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Sometimes in the comments on these pages, there are questions. I have always been too cavalier with them – answering some that seemed pertinent to enough readers to require a response and setting aside others to use as the basis for a blog post which I have done less frequently than I should have.
”I'm curious about the 'presence' and wonder whether it is a physical sensation or a sort of 'knowing'. Like the inchoate not-quite-thought that becomes a poem.”
It's physical sensation, Lola. Until these pains began (I assume this applies to most people), I didn't notice my body much. It just did what I needed it to do and I didn't feel anything out of place unless a mosquito bite itched, I pulled a muscle or over-ate at Thanksgiving.
These “presences” are an awareness of various places on my torso, scattered front and back, an extremely mild ache - not something I would, in the past, pay attention to. But I've learned the hard way that they are precursors to the real pain they always become in an hour or so.
I now think of them as an early warning system: take the pain pills NOW before it gets worse. I still forget to notice now and then and suffer for it, but I'm getting better at responding to the presence.
It is about Melinda's father, a piano player whose favorite song was The Entertainer, and the music box he owned that played the tune. A few days after he died, her mother was wakened at night by the sound of the music box that had not been played in years.
”I didn’t get much sleep that night,” Melinda writes, “as I was completely astonished by the story my mother had just told me. But I was also in awe of it and somehow comforted to know that my dad’s spirit, his energy, was still here before going onto another plane of existence.
“Several other unusual occurrences happened in the next few days and even later; one in particular that also involved the sudden playing of “The Entertainer” (this time on a jukebox)...
“All I know is that since the 'spiritual' visits by my dad to me and my mom, I strongly believe that somehow, in someway our existence continues after our physical body dies. There is another plane of or type of existence that is unexplainable to us as humans.”
Melinda then writes, “I sure wonder what you think about it.”
Well, Melinda, that, as they say, is above my pay grade. I've not had such an experience and as to whether our consciousness - our self - exists beyond the grave, it's not something I believe.
However, many people do believe and I'm perfectly happy to be proven wrong when I get there. (And no, I don't think you're loony.)
Another reader, Betty, also has a story of an encounter with dead loved ones. You can read that here. But she has a different kind of question:
”...how will we, your audience get along without you to lead the way. Will we carry on with our own stories or will this site die too. What do you want us to do and how do you want us to do it? Do others have this question?”
Arrangements are being made for this blog to remain just where it is online for at least five years after I've died. If anything is different, my friend Autumn, who is handling everything following my death, will let you know via this blog. So when she posts information, it will show up in your email subscription just as you receive it now.
I know we come to feel that others we read in the comments are our friends and in a way, that's real and true. I wish there were a way readers could safely contact one another but I've never sorted that out and I'm now running short of time.
If anyone knows of an online service that might facilitate that, do let me know – not in the comments, but via the “Contact” link at the top of the page.
Now it's your turn again. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I'll follow up with answers to those one day soon.