The Need for the Supernatural


Ok, I’ll admit it. We watch the Travel Channel’s shows on ghost hunters and the paranormal I guess in the hopes of seeing something real that will validate our hopes about an afterlife. For the most part, the shows are hokey and good for a laugh but that’s about it. But on the other hand, we have experienced a few things in our own home that have spurred that curiosity of the unknown after death and perhaps gives us a little more hope where there has been little to none. So I ask, is it simply natural or supernatural?

Maybe we’re reaching – grasping at things that can be explained by other means so that things don’t seem so bleak. Maybe that is what everyone does whether or not they believe in God, an afterlife, resurrection or the soul. Maybe our minds are so strong that we can create the unbelievable, that which cannot be debunked by other means, so that they appear supernatural in nature. Maybe it is our minds playing tricks on us.

So here’s something I haven’t shared with many folks up until now. My husband and I were raised Catholic, went to Catholic schools, and most of our families are still Catholic. My husband is still basically Catholic though not practicing. He believes in God as does our youngest son. Our older boy is on the fence about God existing at all, his belief system certainly shaken from the loss of his sister and a mom who has always questioned everything – from why fiber optics work to God. I am not Catholic anymore; I’m on the fence about God existing as well, though I have to admit that the world is awfully grand for something more not to exist. But for me, I am quite sure the vision of God as a white man with a beard is manufactured.

So with that said, I can say I am more scientific in my approach to everything. I am very logical and have systematically broken these things down in attempt to debunk them myself, and while I still can’t just believe that the spirit of our daughter did them, I have to be honest and say I’m not quite ready to dismiss them either. But maybe it’s my lack of belief that eventually stopped them from happening - you know, why would her spirit expend that much energy if I won’t believe any of it anyway; they really didn't happen - maybe they were the figments of our collective imaginations; maybe her soul felt like it wasn’t needed here anymore and crossed over to wherever it was supposed to go; or about a million other reasons.

Let me give you some examples of supernatural things that have occurred in our home since Kelli died.

Example #1

A month or so after our daughter died, way before the sun rises because neither my husband nor I could sleep, he was out at the computer and I was sitting up in bed trying to fall asleep. All of a sudden I could smell Kelli. More specifically, an oil that I used to diffuse in her room if she became congested. The smell lingered and I was afraid to move in fear that movement would change the moment. Now, Thieves Oil has a very distinctive smell and I would know it in a heartbeat if I ever smelled it again. But, there was no oil in my room, no diffuser either. Same goes for every other part of the house. They were packed away in a case kept at the bottom of a hallway closet. As soon as the smell was gone, I ran out to the office, visibly shaken, and asked Kevin if he had just been in the room or if he had been in the essential oils. His response: “no, I’ve been sitting here for an hour or so.” He and I went through my dresser drawers, checked the bed and under it too to see if we could find the source. We could not and it never happened again.

Example #2

Our oldest son was graduating from Junior High and we were backing out of the driveway when I realized I had forgotten my earrings. I ran back into my bedroom to collect the earrings I had forgotten. As par usual, I shut our bedroom door on the way out and shut and locked the house door, being the last one out of the house and into the car.

We had a small coffee and cookie get-together planned for after the ceremony so we rushed home to set up before our extended family arrived. I went into our room to hang up my jacket and below my pillow on the bedspread was one lone small handprint it. It was so striking and immediately noticed that I backed myself out of my room shutting off the light and shutting the door behind me thinking I was seeing things. I re-entered the room and it was still there. I called to my husband and kids to come to my room for a minute and each and every one of them said: “there’s a handprint under your pillow mom.”

Both boys went on to say what I had thought myself but did not say “that’s Kelli’s handprint. Look at the pinky.” As you can guess by that statement, Kelli had a distinctive pinky. Now, there were no other indentions in the bed and no one had been in the house let alone in my room since we had left for the graduation. Each of us crawled up on the bed to measure the hand size against our own and it didn’t come close to any of us. We thought it might be Aidan’s, but even at 7 years old his hand was already bigger than Kelli’s.


The boys had their picture taken with it. Tristan felt it was Kelli’s way of telling us she was aware of his graduation, especially in light of the fact that earlier in the day I was upset and lamenting that all my kids would not be together today, saying out loud to everyone that was listening “Kelli, you better be at your brother’s graduation or I am going to spank you. This is an important day for him.” By the end of the evening the hand print had just faded away.

Example #3

The boys and I decided it would be cathartic to create individual keepsake boxes for them so we went to Michaels and purchased decorative boxes. We went through Kelli’s treasures, each boy picking out things that were significant to them. I went through her jewelry box to pick out the couple pieces of jewelry that I knew were not costume and to also pick out a couple pieces that she had made (she loved making jewelry and knitting).

Aunt Tracy bought Kelli her first pair of real pearl earrings which I had just seen in the jewelry box a week or so before, so I knew that was going to be one thing I took out, and the other was a pair of Peridot earrings from her Aunt Therese. I searched through every drawer in her jewelry box and many other trinket boxes looking for the pearl earrings but could not find them. I went so far as to dump all the drawers out as I searched for them, had my husband go through her room as well and finally asked the boys if they had taken her earrings. Their responses: “what are pearl earrings mom?” Showing them a pair of mine they both said no. I finally let it go, figuring someone had stolen them, though I couldn’t figure who in our family would steal them as I had made it clear to everyone that they could have anything of hers they wanted. It was theirs for the asking.

But, three days later I found them sitting on the edge of her dresser. They had not been there before when we were in her room searching for them. In fact, her jewelry box and trinket boxes were behind where the earrings now sat and they would have been knocked off by either me or Kevin if they had been. I became enraged and accused Kevin or the boys of playing a nasty trick on me despite their resolute answers that they hand not, and judging from their hurt faces, I knew they had not. Again, no one else had been in the house but us.

Example #4

We have a ceramic Kleenex box cover that looks like a stack of books. Since it sits in our living room and widely used it is empty probably once a week requiring it to be flipped over and the Kleenex box wiggled out of it since there is a lip on the bottom edge that kind of holds the box inside. I should also note that during the month or two that followed Kelli’s death, between us and visitors that Kleenex holder was changed every few days.

So a few months after her death I got up to get a Kleenex but it was empty so I had to change it. As usual, I tipped the ceramic holder upside down and sideways and wiggled the empty box out of it. I set it on its side, tossed the empty box in the garbage and went to the pantry to retrieve a new box. Returning, I picked up and tipped over the ceramic holder, dropping the new box of Kleenex inside, and then placed it back down on the table.

I threw away the top I had removed from the box and returned to the Kleenexes to get one. I pulled on the first difficult wad of tissues (it always feels like there are two or three Kleenexes together at the beginning of the box) and out came an index card folded several times in the middle of the Kleenexes. Thinking it was very I odd I said, “Look at this” as I unfolded the note. It said “I love you dad. Love Kelli. But it was written so that the d in dad was written darker over a b. Kelli always confused her b’s and d’s. She would know it was wrong the second she wrote it but at 11 years old, it was still something she did often.

I was so shook up over that that I really needed the Kleenexes! I had opened the box and I was the one who pulled the note from inside the Kleenex box. To this day I can’t figure it out. I didn’t think to take a picture of it and I put the note away so safely I can’t find it, but when I do, I'll snap a picture of it and update this entry.

Example #5

It was another day in which I was having challenges coping with Kelli being gone, and even though I never expected her to respond in any way, it has never stopped me from talking out loud to her. I know that sounds crazy, but I also talk to myself when I am working and I don’t think that sounds crazy 


either! Anyway, I looked across the kitchen into my office and pressed into the back of my chair was a large heart. It was Tristan who said “see mom, she hears you.” I did take a picture of it and like the handprint on the bed, it eventually just faded away.

Example #6

As I was writing this, Tristan reminded me of the time that there was a message written on my bathroom mirror which was all steamed up from my shower. I was still in the shower when the message was noticed. It simply said Kelli with a butterfly next to it. The picture isn't the greatest quality but then I'm not sure how one takes a good picture on a reflective surface. The name and the butterfly eventually just faded away too.


There have been other things that have happened, things that would be difficult to put to pen and paper and which would be so unbelievable that unless they happed personally to you, you would be saying “right”. I can say that because I would be doing the same thing if I heard someone else saying it! Perhaps our minds are capable of subconsciously making these things happen, I don’t know. But what I do know is that even though I have always tried to debunk the happenings, there is a niggling little voice in the deep recesses of my mind saying: “Hey mom it’s me – Kelli.” As for me and my family - there are no tricks just treats.

Ursula Neal

Ursula is a grief coach for mothers who have lost children helping them to move from crappy to happy again. She is also a personal growth strategist helping individuals reach their goals. She may be reached at 602-400-4423 or Facebook Google+

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: