|Photo by http://morguefile.com/creative/whiterussian|
In some circles, this latter view tends to dominate, though the Bible actually shows us an intermediate view: there is a consciousness separate from bodily existence, but it can only interact with embodied people through occult means because it exists in another realm or plane. See the story of Saul contacting Samuel's ghost via the mediation of the Witch of Endor in I Samuel 28. Trying to summon the dead is a bad idea, one that spells the end for Saul's reign.
In Never Gone, my protagonist Danielle has moments where she specifically fears she might have summoned her dead father, knowing that doing such a thing is very dangerous. But longing for a lost loved one does not make one a medium. Reaching across the divide between the living and dead isn't something people can do accidentally.
So what is going on with my ghost of Dani's dad, Graham Rhys Deane?
The idea of parental haunting is pretty old. Shakespeare uses it in Hamlet, for example. I also was inspired by the TV show Providence that aired from 1999-2002, in which a young woman moves home after her mother’s death, and often has long heart-to-heart talks and arguments with her mother’s ghost. The idea of a parental presence lingering to help a child fascinated me, especially when it’s unclear why it’s happening.
Is it possible that not every ghost appearance has a supernatural cause?
Generally, ghost lore in our culture is associated with bad deaths, with unfinished business. The question for me is whose unfinished business? The departed’s or the survivors’?
Dani is a fairly grounded Christian who knows enough “proof texts” (scripture quotes used to prove a particular point) to shut down her own natural emotions in the wake of a devastating loss. Her dad is bound for a happy eternity in heaven, she reasons, so she’s really not supposed to be upset.
This kind of warped stoicism that sometimes arises in my faith tradition concerns me. It’s bad theology to my mind, giving a false view of who God is and how he relates to humanity. In the face of it, a really hurting person can suffer deep internal fracturing. My story’s ghost is in some ways a manifestation of that inner state.
So how does Danielle cope with her ghost problem? I invite you to check out Never Gone to find out!
About Never Gone
Teen artist Dani Deane feels like the universe has imploded when her photographer father is killed. Days after his death, she sees him leafing through sketches in her room, roaming the halls at church, wandering his own wake. Is grief making her crazy? Or is her dad truly adrift between this world and the next, trying to contact her?
Dani longs for his help as she tries and fails to connect with her workaholic mother. Her pain only deepens when astonishing secrets about her family history come to light. But Dani finds a surprising ally in Theo, the quiet guy lingering in the backstage of her life. He persistently reaches out as Dani’s faith falters, her family relationships unravel, and she withdraws into a dangerous obsession with her father’s ghostly appearances. Will she let her broken, prodigal heart find a reason to hope again?
From the skyscrapers of New York to the sheep-dotted English countryside, Never Gone explores life after loss with emotional honesty, humor, and a touch of romance.
View the trailer HERE
What is your take on the ghost trope?