I see dead people

Some while back – it was in the old flat and after a night at Turnmills so I’m guessing early 2004 – I was lying in bed in the wee small hours when I experienced a very strange sensation.

I had the overwhelming impression that my maternal grandmother, who’d died some four years previous, was sitting in the next room, in the armchair by the window.

The feeling was quite trippy or out-of-body, with a huge up-swelling of love and euphoria, and I immediately wanted to go and get on Nanna’s lap and tell her everything she’d been missing out on.

However, I had a tiny suspicion that if I got up and went to the living room, the armchair would be empty. I had been close to my nan and still miss her frequently today, so I couldn’t really accept the thought of her not being there when I felt so sure she was.

Instead I stayed in bed and enjoyed the love that I felt washing over me from the next room, and the idea that Nanna was back in my life and smiling over me again for a bit.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I had caught myself in the act of editing my perception of reality – something we have to do constantly in order to manage all the data we process.

It’s interesting that even in the fleeting moments when we know we’re doing this, we still prefer to believe the constructed version over any alternative.


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