They Come A-Calling with Their Smells

Last night, someone passed through my apartment, someone who strongly smelled of fast-food fried chicken, like Popeyes.

In recent days, I’ve smelled pork chops, hash, and a blueberry pie, all from separate individuals. I have no idea who they are. Another individual came through smelling strongly of bleach.

All strangers.

People who have died during this pandemic period of time and are checking out the open doors that some of us maintain.

I can feel their confidence growing as they find someone noticing them. They’re finding their way around their new landscape, learning the rules of being on the other side.

They’re not unhappy, just curious, wanting to seek out ways of communicating with their loved ones. Testing us, total strangers with those open doors, in learning how to make contact.

You’re probably saying, these are smells normally in my apartment. Actually, no, they’re not. I haven’t used bleach in years. I’m allergic to both pork and blueberries, so neither are found in my apartment, and I have never made hash. I’ve eaten plenty in my younger days, but I’ve never made it.

While I share two walls with neighbors, in the four-plus years I’ve lived here, odors from these other two apartments have never leaked into mine. And, the front door has been closed as we await spring, so no odors aren’t coming from there.

How can I tell these are people on the other side? Because the odors come and go. Suddenly, the scent is there, and then, once I’ve noticed them, it’s gone. They’ve moved on, probably to test more doors or to finally try contacting their loved ones.

That ability is called clairalience. It’s a psychic gift of spiritual smells.

These folks aren’t the first souls to visit me, letting me know they’re nearby via their scents. A best friend who died suddenly owned four cats. Her home never smelled like a litter box. Ever. Yet, I always know when it’s her because of the cat smell. Over our forty-plus years of friendship, she had many cats. For some reason, many ended up sick, needing good veterinarian care, which she provided. Several died too young. I’m sure on the other side, she was happily reunited with them all. So, it made sense that a litter box was her signatory scent for me. Still is. She doesn’t visit as frequently now, but her goal has always been to push me forward with a particular pet writing project we shared. I’m working on it again, as a result of her visits, her insistence.

Another woman, someone I knew but hadn’t seen in probably half a year, visited me upon her death, but I was puzzled by the pee smell. When I asked about it with someone who was close to her, that person said yes, that was how she smelled in her last few months. Her few visits with me shortly after her death were more about her checking out the open doors than anything else.

My ex-mother-in-law came frequently upon her death. Her pot roast was phenomenal, so it only made sense she appeared with that scent. Her first visit was for a particular, personal reason. After that, she appeared a few more times, just to visit.

When my father visits, he usually comes with the smell of his early morning toast or his pipe tobacco. I say usually, because in the beginning, just after his death, he’d play with my TV or VCR, turning it on if I turned it off, or vice-versa. Spirits love to play with our electric appliances: lights, computers, TVs, stereos, etc. Because we are all energy, electricity is a natural conductor for them. With his history of repairing TVs and then later computers, for him to play with mine made total sense. I could hear him chuckling every time I called him out.

These are just a few examples of the many people who have visited me with their smells.

Have you ever noticed a familiar smell in an unlikely place or at an unlikely time, meaning the scent isn’t associated with your current location or time of day? If so, you probably were visited by someone you know. Someone from the other side.

As these people move through my apartment, I acknowledge them, wish them well, and continue to be amazed at the tremendous love that surrounds them. No doubt, there will be many more souls this coming month or two while the pandemic ravages our country.

I wonder what my scent might be when my time comes? I’m hoping it’ll be Chanel 5, my favorite cologne, and the only cologne I can wear. That or old books.

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