Being a fairly committed atheist, I have never really believed in life after death or ghosts or even guardian angels yet something happened to me a few years ago that made me question my beliefs in the form of a text message from my dad, who had died a few weeks earlier. Being dead, it was quite a shock to see this flash up on the screen.
My heart raced as I opened the message. What could it be? What did my dad wish me to know from beyond the grave? What insight into the after-life was he about to reveal? What profound question did he need to ask?
The message read as follows…
“Do you want mashed or boiled potatoes for tea on Thursday?”
It seemed odd that he would concern himself with my potato preference; you would think that he would be busy settling in to life beyond the pearly gates, reacquainting with old friends, deciding who to haunt etc. While my first response was to contact Yvette Fielding or conduct some kind of séance, I thought it might be an idea to check with my mum. You know, just in case she too had received a ghostly message/been given responsibility for the accompanying vegetable choice.
Apparently, all was not as it seemed. It turned out that this was not a request from heaven but my thrifty mum’s way of using up the credit on my dad’s old PAYG phone.
I think in my heart of hearts I knew. Not because of my natural scepticism. Not because of the banal nature of the message. Mainly because my dad never quite figured out texting when he was alive, so it seemed a stretch that he would have mastered it in death.
However dad, if you really want to know; I always prefer mash with sausages. Halleluyah.