A visit by a dead neighbor

Blog #4

This post will be fairly short as compared to posts #2 and #3, and hopefully not as gut wrenching to read, but not free of a tragedy. It will somewhat mirror post #1 seeing a ghost.

In my first 3 posts you saw that my dad was evil, my babysitters son was evil, and that my mom was the queen of denial. So, keeping in mind the circumstances I was unable to control as a child, you will understand my desire to find a surrogate father.

When I was 8 years old, give or take the neighbor to the north moved away, selling their home to a retired farmer and his wife, the Morey’s, Irvin and Gertrude. It’s worth mentioning that my dad and grandfather loathed each other, so it was very rare for my biological grandfather to visit, although when he did I was over the moon with joy.

The Morey’s were devout Mormons, which to me meant nothing at all since I had no clue what a Mormon was, however they were really nice people. The Bates family had moved out of town the year before, so I didn’t have any playmates near my age except my siblings. I was fond of my older sister who was smart and often put herself in harms way to defend against our tyrant brother. I liked playing with my toy cars and trucks, she liked her dolls, so we didn’t play often.

All of us kids really took a shine to the Moreys, and spent a lot of our free time at their house, but me more so than my siblings. Mr. Morey used to show me things and tell me things about farming and tractors, and about raising livestock. I followed him around as a shadow, and grew to love him more than my own grandfather. Mr. Morey likewise took a shine to me since their daughter was in college and unmarried, there weren’t any grandkids in their lives.

Mr. Morey took a job delivering newspapers from the Pueblo Chieftain to other towns within 75 miles of Pueblo in his personal pickup truck. One fateful day he had a very bad accident which left him hospitalized for a month, and in severe pain for the rest of his life.  Because he could no longer do the physical things he needed done, he took in a homeless man who lived in half of the garage. The homeless guy had room and board in exchange for the physical labor. If you have seen the movie “Sling Blade” you can get an idea what the guy was like; the resemblance is uncanny in fact.

The homeless guy’s name was Charles, and was pretty subdued, and a hard worker. He built an addition to their house, hand dug a basement for their house, built a chimney and remodeled their kitchen. One sad night Charles passed peacefully in his sleep. Mr. Morey had nobody to do the manual labor he needed done to take care of his cows and chickens, repair things like his John Deere tractor, etc after Charles died, so Mr. Morey had to do it himself, in excruciating pain from the accident.

I did what a child can do to help out, mowed their lawn with an old push mower, raked their yard, pulled weeds from their garden, etc. I was a constant fixture at their house. 

One night when I was about 10 or 11 years old I got a knock on my bedroom window, and I was afraid it was Larry coming to taunt me. When I pulled the curtain aside however it wasn’t Larry, it was Irvin Morey. I think it must have been 2 or 3 AM.  I opened the window and he put his index finger to his lips that I should be quiet so I whispered. “Mr. Morey, what are doing here so late? Am I in trouble for something?”

Mr. Morey said he was leaving, but couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to me. I told him I wanted to come with him. He said I couldn’t because he isn’t coming back, but said that he would see me again sometime. I offered to get my siblings so that they could say goodbye too, but he said they couldn’t see him. I thought he meant they shouldn’t, but he literally meant they couldn’t. He told me to be brave and keep being a good kid. Mr. Morey said that in the morning your parents will explain everything. I was crying. I wanted to go with him. I said “can I come outside and hug you?” He said no, he had to leave right away. Then he walked out of sight into the dark night.

The next day, our parents told us that Mr. Morey had passed away. I was shocked and devastated. I said “he can’t be dead, I just talked to him this morning”. My mom said, no you didn’t. I said yes I did, and told them all what he said.  My dad with all coldness said, “Mr. Morey died yesterday. His wife called us late last night to tell us what happened. We weren’t gonna wake you all up for that. So you see Danny, you didn’t talk to Mr. Morey this morning because he would have been dead over 12 hours earlier.”

I begged my mom to take to the funeral home so I could see for myself, so she did. He really was gone. Forever. 

His suicide note said that the physical pain from the accident was too much to bear every single day. He apologized in his note for not telling anyone goodbye, but said he had made up his mind.  He had hung himself in his barn.

So I had seen the dead aunt at age four and waved and made faces, but she didn’t talk to me. Now I knew I had not just seen another dead person, but in fact we had a conversation. And like the Aunt, Mr. Morey wasn’t ghostly in appearence, he didn’t have rope burns around his neck. 

When the movie “6th Sense” was released I was both happy and sad, because I knew I could see dead people, but they aren’t gruesome and creepy, they are just themselves. 

I know my experience is hardly unique where a dead loved one visits a child. To my knowledge a dead person hasn’t visited me in my adult life but if it happened tomorrow I wouldn’t be shocked.

This Kindly visit from Mr. Morey raised some questions for me when I became a Christian. If suicide is an automatic ticket to hell, why was he able to tell me goodbye? Did he go to some kind of limbo to await judgement day, and then he goes to hell?  Since he believed in Jesus Christ did that mean that God already forgave his suicide?  I don’t have an answer to those questions.

What I am confident of however, what I have steadfastly believed after seeing two dead people, is that there is indeed a spiritual world all around us that we can’t perceive normally. I do think that children and animals haven’t been taught that ghosts aren’t real. I find it ironic when Christians doubt my witness when the Bible clearly  states it. What do they think the Holy Spirit is if not the Spirit of God? Can they see the Holy Spirit or touch it? When John the Baptist baptized Jesus the Bible says he SAW the Holy Spirit physically descend on Christ.  So if I have seen ghosts twice, and John saw God’s spirit, why would I doubt what I saw.

May you feel encouraged and happy to know that there is an afterlife in heaven that we will share, where there will be no more tears, only the eternal happiness and joy of being with our loving God and creator. 

In Christ’s name and for the Glory of God,