Mo's Manic Monday - Ghost

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to another Manic Monday with Morgen. Don't forget to cruise by the new MM HQ at Manic Monday the blog. Today's theme is Ghost.

My grandmother died in 1986.

I had been living in southern California at the time. When she went into the hospital for the last time, I took a long weekend and drove up to see her. It was difficult for me. I wanted to come home.

She told me to hang in and do my best. And she told me that if it was what I really wanted to do with my life, then everything would work itself out. Of course it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a Marine. But that wasn't going to happen no matter how much I wanted it.

I felt selfish for bringing my own problems like that. But she told me she was at peace and there was nothing she would rather do in her final days than help her grandson figure things out.

Yeah...I cried.

Gram was always such a presence in my life. The story goes that just after I was born, they couldn't get me to make much noise. I didn't cry or fuss much...just a few random grunts. And one little fist kept escaping from the swaddle package. No matter how many times they wrapped me up tight, that little fist kept working its way free. And my eyes were open and wandering from sound to sound.

They tell me that when Gram came into the room and spoke, my head snapped to her and my eyes fixed on her. These are the words my mom has always said Gram spoke to me.

"Well hello there. I'm Grammy and of course you must be Travis."

And that was when I started to make a lot of noise. If Gram left the room, they say I "looked" for her and fussed until she came back. I had a bond with her. She was one of the three women who raised me...along with my mom and my sister. They made me who I am.

Now this is a story about ghosts, and I promise I'm getting there.

I knew the moment Gram left. I knew she went peacefully after such a long and draining battle with emphysema. I called my supervisor and quit my job. I knew I was on the wrong path and I knew I needed to go home. I wouldn't be able to get through my grief without my mom and my sister.

And even going home, I struggled for a long time as I tried to get used to the idea that I couldn't get in my truck and drive 90 miles to see Gram anymore.

One night about six months after she died, it got to be too much. I got in my truck and drove to her. She's in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno CA.

I'm not a religious man and I don't accept the concept of God. I wasn't raised with any kind of belief or study in that kind of thing. I am spiritual in my own way and it doesn't have anything to do with any ideas about religion or heaven or angels.

I believe we all come from a well of energy, and when we die our energy returns to that well. I believe that we are all connected to the energy in the well.

I'm not looking for a debate or discussion. I simply state the way I think so you have a context for what I experienced.

It was after midnight when I pulled to a stop on El Camino Real. Golden Gate National Cemetery is huge. But I knew where she was...almost as though I was being guided to the spot.

I got out of the truck and walked to the fence. I was looking down the row of headstones, and her place was about 75 yards from where I stood. She's buried there with my baby Uncle Joey who was stillborn in 1954.

It was oddly peaceful to be standing there. A lot of stuff was working itself out in my mind. I could feel her with me. And so I asked out loud, is it ok with you now? Is it better? Are you at peace now?

When I was little, Gram used to play a game with us. Every time she entered a room, she'd flick the light switch off and on three times. So just as I finished asking my questions, the lamp post over my shoulder flicked on and off three times.

And I knew she was ok. She was better. She was at peace. And I could be too.

When I got back in the truck, I felt light. For the first time since she died, my thoughts were clear and I wasn't sad. There was an overwhelming presence in the cab with me, but it wasn't oppressive at all. It was warm.

As I drove away from the cemetery, the presence coalesced and Gram was there in the passenger seat. I felt her there, and I saw her there. I told her I loved her. She rode with me for awhile. We had our real final talk about where my life was headed, until she started to fade as we approached the San Mateo Bridge.

Her ghost faded away, but her presence remained. She has been in my heart every day since then.

I've seen her ghost return twice since that night. She was there when my sister got married, and she was there on the day my niece was born.

I swear I heard her say "Well hello there. I'm Grammy and of course you must be (my niece's name)".


  1. TopChamp says:

    ah - it must be great to have family like that. Ghosts I find difficult to conceive of. Maybe that's why I have never seen one.

  1. Aww.. that's such a heartwarming and sweet story. I think grandparents rocks. Thanks for sharing it.

  1. Wow. That's so great. I too was very close to my grandmother and I too have had her visit me. I loved your story. Thanks for sharing.

  1. I have different ideas about what exactly is going on in such experiences, but as I've researched such things for a quarter century, I can tell you this is a classic case, experienced by many.
    You're not alone in more ways than one. Thanks for sharing this.

  1. Lizza says:

    What an awesome experience, Trav. I had a similar experience soon after my dad passed away. Makes me think those we love never truly leave us.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Oh Trav that is such a lovely example of proof of survival. Your grammy will always be with you looking after you. Thankyou for sharing such an intimate moment. You will meet your grammy again one day, but not for a long time I hope m'dear. x

  1. What a heartwarming post. You know what i think there are spirits amongst us specially our loved ones sometimes there with us to guide us and protect us. My father just died a couple months ago and whenever I feel troubled I call him, same as my mom and he helps us.

    Your experience is truly amazing. Thanks for sharing. My ghost story is up at my Earthly Explorations blog. Pls. visit when you have time. Happy week ahead!

  1. Marsha says:

    (wiping tears from my eyes) Way cool story Travis!

  1. Marsha says:

    Thanks for sharing!!

  1. Of course she was with you, and continues to be. That bond will never be broken.

  1. Linda says:

    Goosebumps, Travis. This post gave me goosebumps as well as a big smile as I could just 'feel' your grandmother as she touched your life and let you know that everything was going to be alright.

    Isn't it nice to know that she's still with you in spirit and still watches over the family even though she's no longer on this earthly plane, no longer restricted by time and space and illness and any of those other things that tie us down?

  1. Anonymous says:
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lemme try this again...

    You have a relationship with Grammy like my youngest step daughter Mabel does (she calls her grammy, too!). Literally out of the womb the nurses took Mabel to the changing table. Mabel rolled over, lifted herself up, and made direct contact with Grammy Billye.

    Yep, Grammy is definitely with you! Isn't it nice to know?

  1. My mother passed away less than two years before my son was born. She came back once to sing a song for her new grandson. Since I can't sing hearing my mother's voice coming out of my mouth not only shocked me but the aunt who was with me at the time.... I think love is the strongest of the connections and the last to break.

  1. Polly says:

    Thanks for sharing such a spriritual, personal, and touching story. Your connection with her continues.

  1. Sandee says:

    That was beautiful Travis, really beautiful. :)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Oh Travis, what a story! I never even came close to anything like that :o)

  1. Family come to visit to comfort us to celebrate with us.That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  1. I've spent quite a bit of time visiting with my father in the cemetary. I've never had a "ghostly" encounter but I have felt the peace you mention.

  1. TC: I think the word ghost is the trip here. I used it, but I think of it more as spiritual energy.

    Terra: I know my grandparents definitely rock.

    Clancy: Some people have difficult or scary experiences, but mine was quite clarifying.

    Anthony: I'm certainly open to some of the theories to explain my experience. I do know that it helped me.

    Lizza: I think as long as we are open to the energies, we can never really lose the connections.

    Akelamalu: I've always thought there was some kind of continuation. If we are made of energy, then it has to go somewhere.

    Earthling: I'm sorry for your loss. It can truly be comforting when we can still feel so close to those we have lost.

    Marsha: Awww. I didn't mean to make you cry!

    Songbird: Indeed.

    Linda: I really needed to know that she was beyond the pain, and she told me.

  1. Lois: It's wonderful to know!

    Jamie: I definitely agree with that.

    Polly: It does.

    Sandee: Thanks.

    Ivanhoe: It can be disturbing for some, but for me it was wonderful.

    Mike: Well said.

    Charles: Even without the physical manifestation of a ghost, that energy still can bring the kind of peace we need at the times we need it.

  1. Travis...I am sitting here...DWTS on pause on the TiVo with tears running down my face.

    You have written some incredible stories in your time and I have been so lucky to have read them (even those others have not), but I have to tell you my friend, this one will stay with me always...

    Now I have to find some tissues and dry the tears away

  1. j says:

    Do you think that the people we love can manifest themselves to us in a way that WE can actually handle? It seems that you were completely open to her presence and you got her completely.

    When my Nanny died, a lady bug landed on my mother's shoulder at the funeral. To her, that was her mother. Something of nature and colorful to boot. That is the manifestation that she is able to handle.

    I miss my Nanny too.

    Have a great week Travis.

  1. Anonymous says:

    As I read this post, I smiled, cried, and then my body was covered in chill bumps! What a great story. Many times I have wished to see my Grandma. She was such an inspiration to me. She died with I was pregnant with my first child. I was always saddened by the fact that she didn't get to meet my kids. They would have loved her. I am so glad that she got to tell you that all was well with her.

    What a great post!

  1. This is, without a doubt, one of the best posts I've ever read. The pencil hairs on my pencil head are standing up.

    She was an amazing gift in your life. Thank you for sharing her with us. What an incredible spirit.

  1. This is, without a doubt, one of the best posts I've ever read. The pencil hairs on my pencil head are standing up.

    She was an amazing gift in your life. Thank you for sharing her with us. What an incredible spirit.

  1. Thorne says:

    What a great tale! Happy MM! Mine's up at Thorne's World

  1. This post reminds me of my own, departed father in so many ways. Nice to know that some people never truly leave you, y'know? *hug*

  1. neat little story, thank you

    as the sole survivor in my immediate family, i feel the presence of my mom, dad and sis, from time to time... mom mostly, she was the first to die, some 12 years ago, when i was on the west coast

  1. Liz Hill says:

    Thank you for sharing this---I still shake my head at how we are so similar.

  1. V: Wow. Thanks my friend.

    Jennifer: I think that's a very good point, and I'm inclined to agree with you.

    CWM: I was definitely a tremendous relief to know. And I do know.

    Mimi: That's high praise. Thank you my dear.

    Thorne: I'll be by soon to check it out.

    Lana: It's very comforting.

    Laughingwolf: I think we can tap that positive energy as long as we need it.

    Turn: Hugs.

  1. Julie says:

    **sigh** Thanks for the good feeling you just gave me.

    So many wonderful people have touched your life and you just keep passing it on.

    Grandma's special ways never stop.

  1. Unknown says:


    That's a good one and very precious.

  1. Carol says:

    Just came over from Goodnight Gram's. This is a beautiful story. I relate to it very much.

    My son's twin brother died shortly before the two boys were born. It's a long story, but I didn't know that he was buried in a cemetery until 15 years later. The people at the cemetery gave me directions to his grave where there was no marker. I found the general area and then, like you with your Gram, I felt or knew somehow exactly where he was. We bought a stone for him and I was right - it was placed right where I could feel my son's body/energy/whatever.

    It's all so beautiful.

    I'm so glad that you had that nurturing relationship with your Gram and I can tell that connecting with her again was a very healing experience. Thanks for sharing it.