My heartfelt thanks go out to my friend and fellow blogger, Christina Krost (www.thekrostfamily.blogspot.com), for sending me questions that actual children (hers and others from their elementary school) actually asked about ghosts. Their questions show a level of basic understanding and sophisticated inquiry that surprised me! I have added two questions that were asked of me by another child, and shall now answer them all. (A quick aside about terminology: our spirits are our spirits in any state — alive, Earth-bound in the afterlife, or ascended in the afterlife — but ghosts are spirits that are Earth-bound in the afterlife only. Once you ascend and go to heaven, you are no longer a ghost.)
Are ghosts always the age they died at? How does age work? Do ghosts have birthdays?
Ghosts appear as the age that the person was when they died. You stop growing up and growing older when you die, and you no longer have birthdays. Age is an interesting topic when you are talking about ghosts and spirits, though, because your spirit is not the same age as your body, and some old lady ghosts act really childish, and some little kid ghosts are very wise and act very grown up.
How do ghosts decide what to wear?
You get to choose what you wear in the afterlife. In my experience, spirits appear in what was their favorite outfit when they died.
Who takes care of babies that die?
When we die, our bodies die, but our spirits and our consciousness (all the things we know) live on. Our spirits are pure energy that looks like us, but that energy doesn’t need to be fed, dressed, bathed, and put to bed at night, so the spirits of babies don’t need anybody to take care of them. However, all of us (even babies) know people who are already in heaven. Those people are there to greet us when we die and ascend to heaven, so nobody is ever alone there. The spirits of babies have lots of loving spirits around them all the time to look after them.
How long does it take to go to heaven?
Most spirits go to heaven during their funeral, which is when all the people who loved them say a final good-bye. Funerals usually happen a few days after the person died. But some spirits don’t have a funeral, some spirits don’t think heaven is for them (even though heaven is for everybody), and some spirits just aren’t ready to go, so those spirits stick around as ghosts for a longer time. Of the ghosts I have met, the one that stuck around the longest had been a ghost for 75 years, but I think a ghost could stick around practically forever if they didn’t want to go to heaven.
Why can’t we all feel or see ghosts?
I don’t know why people are all different, and good at different things, but we are. I am good at seeing ghosts, but terrible at all sports. (My husband’s grandmother once made me quit playing in a family baseball game because I was messing up so bad. She was nice, what she said was true, and she invited me to sit by her and be a cheerleader instead, so my feelings weren’t hurt.) Other people are terrible at seeing ghosts, but really good at other things. It’s just how we are. Some people get better at seeing and feeling ghosts as they get older, but you can only do that if you have natural abilities for it to begin with.
Can ghosts hurt me, like in the movies?
No. Ghosts are not powerful enough to actually hurt you. Some ghosts have the ability to make noises and mess with electricity a little bit, which can scare you, but they can’t hurt you.
Do ghosts eat?
Ghosts don’t have real bodies, so they don’t eat people food. Ghosts are just energy, kind of like a human battery. Usually, ghosts ascend to heaven while their battery is still full of energy, but if a ghost sticks around for a really long time before ascending to heaven, their battery can run low. To recharge their battery, a ghost will suck up the energy that living humans throw off. We throw off a lot of energy when we are mad or scared, so ghosts with a low battery will try to do things to scare people, like making noises. Not all weird noises are ghosts, tho, so if you hear a noise that kind of scares you, you should ask an adult what it is because it might just be the wind or the furnace.
Do ghosts come out on Halloween?
Ghosts are more active on Halloween. They see it as their big day, and act like we are throwing a big party for them. But don’t worry, ghosts don’t eat candy.
How do ghosts decide to stay in a certain place?
Ghosts usually stay with the people they love until they are ready to ascend and go to heaven. Some ghosts, though, stay with the house they love.
If you have children or know children who worry about ghosts or are afraid of them, bedtime can be particularly challenging. But there is a simple thing that you can do that will help. Have the child choose four objects that are powerful in some way (powerful for them), and place one object at each of the four corners of the child’s bed (on top, under the mattress, or under the bed). At bedtime every night, have the child imagine a pillar of light at one corner of the bed and then blow in that direction. Move to the next corner and do the same thing, until all four corners have a pillar of light and all the bad energy is blown out. This creates a force-field around the bed that ghosts can’t penetrate. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I do this myself, and it really works.
I love answering people’s questions — please keep them coming!