Do ghosts know they are dead?As a writer I like to occupy the head of my characters in an attempt to understand them and convey their characteristics and motivations across to readers. So when I was writing my second novel I wondered if the main ghost, a Napoleonic War Drummer Boy, knew he was dead.
I further questioned what would be his motivations for staying earth bound? Much like my debut novel, The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital, did he have unresolved issues like she had, did he need someone to hear his story, solve a problem, and ultimately help him move on?
Perhaps those who are blessed in seeing phantoms are actually seeing a spirit trying to reach out to them, to be understood, or maybe to make contact. But do ghosts know they are dead? I guess most do, but cannot find peace until whatever is troubling them has been resolved and maybe only then can they find peace. But what of those ghosts who are seen by many people? Is their issue unresolved or are they confused? Or do they like to manifest themselves? Maybe in life they liked the sense of control of being harmful to someone, maybe in death they have retained their evil ways. Or perhaps they retain their goodness? I like to think the later because I firmly belief that the Grey Lady nursed those who were dying and helped them seek peace.
Those of us who have been lucky enough to see a dead relative come back may feel that they are saying goodbye one last time. Perhaps they were still earthbound because they had never been giving the chance to say farewell through sudden and unexpected traumatic death and after manifestation their soul was laid to rest along with their physical body.
I do wonder if spirits may be full of regret for things they have done in life or maybe even for unfulfilled ambitions. Does this keep them earthbound? Would someone who committed suicide not move over due to their troubled mind? Or did this final act bring them peace from life's troubles?
Death is an unexplored realm by the living and would be confusing to most of us. Sadly no-one has come back to tell us about it but I would hope that when I reach the spiritual realm and have passed over, dead and much missed loved ones will come to greet me. But I will still miss those I leave behind such as my wife, daughter and friends. Will I haunt them? I think not, I'm quite at peace and have led a great life and know I'll be re-united with those I love at some stage in the afterlife and will enjoy the company of those who have gone before.
Death and grief plays tricks on the mind. It is common to see loved ones after death and most people realise they have just seen someone who looks like a loved on. Others take comfort that a loved one is watching over them.
I'd love to know your thoughts about if ghosts know they are dead. Why not share them with me via Facebook.