I’ve had the most difficult time trying to stick to a sleep schedule. I’m going to be wrecked when we go back to work. Living alone & staying up well into the twilight hours gives me the creeps, I don’t know why I keep doing it. It’s especially creepy when you think you’re being haunted. I’ve mentioned my elderly neighbor who passed away before but things have still been weird & since I can’t sleep, I’ll creep you out too 😉
Going on two years ago, my elderly neighbor passed away in her apartment & wasn’t found for awhile. Our kitchen & living rooms are on the same wall, I never heard her much anyway so sadly, I didn’t notice that she had died. I did run into her often, she was always pushing this metal cart filled with coloring books, children’s books & other goodies that any grandma would have on hand for her grandkids. She would always say that she was off to see her grandkids or that they were coming over – she was a genuinely sweet old lady. I did notice her absence but figured that she was on an extended visit with the grandkids. Then one day, my kitchen just started to feel off. I’ve shared photos of my kitchen before, it’s bright & cheery, filled with colorful decor but it started to get this dank feeling I couldn’t shake. It was late fall, I chalked it up to rain and started burning candles and baking to make it feel cozy again but nothing worked. Now, I had an acupuncturist tell me years ago that I was an empath. How he knew this, I have no idea. Do I believe it, no idea but a few days into my kitchen feeling weird, I got sick. I never sleep in my bed when I’m sick & prefer to lay on the couch. Typically, my cats sleep wherever I am but I noticed that they were sticking to the back rooms of my apartment which started to give me the willies. I was home sick for five days over a weekend, on two nights I woke to my stove’s overhead light being on. My couch faces my stove, it’s incredibly unlikely that I would have left it on then laid down but figured I was just out of it from being sick. This entire time, my neighbor was the last thing on my mind but had I been paying attention, I would have realized that her apartment had been dead silent for nearly two weeks.
Fast forward a few days later, I’m finally back at work feeling fatigued but otherwise well enough. I’m pulling into my apartment complex & the coroner is parked outside. I felt like everything was suddenly slow motion, my breath caught & I knew immediately my neighbor had died. I stopped by the office to check in with the building manager. She had been sitting in her rocker, in her living room for just under three weeks. I was sleeping in my living, basically right next to her for at least four nights. He said that he started to worry when she hadn’t been to the office to chat with him & was the one to discover her. It was all around just really tragic.
Eventually he started to clean & renovate her apartment as she had lived there for going on ten years. However, I noticed that the unit sat vacant for quite some time. When I asked the building manager if he was struggling to find a tenant, he said that he wasn’t able to locate any relatives so her stuff was still in the apartment. I was shocked, when I mentioned her grandkids he said that she didn’t have any family that he knew of. I’ve never figured out if she was lying or if she was struggling with dementia. I used to work in memory care & didn’t notice any signs that she wasn’t completely lucid. Maybe she just didn’t want people to feel sorry for her, I dunno. At any rate, weird things kept happening while the unit sat empty. My stove light would be on when I’d get home, the cats still wouldn’t hang out in the living room & had taken to staring at my front door at 3 am. I’d inexplicably be awake & find them all crowded near the front door night after night. Sometimes I stay in bed, refusing to look at the time because I know what time it is & where the cats are . The kitchen still feels off & I almost never sit out in the living room.
Finally, my building manager let me know that the unit was being rented but only as of this February. He said most of her stuff had been donated, no family ever responded to the public notices he had published. I was relieved, it would be nice to hear some movement in there, I thought it would help the atmosphere of my apartment as well. Sadly, it hasn’t & my kitchen still feels gloomy, the living room a bit sad & so completely silent. If it weren’t for running into the new gal a few times, I’d assume that there’s nobody over there.
I don’t think she’s malicious but maybe a bit bitter that nobody noticed her absence. I get a tingly sensation when I turn my back to the living room wall & scoot down the hall to my bedroom. I wholeheartedly believe that she’s still here, pushing her cart of children’s goodies up & down the hallway.