Some Evidence of the Human Spirit

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Most of my friends and family know that my grandmother passed away very recently. It has been harder for me than I had expected. She was just about to turn 95 on June 12th. She was part of almost every single memory I have of growing up and was definitely no "normal old lady." She had this spirit and energy that was continuous and contagious. Just to give you an idea, she was still playing golf at 92. Her name was Faustina Posa. I have never met anyone with her name, nor have I met anyone quite like her. She cursed like a sailor, made everyone laugh, and often complained that she could never find a guy that could keep up no matter how much younger he was.


The one thing that has given me the most comfort, is the belief that she hasn't really died. And I really started to wonder what that meant. WHAT was it that died? Who is this "she"? Where did she go? I wasn't satisfied with the answer that she was now in a box buried 15 feet below a tombstone.

I first started to believe that her SOUL was still around when I had my first dream about her. In my dream, she was so happy. In the dream she ran up to me and told me to give her a hug and I remember thinking to myself, 'I'm going to hug her for as long as I possibly can because I know it will end soon'. And so I did. I just kept hugging her. And it was so real. I remember feeling her presence. When I woke up, I tried going back to sleep so that I could hug her for longer. And although I was sad that it was over, there was something relieving about having the dream because I knew she was happy. She had the same energy I had always remembered, and I knew that it was her way of communicating with me.

I dream about her two to three times every week. And in all of the dreams she is happy. And the dreams come even if I don't fall asleep thinking about her. They don't come because I'm sad... they just happen. And I know it's her visiting.

But here's some more evidence of the spirit or the soul. My grandma was one of four children. She had a sister Pauline who died a long time ago, another sister Philomena (or Fannie as we called her for short), and a brother Mario. And yes, they were Italian. When my grandma died, Mario was 91 and Fannie was 98.

Ironically, Uncle Mario got admitted into hospice care the day of my grandma's funeral. And then we found out a week later that he had passed away. For about a year his kidneys were failing, but for some reason he chose to leave only a week after grandma.

Aunt Fannie was 98. She was in fair health, but had trouble walking and remembering things. When Mario died, my family waited a few weeks until she seemed to be more mentally ready to hear the news. So when they finally told her, her response was "So I'm the last Lucarelli huh?". A few days later she was complaining about stomach pains. She went to the hospital and they said she had gallstones. She needed to get surgery right away. The doctors took her in for the anesthesia, but came right back out to tell my family that she had passed away before they could even administer it.

So after being here on the planet for almost 100 years together, all three siblings passed within just over 30 days of one another. It has been sad for the family in one respect, but all of us cannot help but see the beauty of it.

How does this relate to the title? Well I believe they all "chose" to leave when they did. And the ability to choose came from somewhere other than their body, or brain. It's the "someone" that tells the body that they are ready. It's the part of my Aunt Fannie that became "aware" that her siblings were gone, and that she was the only one left. She no longer had the same motivation to stay here on earth and I believe she wanted to be with them again.

I love this quote: "The Human Spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it," by C.C. Scott. I think we underestimate the power of our spirit; of our soul. Usually death presences it for us, and makes us wonder if it really exists or if we will live on. And to me, the big takeaway for all of us is to be present to its power sooner rather than later.... To free ourselves from the idea that we are physical beings, and tap into that power of our spirit that is not constrained by time or space.... To find out what we are truly capable of, and to reach our highest potential.

RIP Faustina, Fannie, and Mario. I miss all of you, but I am happy you are together again.

Fannie Lucarelli Proscia 6/9/16 - 7/3/14
Mario Lucarelli 6/11/22 - 6/5/14
Faustina Lucarelli Posa 6/12/19 - 5/27/14