Maybe Not

by Lori Dwyer on September 14, 2012 · 6 comments

“You met me at a very strange time in my life.”

‘How do you explain to a kid the sensation of splitting your mind at the seams, so that every scent and sight left an imprint? How do you describe the feeling of the air growing heavy as a blanket, settling over your ribs? “Close your eyes,” Ross said, “and tell me what you see.”
… “Light… peeking out from the corners.”
…”Now…. without peeking… where are the stairs?”
“Behind me,” Ethan said, the wonder of this sixth sense shaking through his voice.
“How do you know?”
“It… well, it feels like a hole in the air back there.”
Second Glance, Jodi Picoult


I made this graphic to go with a blog post I published a while back now.

The photo, I took so long ago… back in the Purple House. After Tony has passed away, but before we’d moved to Paradise. During those three long, hot months in Purgatory that felt like Hell.

Since that post was published, I’ve had this image set as the wallpaper for my laptop which sits, open and powered on most days, squat and black against the creamy laminex of my small kitchen in my TinyTrainHouse.

Arrows pointing at.. maybe nothing.. Nothing at all.

And two or three times in the weeks that this picture has served as digital wallpaper, my daughter– almost three years old and so cheeky I could eat big bites of her gorgeous, sweet skin– has wandered up and pointed to the top left hand corner of the photo.

“There’s my Daddy, mummy, he’s right there!”

“Where, baby….?”

“Right there Mumma!!”, and she’s all boiling frustration that I don’t see what she does, can’t see what is to her so clearly right in front of my face.

I took that photo of myself on my bed, our bed, mine and Tony’s. Laying across it during the day lit hours, feeling the hugeness of it’s expanse. I couldn’t sleep in it, I couldn’t bear to.

Maybe it’s nothing, just another one of those silly coincidences that we attach a deeper meaning to because it feels so desolate not to.

But things have shifted here lately, things have been happening in such a way that makes me think….

Maybe not.


Kristabelle, friend of mine from years ago, who never met my husband, says to me, “I feel it sometimes, at your house, in your lounge room… it’s just a shift. Just… something that is suddenly there sometimes where it wasn’t before. Like a space has been filled…. like there’s someone else in the room…”

She looks at me and she’s earnest, this is real… the more I grow into myself the more I’ve found myself surrounded by people who don’t think at all that feeling something, a shift in the air, a presence, is strange at all.

“I’ve mentioned it to you before. But I never pushed it because I didn’t think you wanted to hear… I didn’t know if you knew what I was talking about anyway.”

I reel slightly…. has she mentioned it before? Of course she has, I remember that now- words and phrases from conversations I can barely recall that have worn themselves slightly through the fog. I have heard her say it before- but it seems as though my mind dismissed it immediately, every time, suddenly wholly focused on and distracted by mundane tasks such as stacking the dishwasher or putting dinner in the oven.

To avoid what I knew what there. Because it hurt too much, or it just felt too unreal to for a rational, skeptical mind to believe.

But, as we’ve said before…. faith is believing in things even when there’s really no good reason to. Finding some proof of what you’ve held onto… maybe that’s just faith rewarded.


I discuss all this with The Doc simply because he is the best person to talk it through with.

“It’s as if something has changed, something has shifted…” I tell him. “I felt him leave, you know that? I burnt sage in my house one night and I felt him… shift? Move up a level? Move on to something. Somehow. I don’t know.” This feels too big to explain… there aren’t words for this, not in our language. Maybe in other languages where the connection of souls across ethereal worlds is still a widely accepted principle.

“It’s like he’s gone, but he’s still here. I don’t feel him around as often, but he’s more here than he was before. It’s like he can do more now…”

“Like it took time.” As usual, The Doc knows what I’m talking about with this stuff even without the words I just cannot find to explain it to him.

“Like in that movie Ghost…”, we say this sentence in perfect unison and every muscle in my body goes rigid with surprise, goose flesh tightening the skin on my arms.

“… where he learns to push things.” The Doc finishes off, endless black eyes on mine.

“I… did you… what….” I trail off. It’s those words again, the ones I don’t know. Why don’t we have words for an image that suddenly appears in the minds of two people unbidden, at the same time, with no prompting… feeling as though it’s been put there in your frontal cortex by something else, almost as an explanation, a prompt of sorts?

Maybe you could call it group think, correlating thought patterns and popular psychology.

“I know” says The Doc. And that’s all he needs to say, really, to confirm that maybe not.

Maybe not.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma Joyce November 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Love your post Lori , Im a true believer that our loved ones stay around for us. Ive just heard too many stories and have had a couple of experiences of my own. Keep believing x


Bronnie Marquardt September 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

It's true that there are more things in life than we can truly comprehend – or whatever the actual quote is. Go gently Lori. You are doing so well.


Jess@Diary of a SAHM September 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

. Life is such a funny, funny thing. And we can't explain so much. Which is why we have faith, I guess.


Miss Pink September 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Let's talk soon about all of this! If you're up to it?


Sharon @ Funken Wagnel September 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I think there's no maybes about it:)


Shannon September 14, 2012 at 9:24 am



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