The graveyards are no longer lying in quiet. The dead won’t wait behind the gate. Footsteps of those in mourning are now haunted, questions that may never be answered. Is there a heaven, or is there a hell? Have they gone for good? We yearn to know, begging for answers, and they speak to the dead. But do we believe what they see?
There was a time, where we left the ghosts for Horror in movies such as The Ring and Fear Dot Com. Television dabbled in the Supernatural, and then the floodgates opened, releasing the WB and television shows such as the Ghost Whisperer. And we hungered for more, and now we have Reality television shows such as Ghost Hunters. But is that really enough to fulfill our need, to touch the other side of a world beyond our hand?
Do we look to the mirror, break past our ordinary lives? A loved one died. Was that their arm around our waist, lingering as we said good-bye at their funeral? The squirrel stood outside the living room window during Shiva, and something familiar in that gaze sent a shiver down one’s spine. A dog barked when nobody’s there. A face appeared in the glass. We all have stories to tell, but some would never speak of it. Others may not realize anything, and a few know, outcast and estranged. But they know.
Criss Angel. Was he truly an angel, or a real Mindfreak? This man could bend reality in his hands, do the impossible, and touch a world that we beg to experience. His show was wonderment, an A&E treasure, despite his tongue lashing of the camera. He made you believe, believe anything was possible, and that was what we needed, to believe. We are more than ordinary, and there is a world beyond our own. But could we speak to the dead, ask for forgiveness, and know our loved ones across the void were safe and sound?
The lights dimmed. His voice was gentle, soft. His hands opened, and they stepped through. For a moment there, I thought I saw an angel hover close to a family struck with loss and in need of answers, and a breeze filled the room. The audience stirred, sensing something, and his eyes shined with message. The dead were talking.
“I see an L. Someone had passed, and you were going through his drawers.” His eyes found my father in the crowd. “You found something.” My father’s face reddened, embarrassed, and he tried to focus on his feet. “You found…” My father’s eyes met his gaze. “A vibrator,” my grandfather’s sense of humor for telling the psychic that embarrassing secret, and my father refused to rise. But another family did, relative stealers, those hoping for their loved one to have come through.
I only saw John Edwards twice. Both times were at Westbury. The first time, I left indifferent. The jury was still out on him, but the second time, I knew. This man was no fraud. He knew. Those ghosts that we chase, that world that we want to touch was at his hands, and he opened the door, giving the dead a chance to speak. But I did not go this third time, where he found my father in the audience. I wish I did because my grandfather would not have come through, if he did not have something important to say, but whatever the message was now left to dreams. But the cruelty of dreams is that we meet our loved ones again, across that void, but when we wake, we cannot remember what they say, words swallowed whole. And we are left wondering.
I have visited my share of the Tarot Card Reader. There are more frauds out there than genuine, and the genuine are few and rare, people outcast and under suspicion. But they are there, and we look for them. We want to know because they know. We want to believe because we need to believe. We tune in to television shows like the Supernatural and A Gifted Man, touching that other world. We break Reality and see the impossible, knowing existence beyond our own. We attend live shows such as John Edwards, hoping, begging for our loved ones to come through. We just forget one thing. We are not alone. We were never alone, and across that void, our loved ones don’t remain. They are here with us, whispering in our ear, words that we cannot hear but feel, know. We know, but we don’t believe. And that is our problem, not believing what we see.