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I believe in ghosts. Not the kind of ghosts that are in movies like “Paranormal” or “The Sixth Sense”. But ghosts like loved ones who have passed and you feel their presence around you.

Now before you go committing me to the looney bin, let me explain.

I lost my grandmother last year. This is the woman who lived in my house with my family my entire life. She was my second mother and her loss affected me deeply. When she died, I longed for a sign from her. I looked everywhere for it. I would go to sleep at night hoping that she would come to me in my dreams. But, she didn’t.

Then, I started to heal and the sadness began to lessen a bit. It was right around that time that I started to feel her around me. Cupboards weren’t mysteriously opening or anything like that, but I just felt as if her presence was still there. For example, when driving with my children and feeling sad about her not being alive, I looked up and there was a street sign that said, “Ida Road” – Ida was my grandmother’s first name.

Also, after many years of her and I writing letters to each other, I have decided to use those letters to start writing my first book. It’s a humorous sharing of my life with one of her letters as the start of each chapter.

When I first thought of the book I began to question if I should make those letters public. Would that be honoring her memory in the right way?

It was at that moment that I looked over at my nightstand and poking out of the corner of one of my magazines was an old letter from my grandmother. I have always kept her letters all together in a fire-proof box, yet this one letter was sitting right there in front of me without me having ever noticed before. At that moment I could clearly hear her voice in my head saying, “Well, you wanted a sign – here’s a sign!”

So yes, I believe in ghosts.

Whether they actually exist or not really isn’t important. What’s important is that I find comfort in the thought that my loved ones are watching out for me, that they hear me when I talk to them in times of need.

And maybe that makes me crazy, but it definitely makes me happy.

Danielle Herzog is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to two children.

Read her every Wednesday on momaha.

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