Fun Size Horror Filmmaker Mali Elfman brings us "Do You Believe In Ghosts?" to remember Clare "Blossom" Elfman...
"One year ago today my grandmother passed away.
About 6 months before that, I recorded this conversation with her. It was one of the last conversations she ever had.
Alzheimer’s is a cruel albeit interesting disease. It’s not a steady slope, it’s more like the person’s knowledge drops down in these jolting pieces. One day at a time, you realize that the person across from you has abruptly fallen to a new level of disorientation.
A week after we recorded this, her ability to communicate disappeared for the most part. I would continue to visit her but there wasn’t much speaking. Oddly the only real comfort she found was in my rascal, newly rescued stray dog, Kale. Little backstory here, if you meet Kale, she will undoubtedly bark at you, she may chew something you love, possibly nip your butt…. but the one person she never misbehaved for was Clare. She would sit perfectly still as Clare would poke the spot on the top of her head and say 'beautiful, beautiful' to her.
She used to ask me what her name was over and over again. She would laugh every time I said 'Kale'. Clare who originally was 'Blossom' would say to Kale, 'Don’t worry, my mom named me after a flower. Your mom named you after a vegetable.' And laugh….
The last time I saw Clare, she was crying. She would get stuck in what seemed like these loops. Sometimes I could break her from them. This time she was scared and trapped. Too deep in it. It was heartbreaking. I tied Kale up because Clare was so frail, and I had never seen her like that. I was scared. Kale threw a tantrum and when I let her loose she jumped into my grandma's arms.
Clare calmed. She didn’t know who I was. But she just kept saying 'beautiful, beautiful.'
I said goodbye to her that day… I knew it wasn’t long. I still thought there would be some miracle. Some turn of events. One last thing I could do for her that Kale couldn't. I never got that.
I did however go back to the footage I shot and I did get to remember the last time we spoke. That she spoke.
She was fierce. She was warm. She was honest.
I’ve never been the best Jew, but I do know that one year after someone passes, you’re supposed to put up their headstone in memorial.
This is my memorial to her and the magic that was Clare.
She wanted to know what would happen after she died, and if she would become a ghost. I got a candle after she passed that reminded me of the smell of a dessert she liked. I talk to that candle hoping that her ghost will visit me. It hasn’t. It’s still welcome.
I still believe in ghosts."