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Taking on dead loved ones' traits?


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#1 Yosei

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 01:35 PM

I don't know if this is really a supernatural phenomenon( if I'm way off base, I'm sure one of the moderators will move it to the other board), but I've never heard it described in a psychological context at all, so I just thought I'd mention it here and see if anyone else has ever had this happen...Basically, the first thing I noticed was that, shortly after my mother's death, I began having cravings for some of her favorite foods which I had always disliked, such as gyro sandwiches, carrots, green beans, and large quantities (like more than the drink) of ice in drinks.  Then yesterday I was talking to my stepdad (technically they never married, but they had a close relationship for many years), whom I hadn't heard from in a few months.  He told me he had taken up writing in a big way and was going to join the Toastmasters Club to improve his elocution.  Now, if you knew this guy, this would be like the Pope turning Wiccan.  He's always been an archetype of a beery Good Ol' Boy with a voice that sounds like John Wayne on Novocaine and a penchant for absurd malapropisms in almost every sentence.  My mother, however, was a highly accomplished amateur writer who had hopes of turning pro after winning several competitions, as well as a member of Toastmasters---in spite of his frequent and vocal disapproval of that organization.   So, anyone ever heard of this kind of thing before?
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#2 bardo

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 02:21 PM

I think that after we loose a loved one we sometimes pick up where they left off to feel them near us.I'm not sure if this makes sense to you.My mother is gone also and she loved to walk on the beach and bird watch.I have been brought up to be a lover of nature but I have found I have developed some of her pass times.I become more and more like my mother each day and now I cherish it, I used to hate being like her.
We do things they liked and it makes feel like they are still with us.What I wouldn't give to see her again.
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#3 Holly

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 05:37 PM

Maybe we begin to do the things our deceased loved ones did because our frame of mind is in this place: "Well, she can't really be gone if the things she loved to do are continuing.." And then it's up to us to actually continue doing them.

Then again, I look at it from the paranormal point of view -Could these traits be put into our heads by the loved ones? Is it away to assure a secure place in our memories? Are they looking for their work or pleasures to be seen through to fruition?

Interesting topic, Yosei.
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#4 deadzone

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 08:47 PM

Thats a very, thought, provoking question!
Traits most commonly reflect, or mirror important aspects of our personality and yes, sometimes others.
I agree with Holly, in her statement "Maybe we begin to do the things our deceased loved ones did because our frame of mind is in this place: "Well, she can't really be gone if the things she loved to do are continuing.." And then it's up to us to actually continue doing them."
From a psychological standpoint it makes sense!
The Paranormal explanation is really up for grabs....Since it is hard to obtain sufficent evidence that "ghosts" do exist any opinion on this is basically just that...
Ghosts are spirits which linger after death from being aware of emotionally painful and/or traumatic ends. Most are mindless, but the stronger-willed retain some semblance of their former selves. However, their minds are usually warped to a great extent by their deaths, being fixated upon the thing (or person) which caused their demise. They tend to dissipate over time unless they can find some living, human, mind to sustain them, generally that of someone who was close to them in life.  This may sound like I am implying some sort of possesion or negative experience, I am not..However, we will nor could we really be able to lay claim that this encounter is really a paranormal encounter...I, for one am very skeptical of that claim, perhaps, in part because I have never had the experience, yet I also hold a masters in clinical psychology so, I  have a tendency to be more inclined towards a psychological answer.....
Either, way, it was a excellent question, I will be more aware of the possibility in the future...
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#5 Camille

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 11:52 PM

Yosei,

This reminds me of a medical research article I read a while ago regarding organ transplant recipients.  A good number of them started taking on the habits/tastes/traits of the deceased donors.  For ex, one patient hated anything with nuts in his food.  After he received the donor heart of a person who like nuts, he developed an insatiable taste for peanut butter.   :)  What I find interesting about this article is that the organ recipients knew nothing about their donors before hand.
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#6 MoonChild

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 08:58 AM

sympathy, minds way of coming to terms of the loss........
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#7 bardo

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 04:45 PM

Holly I think it's a bit of both.
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