Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 4, 2022

Milli 2022

Losing my wife Ella after forty years of marriage was hard for me.

After a lifetime of loving only one person, you can understand the difficulty of letting go. I imagine that my company must have been insufferable to my children, as, at some point, they had to tell me that they were all grieving the loss of their mother as well but that it was hard for them to see me in such a constant state of sorrow. In addition, it was beginning to make my grandchildren uncomfortable being around me. All I longed for was to see my Ella again, but God would not let me die for some reason. So I suffered having to live. My one true champion during that time was my youngest grandchild, Mili. She was always there to hug or hand me a cupcake or some yogurt from her happy meal. She was never far from me when the grief would begin to set in. One day, she popped into my study and, in a very frank manner, said, "Mama Ella is here all the time, and she's sad because you keep trying to die instead of trying to live,"

"Don't say foolish things like that, Mili," I told her. "It can be hurtful to someone else if you don't know them."

"I'm not being hurtful, Papa," she stepped forward. "Mama Ella is right there, standing behind you. She's the one who's telling me to tell you what she thinks."

I whipped around in my chair, and there she was, like dim light, not at all tuned on all the way. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was my Ella, standing there nearly plain as day. "She says to cut the shit, Papa; she wants you complete of mind and body when you join her one day. Not like how you are now," Mili continued. "She doesn't know the man you are now; that's not who she wants to meet when you get to her. That's what she's saying, Papa."

My little Mili was five years old at that time. I lived another twenty years after that, long enough to see Mili get married and have her own children before my time finally came, and I went to be with my Ella.

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