Paranormal Perceptions ~ Spirits of Our Loved Ones
The Paranormal Perceptions series was created to gather some of the most interesting authors that are using paranormal elements in their stories. Every author has their own perceptions and provides their own insight on all things paranormal, ranging from urban legends and paranormal research, to myths and inspirations. This week on the guest series is author of Mistaken, author J.A. Howel. (@JenniferHowlz)
Death has always fascinated me. We all die, but then what? Where do we go? What do we do? Do we just shut off? Everyone has their own beliefs of the afterlife, and some people even come back with near-death experiences, but really, there is nothing that we can actually confirm. For me personally, I don't think that we just shut off. I believe that there is a difference between mind, body, and soul, and although our body no longer lives, other parts of us continue on somewhere out there. I also would like to think that if part of us is still needed here by a loved one, then in some form, we can remain here for them.
In my own experiences with death, losing people I loved, I have found this to be the case. I've had visits in my dreams from both my grandmother and my father after their deaths. In the dream of my grandmother, she left me at a bus station after telling me she had to go “home”, leaving behind a suitcase full of Chips Ahoy cookies. As a child, she would only ever let me have two of those cookies at a time whenever I went to her house after school. I like to think that this was her way of telling me to enjoy my life and live a little. (Though maybe not eat ALL of the cookies.) My dad's death I took the hardest, as it was sudden and unexpected. The day after I got the news, I was sitting alone at my college, crying at a computer station when I felt someone comb their fingers through my hair...but nobody was around. A few months later I began to have dreams about him every few months. He would just be stopping by to check on me. In one dream I even told him "Dad, you died." He only told me, "Yes, I know." and continued asking me how things were going. These dreams continued on, becoming less frequent over time until I moved in with the man that is now my husband. In that dream he asked "So that's him?" and he smiled, and that was the last time I heard from him in that type of dream.
Maybe these were just coping mechanisms that my brain thought up to deal with losing these important people in my life, but I like to think that it was them, that they were sticking around for just a little bit, to make sure I was okay. Someone asked me about a part in Mistaken, where the wind blows while Dillan is visiting Jamie's grave. They asked me if that was him. I only smiled and asked them, "Do you think it was Jamie?" The answer for me is, yes, I believe Jamie may have been around Dillan, as well as his brother, but I leave it open for others to interpret how they wish. Maybe it was just a nice breeze? However, in my next book, Possess, the fact that someone is sticking around from the other side is indisputable. Just like I believe that the spirits of our loved ones may stick around to care for us, I also believe they will stick around if there is something important still tying them here.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.