At times, I really do feel like a revenant.
A revenant, in the loosest definition, is someone who returns from the dead to haunt living people who knew them. In modern parlance it’s associated with vampires and zombies, but the term’s original usage and etymology (ils qui revenent or “those who return”) is much broader than that. A revenant really has only two criteria: that they identify themselves as the deceased, and they make people uncomfortable by virtue of that fact. Revenants also often (but not always) have unfinished business or an attachment to someone, something, or somewhere that they were unable to let go of in death.
I certainly get vibes of revulsion from some people when I discuss past lives with them. I got that vibe from the person I spoke to who knew Phil, like I was a weird and unwelcome element in their life that they were rather eager to end the conversation with after a while.
The conversation never ends abruptly, and it’s always fairly polite exchanges, but after a while the replies get shorter, and my attempts to re-engage the conversation become less effective, and I have to consider the contact a lost one.
And whether they simply feel uncomfortable because I’m probably coming off as yet another Internet nutjob, or because I’ve invoked the name of the dead, or because I’ve mentioned something I shouldn’t have known about, the underlying fact is that there is an understandable unwelcomeness to the subject. But that unwelcomeness seems difficult to escape at times in the course of simply researching if the things I remember are true or not.
At times I really do feel like a horrible and unwelcome phenomenon, an extraneous element in the world that haunts places I should have left behind decades or centuries ago, in other lifetimes. At times I feel like my greatest sin, if I might use that word loosely, is simply not letting go of things. Attachment. Self-inflicted bonds that keep me tied to places, people, and ideas I have no business haunting any more. Isn’t that how a revenant would behave?