I don’t believe in ghosts and think of them as a symbolic way some of us process grief in order to avoid having to deal with the shame or guilt in acknowledging we wish to haunt ourselves.

I said this today to a bunch of 8th graders who were asked by their teacher if they believed in them or not, and most of them after hearing my point of view looked at me and told me with googly eyes and howled in my direction that I didn’t know what I was talking about, ghosts exist they said so hard I thought I felt some hair on my head blow back each time they said it.

I could have thanked them though since I suppose these students could have helped me realize that the part of me that thinks ghosts can’t be real is too busy screaming at himself for unfinished business sometimes, he doesn’t see that real ghosts could actually exist, and out of some need to be ambiguous in order to make his worries go away he feels he has to move through his own biases in order to simply feel a sense of belonging.

And this could have been why I immediately started to miss a former girlfriend who died in a car accident a few years ago, and began to imagine what it might be like to have her back.

Damn, I miss you, and I wish you were here, I caught myself thinking, just as the class was dismissed, and I almost let myself think for a moment that a part of me died when she did.

But that’s what the bereaved like to tell themselves in order to avoid having to say goodbye or admit it’s too late to, while they walk the halls looking for a way back into their own heart.