It all started when I was 13, and my grandmother Elsa passed away. She appeared at the foot of my bed two days later. At the funeral home for her viewing, I sat in a chair staring at her chest. I swore it was moving up and down, not realizing it was my own erratic breathing creating the illusion. I told my Dad she was still alive and he hushed me, telling me it wasn’t polite to be loud in the funeral home. I always felt like my Grandma was disappointed in me, but there she was at the foot of my bed, smiling at me.
With that one encounter, I opened up to the possibility that we are never truly gone once we leave this life. Our bodies are temporary homes for spirits that have danced on this earth; some many times. I’ve heard stories of children who remember being someone else; who remember seeing their new families from up above before they were ever born. I’ve heard stories of people who have been pronounced clinically dead, and are brought back to life. While some of the details may differ, the stories are profoundly parallel to one another. I do not believe in coincidences. This gives me comfort.
Since then, I have had many personal moments of spiritual connection. I’ve had long conversations with my father, who finally shared his own gift of the same connections, and I have taken my daughter on many ghost hunts with me. My favorite had to be when we were in New Orleans. It was here that I realized I hadn’t tapped into my full potential when it came to the paranormal. We were taken on a cemetery tour by a very famous New Orleans resident/character, “Bloody Mary”.
Mary took us to one of the only cemeteries in New Orleans that actually buried people underground, Holt Cemetery. The water table in New Orleans is astronomically high, so traditionally folks are buried above ground. When it would rain there, and it rains with a vengeance, the coffins would float to the surface if they were buried underground. After Hurricane Katrina, Holt Cemetery was decimated.
Here are a few pictures if you want to click on this link, so you get an idea of just how badly damaged it was:
As we enter Holt Cemetery, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Headstones were toppled and broken, trees were uprooted, remains were unearthed. I had never seen anything like it. Leaning against a tree was a femur bone. You could see the top of a skull poking through the ground. Families and friends had come to the cemetery to do what they could. Makeshift shrines were made out of all kinds of odds and ends. Blue tarps covered graves like the rooftops of houses in the Lower 9th Ward. It was quite the trip. Here are a few photos that I took myself:
This entire experience fascinated me. Cemeteries were meant to be places of rest for our weary, departed loved ones. They are places to find solace; some place to go to “visit” those who have crossed over. I was walking through a war zone. Bloody Mary shared with us that the spirits who reside here are restless. They gravitate to places within the cemetery where they feel safer. Kaitlin was speechless. It was getting dark and we were getting ready to leave this place to go visit one of the more famous above-ground cemeteries near the French Quarter. As we walked beneath this really big tree, I had an experience.
I couldn’t breathe. My chest felt heavy, and I was overcome with an intense and painful sorrow. I started to cry, and my breathing was labored. “Mommy, what’s wrong?” shouted Kaitlin. Nothing, nothing was wrong. I had been in a good mood, having this experience with her. These were not my feelings I was feeling. I didn’t feel right. I couldn’t breathe.
Mary rushed me out of the cemetery. Holy water was dabbed on my forehead and slowly by breathing went back to normal and I stopped crying. I felt light again. “You’re an empath,”, said Mary. “What’s that?”, I said, thinking she was a little crazy. “You’re spirit is capable of channeling the emotions of others. It doesn’t mean you’re psychic or anything; it just means that spiritual beings gravitate to you; they can feel again using your energy.”
She was right. I hate to say it, but she was. It’s a blessing and a curse, but it’s me so what can you do? Ghost hunt! 🙂
I will leave you with THE BEST picture Kaitlin and I ever got on one of our ghost hunts. We were in a cemetery in the middle of the night. No lights anywhere. My friend Sunsarae was with us, she knows this to be true. There was an open grave in the cemetery, and the casket was at the bottom. The mound of dirt sat next to it, and it was uncovered. I have never seen that happen before. Normally, the hole will at least be covered with plywood. Thank God we didn’t fall in! In any event, we took tons of pictures around the area and what we caught only showed up in one of the photos. You may need to zoom in quite a bit, but if you look close, you can see something trying to manifest over this grave. Oh how we freaked out like excited little girls when we saw we caught something! 🙂
There will always be cynics out there, and that’s ok. Until you have your very own experience, I would never expect you to believe it, but when you do, I accept your apology. Happy Haunting!