I see dead people on a regular basis. Ok, so I don’t actually see them in the way you might think. But I go visit my deceased relatives at the cemetery often, about once a week lately. And I talk to them, as if they might answer me, all the time. Maybe you think I’m crazy, but it’s my coping mechanism, and it works. I don’t leave out my dead people, who are buried further away. I talk to them, too.
In fact, my dead people are so alive in my heart that they can still instill guilt in me. I sometimes park in the cemetery’s parking lot when I am in the area because there are few spots on the street. Knowing my Nonna would get angry if her children passed her house without stopping in, I have to go in or risk her wrath. So, now if I’m forced to park at this their home, I have to go inside to say, “Hi.”
My son often comes with me. These loved ones have gone away to be our guardian angels, I tell him. I know some of you will write me to say this is all a bunch of bologna. I’m not even sure you’re wrong. But I need to believe in life after death in the way I need air, to survive. My son might be influenced by me. He likes blowing kisses and touching the stones so much that he does it to the headstones of strangers, too. I tell him to be quiet, so he doesn’t wake up the tenants. And, despite the running and the smack sounds when he’s doing his kissing, he’s pretty well behaved at the cemetery. That is until we reach Zio Michele. He’s the last stop because he’s not far from the door, so my little guy knows that he can unleash his grand Italian voice in just a second. The only problem is he can never wait until we actually reach the door. He gives Zio Michele his sweet kiss and then starts singing on the top of his lungs. I turn red and he starts dancing out of the cemetery. I have this vision of Zio Michele and the others, including my grandparents, dancing with him.
Di Meglio uses the written word to help families create memories and stick together. You can follow her on Facebook at Francesca’s Newlyweds Nest and on Twitter @ItalianMamma10.