talk to their people who have died, finding these one-way conversations natural and therapeutic.
The late Herb Brokering took such communication to a touching height in his book To Henry in Heaven. He writes letters to his stillborn grandchild Henry—and then goes into his imagination and has Henry write back. In one letter he tells Henry he is sad. Henry replies, “What’s sad?”
Friends, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on continuing to communicate with those who have died.