Back in 2006 when I lived in East Haven, CT I was about to turn 40, and I was single. I had a roommate and I had friends, I had a great job and a new car and I’d just purchased my house. I was new to New Haven county and wanted to make more local friends and get out more, so I browsed through a site called “Meetup”. No, it’s not a hookup site! It’s more of a hobbyist site; if you like chess you can find chess clubs. If you like to quilt you can find quilting groups, that sort of thing. So I looked for groups in East Haven and stumbled across a ghost hunting group. Ghosts are big in New England. Folks aren’t so much into God as they are into the paranormal up there, but again, this was 2006 and I was still in a special kind of stupid stage of life.
So, I joined the paranormal group. The first night I attended one of their outings we were meeting in the parking lot of the group leader’s office, and planned to head to a local cemetery to take some pictures. At night, of course. We wound up standing in that parking lot for a while waiting for a group member who was running late. This would become a pretty common occurrence. We heard her vehicle before we saw it – radio blaring classic rock (Highway to Hell or Don’t Fear the Reaper, I think it was), her minivan came tearing around the corning into the parking lot, tires screeching. We could see her multi-tasking, driving and putting on her makeup at the same time. It was Mary.
She was introduced to me as the “medium” of the group, because she could see and talk to spirits. At the time I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. Mary had apparently grown up seeing and speaking to spirits since the time she was a small child. Minutes later we were off on our first adventure together. For the next several years we spent our nights hanging out in cemeteries and in houses that were supposedly haunted, having epic adventures.
Those adventures had a heavy price. Mary’s marriage fell apart because she was never home. Her health suffered. Remember Job? Remember how Satan attacked the health of Job, and God let him do it? Mary and I spent so much time playing with the supernatural, which the Bible tells us NOT to DO, and talking with spirits who turned out to be demons, not ghosts! I remember taking her to have an endoscopy done, and a liver biopsy because she was starting to have health problems. And then she lost her job. And her house. Everything she had built up over the years was being torn down. The more we messed with the paranormal the more she lost.
In 2013 she decided to move to North Carolina. We decided we would all go. She and her kids went down in August and picked out a rental house big enough for all of us and in September my husband and I uprooted and moved down, too. She’d picked a place in the mountains, and the winters were unbearably cold, so after that first winter my husband and I moved further down into the Charlotte area. Mary’s health continued to decline.
After a long, drawn out battle against her own body, Mary passed a few days ago. Her one wish had been to live long enough to see her daughter get married. Her daughter was married just days before her passing. Wish granted. So, last weekend we were at their church for a wedding and this weekend we’re going back for a memorial service. I drove up the day she died, to spend the night with the kids and give them however much support I could. I’ve lost several friends this year, but this one was especially hard. But I’m glad she’s not in pain anymore; the last few years have been agony for her. I’m glad Hospice was there for her to provide comfort care in those last couple of days. I’m glad her kids are over 18 now and situated with wonderful partners and supportive new families. And I’m grateful for the promises that God has given us that we can all be together again someday.