Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Slice of life: My life with the paranormal

My family has some traits that we can sense the supernatural. Most notably me and my granny, but maybe to some extent, my late great-grandmother and perhaps a grand-aunt, not sure of my halfsister. 
My granny has had it for years. Sure, some things, like supposed footsteps from the floor above, can be explained, but our home is an old log building, boards groan and shift with age. Still, some part of me wants to think it's an old relative, coming to check their old home.
My grandmother has lived almost her whole life in the house, from her childhood, until they moved back from southern parts. Her parents have lived there and if I remember correctly, her father built it. He was a war veteran. 
He died in the living room, of either a heart attack or a simple cardiac arrest, I don't remember which. Granny said she died surrounded by her and her mother at least, I don't remember were others of the large brood of children there. They were all adults by that time anyway. 
Elias tended to overwork, he would go chopping wood in the middle of winter and come back with barely any clothing and a wet boot from stepping into "Jordan", a little puddle or a stream or a ditch. That might have contributed to his death. 
Anyway, granny told me, that after he had passed, maybe a day or two later, she and her mother were sitting in the living room, she was probably drinking coffee and her mother, Anna, doing knitting or something. The doors were open outside to let fresh air in. Suddenly, she heard her father's voice telling "I'll be going now. Bye." from outside. She looked at her mom and said "Did that sound like my dad to you? That he only now just left?" She said her mom was pale and just told her to keep her mouth shut. She was visibly shaken.
Next, she told me, was one that I was already around with. It was after her youngest brother died suddenly. She said she heard steps from upstairs bedrooms, my uncle wasn't at home (we 4 slept upstairs, dad downstairs) and I was probably outside, as always as a kid. She said the footsteps sounded exactly like how Martti, her brother walked. Of course, you recognize members of your family by how they walk, I do.
Sometime after he had died, her own mother was ailing and my father was in a moose accident. I never forget that year. 
My dad had a good friend, who always stopped by and played with me a bit (all their friends spent time with me, he was the first of them with offspring, one of them later asked me to let him visit my uncle's old room, which was then mine). Anyway, we were going to leave for Sweden to visit relatives and stayed up late. He called, as usual, I picked up, as usual, and was greeted by his trademark nickname for me. "Whassup, lass? Is your dad there?" I suddenly got this unspeakable feeling of dread. I didn't know why. Dad agreed to be their driver for a bar hop night, as usual. I didn't want him to go. I don't remember, did I tell him to not to go, but it felt like a terrible idea. 
It was a terrible idea. We started to drive towards Turku to leave on a ferry to Stockholm with granny's sister and her husband when we saw ambulances and firetrucks and police driving in the opposite direction at 3am. We were at the harbor, ready to board the ferry, when my uncle called, luckily, the husband of my grand-aunt had the first cell phone of the family, from work (Post office) and told us. The guy who called had died in a moose accident and my dad was unconscious in ICU, the couple in the backseat got merely scratches. That was the only week of my life when I prayed. Never really prayed before, nor after. 
Nothing would have probably changed if I had kept insisting that he shouldn't go. It still haunts me. This month, marked 20 years of the accident and I've felt for years, that even that my dad recovered, he wasn't the same, but severe head trauma changes people. My uncle was partial to the finding of the black Volvo 440 in the dark woods, the radio had turned off at every single bump on the road and he had fixed it, the radio was still blaring in there. They had hit the moose, the car had flipped between a huge boulder and a birch and ended up on its wheel in the forest... the owner had been suffocated under his own car, he had psoriasis and never wore the seatbelt, so he flew through the crushed windshield. His grandfather terrorized us for years, calling us "Son killers." His passing was a relief to half a village though...
It was a shock and I never forget his great-grandfather, a war veteran, excellent singer (in the same care department as my great-granny, the only two elderly still rather sane in there and from the same village), to sing by his casket, nearly choking in his tears. What really drove it home, was when the dad's other friend, who had been in the accident and visited and called still (only one of their friends who kept in touch), called once and I picked up and he used his exact words to greet me. "Whassup, lass?" I realized I'd never hear it again. Not by him. They both always treated our place like second home and they were always welcome.
My great-grandmother, Anna, died soon after. My granny and her youngest sister (whom we had visited in Sweden) were there, taking care of her and keeping vigil. After she had passed, they had called my gramps to pick them up and while they stood outside and waited, they saw doves land on the windowsill of her room. Her sister had said, "Dad and brother came to get her." The doves had stayed by the window for a while, until leaving, flying off.
That has left another lasting impression on me and I've used it as a story element, but I'm sure it is not the only such an even around the world. Maybe spirits of the deceased can possess animals and come to see their loved ones one last time, or come to collect their spirits, going then wherever the spirits go.
A few years later, my uncle died, a few weeks after my half-sister was born. It was sudden, but he himself had said he won't see 30. He was about two weeks short of turning 30.
We were taking care of my sister one time afterwards, granny was giving her a bath, I don't remember where I was, maybe playing with her toys or reading, but she said she suddenly felt a cold breeze sweep into the bathroom (mind you, far away from home, where he died, in Viitasaari) and even my sister let out a shaky sound, she felt the breeze too. Granny just calmly kept washing her on the bathroom floor, in the little tub and said: "Raimo, please go, Noora is afraid of you." She said that afterward, the air got warmer and everything felt fine again. There hasn't been such a draft in that room ever when I've spent time there. 
My uncle never saw her. Only a photo of her. He probably followed us and wanted to see his second niece himself.
I'd love to know, do they still linger in our home? Is that why I'm uneasy because I get that feeling of being watched? I know part of it is my paranoia, caused by a mentally unstable bully, who even stalked me once, before the teacher told him off, or is it just because... I can sense things. I can read Tarot cards nowadays, something I first took as a very weird thing and didn't believe it, but I've heard very accurate predictions with them, but also not so accurate kind. Then I found the deck that feels my own, that changed everything. 
The cards won't give me answers on are they still there, well, I should do a reading in there first, but... I'd love to be in touch with a paranormal group, to see if... if they are still there...

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