PS: So, I went to the college bar and it was really late at night, and I was obviously okay to drive back to school, and um, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a lot of farmland for miles–there’s this open space, but it’s really dark, there’s not many lights and so I was nervous about driving home by myself. And then, as I was driving out of the bar, there was this open field, and I was driving forward, looking ahead, making sure I didn’t hit any deer or any wildlife, and all of a sudden I see this white blur–it looked like a running white wolf from my peripheral vision on my right side. Immediately, I turn to see like what animal was running beside me, and it disappeared. It was too short to be a deer and also, you can see for miles, so if it was actually there, I would be able to see it running away, but I didn’t see anything–it just disappeared. But after that moment, I felt like that family friend’s spirit was with me to support me in a time where I felt really unsafe–I felt lonely and vulnerable, and then I actually felt comforted after that moment driving the rest of the way home because I felt like he was watching over me somehow.
I stopped the recording after she finished performing her folklore, but she had more to add right afterwards.
PS: So, I felt like his spirit was with me for about a month after his passing, and another spiritual event happened. Our grandparents were still living in the townhouse and there wasn’t parking close by, so I had to park like way across the street of the busy road and I had to park in a parking lot over there and cross over. It was again, also at night with lots of heavy traffic and cars that might not be able to see you while you’re crossing the ways, so I just sprinted from point A to point B to the other side. And it hadn’t been windy all day, so after I finished running across to this street–there were like leaves from the fall, and it started like circling around me as I crossed the street, saying like “Hey, good job for being brave. You made it. You’re going to be fine.” So it felt like another experience where he was there watching over me. I think after those two things, after a month had passed, I felt like he wasn’t there anymore, but in a good way, like he moved on.
These encounters take place a few weeks after PS’ family friend passed away. She used to tell these more often, but now they only come up when people are talking about tattoos and that if she were to get one, it would be a “tribal outline of a wolf running on my right forearm.” She also has decorated her house with a framed drawing of a wolf that hangs over her front door. This loved one was a really influential role model in her life: “if I were to describe him, he’s like a human Jesus because he was so selfless. He was always looking after other people–he never had any money in his bank account and would give it away to someone who needed it.” PS is certain that she’s not the only one he was spiritually watching over.
We were spending time together with the rest of the family when this story resurfaced. She decided to go to a more private room to tell me this piece of folklore, mostly to get away from the noisy mahjong games going on in the background.
Sensing the spirits of loved ones can be a form of comfort, as if they are still guiding us through difficult times until we can let go. With wolves, there is this protective aura that creates the feeling that we are watched over by a cosmic being that is beyond our world. There are an infinite number of stories where a loved one’s spirit arrives in animal form. When we lose someone’s physical presence, we tend to see them in other people, objects, or animals–animals in particular are similar to humans in that they are sentient, living beings that can transmit emotion, but they are different enough where communication with them is almost magical. Grief can place us in a liminal realm between the present and the past–in this dreamlike state and altered consciousness, we may try to verify the existence of spirits. PS mentioned how gracious this family friend was–we often associate goodness with upwards movement, as if there is a higher plan beyond life for good people. Not only does what we do in life speak about our character, but maybe how we communicate through death does as well.
Tattoos, as a permanent mark, often carry deep, symbolic meaning associated with a truth that’s more complex than its external manifestation. In fact, I’ve asked people what tattoos they’d get if they were to get one, and it usually leads to a personal story because most people want to choose something that holds weight and significance in their lives. If you want to know someone’s folklore, ask about what they’d turn into tattoos; the story is often inseparable from the tattoo itself.