51. GHOST STORY

ghost

This is a tale of supernatural coincidence. It is the story of a miracle, and I swear every word is 100% true.

Day 1

A few years ago, around 2005, I decided to find out how my AA sponsor was doing. It had been some time since hearing from him and didn’t quite know where he was since I hadn’t written down his address. His phone had been disconnected as well.  This didn’t surprise me because the last time we spoke he’d mentioned cutting back on non-essential bills now that he was in retirement with  a limited income.  I’d visited his apartment since he moved, but couldn’t recall exactly where it was. The general vicinity was known, however I wasn’t about to go around randomly looking, hoping to recognize it. I found a web site designed for locating people and paid for some information, which to my surprise, proved quite useful. The following Saturday morning I set out to see my friend. My spirits were dampened upon arriving, it was a security building; hadn’t remembered that. After trying Joe’s number for several minutes without an answer I randomly tapped on several other buzzers hoping the occupants wouldn’t get too mad; there was no response. I then spent the good part of an hour trying to figure out how to get word to him some other way and was finally rewarded with a chance to approach a tenant who was leaving. Gathering my groveling skills I pleaded shortly with the gentleman to let me in so I might at least leave a note on his door. The first synchronicity was about to happen. The man was living in the apartment Joe had occupied. He suggested talking to the property manager and maybe she could give me some information on his whereabouts. It was a couple of buildings over, and I found the office with little effort. I called the number on the door and left a message that went something like this, “You don’t know me but I’m a friend of Joe Patton. He used to live here and I can’t find him. I know you don’t have to, but could you please call me and let me know if you remember him and if he is ok?” I left her my number not expecting a reply since I’d asked for information of a personal nature.

Day 2

On Sunday morning around 8:00 a.m. I received a call from the manager of the apartment complex. She was very kind, more than helpful, and a little sad. I had a slight suspicion what was wrong. She told me Joe had committed suicide about a year and a half prior.  My response to the news was surprising. A peace settled over me and I was happy for him. The funny thing was, I didn’t think I would react that way. By no means did I agree with his actions, but I felt I understood them. He had said some time back he may be going into hospice. I thought he was exaggerating his situation, not out of rudeness or insensitivity, but because he always acted and moved with such a healthy swagger. Obviously this had not been the case. After looking at his situation from the point of view of an addict, I could understand why it made sense to him. He had left a lifetime of dependencies in his wake and when suddenly faced with the possibility of leaving this world full of drugs that would violate his ethics, then the option of self-termination became a justifiable alternative. I’d read years ago that suicide is actually a crime, so I surmised calling the police might yield more information. My goal was to pay respects to wherever his remains were. They told me that obvious suicides are not crimes and are simply handled by the coroner’s office. I sent off an e-mail with all the information I had asking if they could let me know anything else about Joe. Synchronicity number two was about to happen. That night I went to my basement and got online to relax. Literati is a generic version of Scrabble I used play almost every day on Yahoo! While playing I would usually turn on my “personal” radio station through a now defunct web site called Launchcast. It was a music service that allowed the listener evaluate songs, albums, and artists. Given enough time, 90% of what streamed would become whatever the user had  graded. At this point I had around 5000 ratings, more than enough to cater very personally to me. For the most part every tenth song or so was either a new release or something that the system had guessed matched my preferences.  About half a dozen times or so (at this point, for the last year and a half) a soundtrack had popped up  that never matched my tastes or had anything on it I’d approved. This was the music to Joe’s favorite movie. It’s called “Last of the Dogmen.” It was released in the mid nineties and it’s about a lost tribe of American Indians found in modern times. Well…….as I was playing online that night, here it came. The name of the track was, “Somebody’s out There.” The hair on the back of my neck went up, not out of fear but recognition of what was going on. I was alone and looked around slowly to see if anything was moving or if I could actually glimpse an apparition of some sort. I didn’t notice anything and didn’t have to. I slept very well that night.

Day 3

It’s Monday morning now, and another phone call came, this time around nine. There was a kind and sympathetic person on the other end. Within a few minutes the Coroner had given me all the details he could about Joe. He told me how he died and that one of his friends had taken care of the funeral arrangements. I knew he couldn’t give me any private information about Joe’s friend for obvious reasons, but instead asked if he could call the man in question and give him my number. He said he would be very happy to try and I said goodbye thinking it wouldn’t work. (I would have been upset if I hadn’t tried.) Within three minutes there was yet another call from a man named Chris.  We talked for a while and came to the end of the road metaphorically speaking. He told me his ashes were spread in a park near Boulder. Chris was most compassionate and he seemed happy that someone still cared for Joe. And that was it….I thought. Synchronicity number three was about to bear down like a locomotive. As usual that night I was in the basement playing my game to unwind while listening to music when Joe’s soundtrack popped up again. Two days in a row for something that had never been listened to or rated? Now it was weird enough it played the night before, but this was way too specific to be considered some sort of random event. The title of this particular track was “Leaving Forever” Hmm. Now……….the next song was one that actually had been rated years before but not heard yet. Queen released an album in 1980 called “The Game” it was extremely popular at the time and being a fan of the group I had marked all the tracks as high as possible. The song that started playing next was called “Don’t try Suicide.” What a way to say farewell. I leaned back in my chair without needing to look around for any physical evidence of his presence and said out loud, “Good-bye, Joe.”  

Is he gone now? No. I still ask him for his opinions; I still ask him for guidance; I still ask him for his presence; and while my prayers may not be answered in ways I can verify or explain, they are indeed always answered. I miss my friend even though I know he’s never really left. This story is for you Joe, rest in peace.  

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

 

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3 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this entry!!! You and I need to swap stories of our synchronistic “paranormal” experiences. I believe it would be an enjoyable exchange! I’ve perceived a bit more than the average my whole life (but not enough to make me comfortable with the label “psychic,” at least the way the term is currently used in today’s society). That being said, I wanted to take it back to Joe for a moment. How wonderful of him to act as a beacon of communication, not only for you, but for all of us now that have had the privilege to read about this wonderful experience!!! We all know that religion has classically shared a very negative opinion about “what happens to” those who die by suicide. Obviously I do not share religion’s opinions on the subject. I am happy to hear from Joe, because in his own way, he has validated my own views on this subject. He shows that not only is he “alive and well,” but that his heart is still one of connection and guidance. How beautiful!!!! Thank you Joe!!

    I have similar stories of “communicating” with my loved ones who have passed, as well as communicating with those whom I don’t know. I feel your story here was more moving than my stories, haha. I suppose that has something to do with the novelty of it as well. I’m more of an empath than anything. I FEEL the presence, as you described with knowing Joe was “in the room” with you. My 2nd predominant sense is “knowing.” I’ll just know certain things every now and then (but again, never “cool’ or “big deal” things…. just like knowing what color outfit my coworker will be wearing before I see her). I’ll see visions of things through my “3rd eye”, and see some things with my human eyes (not limited to my 3rd eye). I hear things every now and then, but that’s not my best sense.

    My closest “dead” relative is my grandmother “Nanny.” She was a spunk of an old lady. Clever and cynical, haha. I love her immensely. I’ll share this story because it’s short, simple, and recent (though I’ve had other experiences since this event). Nanny died October 27th, 2010. Each year, my cousin, my twin and I usually visit her grave on that day. This past year, life was hectic for all 3 of us, and we hadn’t even planned to do it. We nearly forgot it was “the day” altogether, though we KNEW deep down that it was. Well, I believe all 3 of us were mentally procrastinating, knowing that we would have to face the painful fact that she was gone, and we were each in our own homes, not calling each other, and just playing the stupid repression game alone. Around 9pm, my cousin called my twin and I. She said that Nanny had been on her mind all day long, but that she was resisting it to get other things done. We admitted that the same was for us. She stated that she called us, because just as she was lying down to rest and reflect on the day, Nanny’s picture on her wall (she lives in Nanny’s old house, too, by the way) FLEW OFF THE WALL and landed on the floor. There was nothing that rattled the house, and no other pictures even moved. The glass in the frame was perfectly intact. The picture was just in the middle of the living room floor. My cousin KNEW it was our snarky grandmother teasing us! Just then, in MY house, I smelled her characteristic cigarette smell, and in my sister’s house, she saw a shadow dart in front of the piano in her living room…. Nanny’s piano that she got after Nanny’s death. All of these things happened within an hour of one another… and 2 of the 3 events happened on the phone with each other! We decided to meet up at her grave, even though it was about 10:30pm at that point. We started teasing Nanny back for being a snarky clever old woman, and just as we were saying our “I love you’s,” we all saw a shooting star in the night sky. TELL ME THAT ISN’T SUBLIMELY PERFECT!!!!!!!!!! We were all filled with love that night, and skeptics can say what they wish…. but it sure felt real to us. And if it made us happy, then what was the problem, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful story. My relatives have always been distant, both socially and literally. Not only that but I have no siblings which makes for very few extended family stories. I’ve always harbored some healthy envy for those who have such connections in both life and death. Our relationships are all that matters in the final hour, do they not? I wonder if there’s a separate blog out there for all to share such experiences?
      PLEASE let me know if you read this reply because I have something I want to send you as a follow up to this story. Joe SPOKE to me that last night, clear as could be, and taught me the most important lesson I have ever learned. It’s one of the essays to my book and I’ll gladly send it to you if you like. I left it off here because it IS part of my book and it makes the preceding story really long. Also…believe it or not, I got in touch with the director of “Last of the Dogmen” and sent him a link to this entry which he in turn read and replied to. Cool, huh?

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      1. Wow!!!!!! Oh my do I really really want to hear this!!! Intention is everything, and since we both had the intention of thinking of our loved ones and thanking Joe for coming through…. I believe with our intention, coupled with our positive focus, we successfully manifested another invitation to communicate!! I love it!!! Please let me know what Joe said, and the rest of this story!! I’m highly interested!

        As a side note, your family dynamics are quite interesting. Your dynamics remind me of my husband’s family. He DOES have a brother, but his father is deceased (and they have “bad blood” with that side of the family, and have little contact). His mother was adopted, so they have little contact with her biological family, and her adoptive family is quite small, most are deceased, and the other family still living has MORE “bad blood” situations in them. So, he basically has a family of 3 (brother, mother, step-father). He never has family reunions. I have…. probably 10 family reunions a year. So it’s always interesting to me to see a different perspective on how daily life may feel to people.

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