Talking to Dead People Tuesday, Oct 8 2013 

…or, Ghost Whispering – that’s what I call ancestry research.  I don’t ACTUALLY see ghosts, but I do have a strong connection to that which I deem “spiritual”.  This is not a story about spirits with a veiled mist around them or mystical figures cloaked in black robes.  Instead, I ask you to open your mind to the possibility that our ancestors are communicating with us, even if we’re not listening.  And they do so in very creative ways!

A view of Ellis Island

A view of Ellis Island

For instance, very recently I had a rather interesting writing experience.  As I sat with my pencil pressed against a beautifully designed journal, I struggled for words.  I’d been thinking a great deal about my genealogy stalemate and that could have very well prompted what followed.  I wrote about a young girl walking down a path, one which led her to a coal mine.  She was searching for her ancestor, the one who died there as a young man.  Then she asked him questions, and he responded.  The words flowed through my mind, and my pencil floated across the page.  The young girl in my story proceeded along her journey, conversing with her paternal grandmother at a Native American camp and the 5-year old version of her Irish great-great-grandmother.

When I wrote the section about my grandmother, I instantly imagined her sitting next to me.  Smiling and supporting me to keep writing.  There was even some humor intermixed in the conversation.  We didn’t communicate much while she lived, but I feel her presence more so now since her spirit vacated her body almost five years ago.  As I struggle to trace her Native American lineage, I can really use her guidance and assistance.  I may just be using my creative imagination to help me along the path.  That’s a-okay by me – if the journey is filled with intriguing paths and interesting people.

Artistry and creativity are my connection to the spiritual world, as a reminder that my goal in this life is to learn and grow.  To not remain stagnant or stuck.  The creative outlets that I consistently gravitated to these past three decades provided me solace, inspiration, and motivation.  I have no doubt the same is true now.

When I finished that writing exercise, I smiled broadly with tears in my eyes goosebumps on my arms.  I felt a comforting blend of peaceful existence and exhilaration.

I’ll keep writing my ancestor’s stories – I can only hope they keep talking!!!!

Dear Aunt Liz Saturday, Mar 9 2013 

In the wee hours of the morning on 1/13/2013 a woman of incredibe strength, determinaton and heart succumbed to the effects of cancer.

My Aunt Liz has parted from the body that housed her spirit. A body that endured tremendous pain in the last four years of her life. She’s now at peace. Most likely having plenty of laughs with her father, mother and brother.

It’s those of us still here who have the challenging task of celebrating her life while missing her terribly. And it’s not only those of us related by blood who share in that grief.  Liz was beloved by so many people and the love she showed to others came back two-fold. Neighbors, friends and those she welcomed with open arms are family too. She’s “Grandma Liz” with a readiness to spoil children and offer life advice when needed.

A woman of such spirit will continue on in some fashion. Whether enjoying the grace of Heaven, journeying on into her next life, or hanging around for a little while to wrap us in comfort.

I love you Aunt Liz. You’re fiery spirit left an indelible impression on my life as I’m certain it’s done for so many others. May you rest, relax and enjoy the peace then continue on and relish the freedom. You’ve earned it!

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