After losing a loved one, is it normal to continue to hear their words inside your head?
My friend Mike took his own life nearly a year ago. I had one very vivid dream where he seemed to be saying, “I’m okay.” More recently, I have occasionally experienced strange thoughts.
One Sunday, I was looking at myself in a mirror and wondering how to tame a big cow lick (you know, where your hair is in disarray because you slept on it funny). I suddenly thought,
I got a big cow lick, of my unleavened hair. It was a big Jewish cow who likes to eat pork.
When I shared that silly thought with my family, Kay said, “Sounds like you had a visit from Mike.” And Erin added, “Mike’s not dead, you know. He’s just gone home.”
It was Easter. Resurrection Sunday.
In my new job, I frequently walk by a koi pond on campus, sometimes pausing to have a quiet moment. Mike’s work was ponds, and the koi remind me of him. Since I can’t call him up, sometimes I carry on a one-sided conversation. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry.
One day by the pond, I was thinking about how I have adjusted to life without Mike. “But,” I said, “I gave you part of my life, so a part of me will always belong to you.” Then the thought came,
I’m inside you. I’m in your brain. Like a cancer!
Followed by an evil laugh.
I’m afraid this won’t make sense if you didn’t know Mike. But if you did know him, you’re probably smiling, and maybe shedding a tear …because if the departed are somehow given opportunities to visit people, what other FREAK would do this?
This could, of course, simply be my brain triggering “Mike sequences” just because they’re well-worn pathways. Maybe after being used so often and then suddenly coping with silence, those synapses get restless and fire on their own.
Or is Mike visiting me somehow? I don’t think we can know. But I do know this:
I believe in the communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting.
Have you experienced loss, but felt like you were occasionally visited in some way?