An old friend’s father died last week, and at the funeral I was surrounded by ghosts. It’s a strange phenomenon when the ghosts of your past take shape, phantoms at first who morph into breathing flesh before your very eyes. That which was firmly locked away has been thrown open, covered by a thick layer of dust but still present. Those ghosts whispered bittersweet memories into my ear, conjuring images of my old life and the person I used to be. The familiarity of it all was a taunt illustrating how much I belonged, yet didn’t.
I was swept from that old life without consent, forced to grow into a stronger and better person that I might have otherwise been. And now that I am older (so much older), it is with greater ease that I firmly lock those ghosts away once more and let them remain only as quiet reminders of a much younger me.
I received a blessing this weekend: I had the opportunity to see my life as it might have been. And I walked away knowing that my life has turned out infinitely better because I went down a different road.