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Heaven, a place on Earth?

A letter to my boys- the day you met your deceased Grandad- Bob Gray

Written. 18.10.16.

It is October 2016. Johnny you are almost 3 & Jack you are almost 2.

You are both obsessed with Halloween & all things spooky.

Last week it was your dads 40th birthday, we went to lunch & then playgroup… Johnny you were in a very bad mood- unbeknown to us you were about to be poorly.

That night you were sick & so together we (Johnny & mammy) spent the night on the sofa. You woke in the morning & very giggly looked into the darkness of the kitchen and said…

“Hello Ghosty”. (Friday 14th October)

This is not unusual as you are both inclined to say this as well as “Hello Vampire” “Hello Zombie”.

“Hello Ghosty…Hello Ghosty” you continued. I asked you what the ghosty's name was… you didn’t reply as were still giggly. I asked again. You replied…


JESUS…. Where did that come from? I didn’t react. You just said my dead fathers name.

That was the end of it. I was amazed that you had a name for this ghosty!?… if I ask you to name a teddy or a toy- it takes forever- you never & still cannot think of a name for your things.

Later that night when you were both in bed I relayed this story to your daddy. We were both still amazed as neither of you know about your Grandad. You don’t know his name. You don’t know what he wore. How he looked. Or that he died years before you two were born. Jack knew nothing of Johnny’s encounter.

So… it got to Sunday evening… Jack you were difficult to put to bed. That night you were inevitably sick. We spent the night on the sofa. (Jack & Mammy). When you woke at 7am you got off the sofa & were full of beans. The house was dark apart from the lamp in the sitting room. You ran to the edge of the carpet & waved saying…

“Hello Ghosty” “Hello” “Hello Ghosty… I get you a toy” (Monday 17th October)

OH MY GOD. You ran to get a car & returned to the edge of the carpet saying “ghosty, ghosty… I got you a toy” “I got you a toy” in an enticing tone.

I asked you – “Jacky what’s the ghostys name?” you replied “no” and ran off. I thought to myself… he’s just being silly- obsessed with ghostys & Halloween.

But I asked again when you continued to say hello to the ghosty… “Jacky what’s the ghostys name?”

“Bobby” “Bobby”

Oh my god… I rang my sister (7am). Tears streaming down my face. Not sad tears. Amazed tears. Tears that no one might ever believe this- as it was only my eyes seeing it.

Then I watched as you physically got "the ghosty" with open arms and guided the ghosty to the fire to see the dirty ball underneath. Nothing was visible to me and I didn’t interrupt.

Bearing in mind you boys at this point know nothing of your Grandad, how he looked, what he wore. I asked you (Jacky) a couple of questions.

Jacky.. does the ghosty wear a hat? “Yes” (possibly a guess)

Jacky.. does he have a jacket on? “yes” (another guess?)

Then…jack – you said to me- unprompted… “Like Grandad john… Like a Farmer”

WOW! My dad, your Grandad always dressed like a typical farmer- flat cap, tweed jacket.

I told your daddy when he came downstairs. (at 10 am -after a lie in???!!!!!!). Johnny was listening even though we talked in whispers & code. So I said to Johnny... “you said hello to the ghosty as well the other day”

Johnny replied… “Yes mammy…he’s still here”.

I’ve put this in words so we don’t forget. So the story doesn’t get exaggerated or changed. So that the sceptics or non-believers can read and make their own minds up.

But mainly so that we know we are being watched & Your Grandad, my Dad is here.

And you boys have met him. You are so lucky. Xxx Mammy and Daddy.

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