I came to full consciousness sometime in January. December was a very dim memory, although I did have recollections of following my sister Deana around on her trip to Phoenix.
I believe I was thrown into shock by seeing my two sisters, Marsha and Romina, in the hereafter instead of on the earth where I thought they were. I had no memory of their deaths and still don't. I think I even asked Coral, "Who were those women who said they were my sisters?"
"They were your sisters Marsha and Romina," said Coral calmly. Later she told me that my loss of memory was a lot like Alzheimer memory loss, that the shock of passing sometimes obliterated memories. She told me that my sister Deborah was still on the earth along with Deana, but Deborah's husband was having a rough time and might not be long for that world.
"How is Deborah?" I asked quickly. I just did not want to be faced with another sister too soon in the hereafter. I told Coral maybe we could plan a trip to see her together pretty soon. I had pretty much given up a trip to San Francisco to visit Deana where she was living. But I know I must have followed her around all the time she was in Phoenix for Christmas.
I began to try to find out what was happening with my children if anything.
"They seem to be all right," said Coral. "Lil Santee's mother is about to give birth."
"I have no memory of her ever telling me such news."
"She didn't tell you," answered Coral. "Remember, you are not there. Lil Santee is home and is adjusting to the idea of more children in the family. He is committed to trying to help his mother with her job so she can support them all, since your son Santos is not yet working again."
"Oh my word," I said. "I forgot he was unemployed. Where is he?"
"In California. He decided to stay there in the old mansion rather than coming back home to no job and no place to stay and no money."
It was no wonder, I thought, that I spaced out a few days, when I heard this news.
"He is not hungry yet," said Coral reading my mind. "Remember he still has more well off relatives. His sister Vivienne would not let him starve clear to death."
"Has Jerome got a job?"
"Yes, but he is going from one temporary job to another. So there is always tension in his life, but he is also surviving and so is Jilly."
"His psychic dog who barks every time you come around Jerome."
"Oh yes," I said. "If only Jerome could market her psychic abilities he would make a fortune."
"Nobody is going to believe a dog is barking at a spirit."
"No, of course not," I said. "And she can't talk. I hope all the grand kids had a good Christmas without me there to give them anything."
"You couldn't afford much anyway," said Coral, being practical.
"I think I am going to be okay now that I have run into Romina and Marsha and know they are here, but warn me ahead of time won't you when they are anywhere in the vicinity? I told Marsha last time we had a quarrel I never wanted to argue with her again."
"I am sure she won't argue with you here now she has seen how skittish you are. She asked how you were a few days ago and I said you still claimed not to know who you were and asked me who those ladies were who claimed to be your sisters."
"What did Marsha think caused my fugue state since she is a nurse?"
"She wondered if you felt trauma over seeing her again. I said well she is avoiding every family member she ever had a clash with so that should tell you something."
"Don't you think family quarrels can cause mental illness?" I asked. "Since Mother and Dad quarreled non stop for thirty five years the sisters were bound to have a few rounds. I had my worst fights with Marsha and Deana, so naturally I am nervous about being in the same realms."
"Marsha said she could not help it if she died first."
"Did she say she had given up quarreling?"
"I didn't think to ask her," said Coral, "but people usually do. They repent of their worst behaviors."
"If I am going to go into a fugue state every time I get close to a quarreler, I think I am going to have to give up quarreling, don't you?" I asked crossly.
"Now is your chance," said Coral, breaking into her characteristic peals of laughter. "I do get a kick out of how people come here vowing they will never get near so and so again for fear of having an argument. Now I will have to tell all the relatives who ask about you that you went into a fugue state for days when you saw a sister who used to quarrel with you, and you did not even know your own name for days."
"I didn't realize a quarrel could be so lethal to a spirit."
"A spirit does not have the same defenses as a person with a body. The spirit is a lot more sensitive. When Alzheimer's clogs the brain, the person could remember people if there was no trauma attached to the relationship. If there is the slightest bit of trauma, the spirit cannot function and help the failed brain to remember."
"Really?" I said, hardly believing a word of it. What Coral said was often beyond me although interesting.
"Where are the sisters hanging out?" I asked.
"Oh, somewhere, but I am sure they will not try to see you again until they are sure you are in better shape. You arrived the most recently so it stands to reason you need some recovery time."
"I had better go check on Vivienne," I said. "I need to start somewhere to take up my motherly duties again. I need to find out if she made it through Christmas without more psychological damage. Holidays are very hard on her."
As an afterthought, I assured her, "I think I know the way there, Coral, so if you are busy you won't need to accompany me."
I started off in the direction of Vivienne's house. Coral gave me a little wave and watched me go. I was glad she was sensible about the time I would need to adjust to being a spirit in the hereafter. But when I was ready for a little walk by myself she very sensibly withdrew and left me free to find my own way.