A House of Ghosts

An online friend, someone who only knows me through my blog posts, emails, and projects we have worked on together, made an astute remark.

She said, in response to my blog about the double rainbow, “I do think you are more perceptible to the outside world and that life is moving forward when you get out of the house. You won’t find any possibilities in the house — you have to be able to get out when you can.” I found that comment interesting because I hadn’t noticed the deadness of this the house until the last few days. It’s always been a place of dying and grief, paranoia and imprisonment. I first visited this house to help with my dying mother. I came to stay after the death of my life mate/soul mate to help my elderly father and to get through my shockingly painful grief. For the first three years I was here, my father would set the burglar alarm around 7:00pm and he didn’t give me the alarm code, so I was basically a prisoner of his paranoia, and now my brother is making me a prisoner of his paranoia and psychoses.

ThiStarss deadness was especially apparent to me this morning. I went to pick up a rental vehicle to take my brother back to Colorado (a foolish waste of money, since he insists he doesn’t have time to get ready) and while I was sitting in that sparse office, I could feel my spirits rise. Since my brother refuses to go tomorrow, that means I have the vehicle for my own use, and I could go . . . wherever. During the long ride back here, I felt that optimism, and even after a confrontation with my brother, who claimed the SUV was too small, he couldn’t be ready, and various other ranting objections, I kept that feeling of optimism. But now that I’ve been back in the house a couple of hours, I feel the cement hardening around my feet and my heart, and I can barely muster the energy to . . . well, to do anything.

I never had much belief in ghosts, but this place does seem haunted, if only by my own unhappiness.

I don’t really have anywhere I want to go, but I think I’ll head out on the highway for a couple of hours, and see what I can see — maybe some stars. It’s supposed to be a good night for stargazing.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “A House of Ghosts”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Give your brother a deadline. After all, your sister has. Maybe then he might be convinced to get his butt in gear and back to Colorado.

  2. Wanda Says:

    It’s so hard to try to deal with a person with mental illness in a way that doesn’t take into account that illness.I hope things get better for you dear Pat. Sometimes I think real life is so much harder because we watch movies and tv where things are solved in anywhere from 22 minutes to 2 hours. Real life just takes ever so much longer.

    Take a good long drive. Look at those stars….look forward to the future…. things will get change. That’s the only thing we can count on….that things change.

    hugs girl

  3. Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] One of the reasons we needed him to go was that my father was rapidly declining. We didn’t think the old man had long to live, and the house couldn’t be put on the market with my brother living in the garage. But my father is doing better, so much so that he can be left alone some of the time. My sister, who came to help and who precipitated the exit of my brother, is thinking of leaving, and so once again it will be just me and my father in this house of ghosts. […]

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