October 14, 2007

She Saw Dead People

The story I am posting here is difficult to write because there it is very emotional, has many details to track, and because it is true. There is another forum where I posted this narrative about a year ago; but, I dispensed with many details as there was a space limitation. Let me begin by stating that I do not believe in ghosts, nor do I accept that people can speak to the dead. However, I believe that this particular tale is indeed true as it happened to my wife and daughter. Here is what I posted on the other forum:

My wife recalls a time when she was young and her father was still alive when he was kidding her about what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was about five years old and she sat at the kitchen table and talked to her father about making a lot of money when she grew up. Her dad told her that she had to pay taxes on what she earned. He said that just to tease her, and her reaction made him laugh. My wife remembers getting very upset that she had to pay taxes exclaiming to her rather amused father "but, it's my money." She can also still recall him smiling wide and winking at her.

Her father died six months before we were married and both of her brothers walked her down the aisle in place of their beloved, late father. About eight years ago, when our daughter was around four years old, my wife told a group of friends at her job that she would love to get a sign from her father that he was okay. Even though he had been dead for many years, she wanted to know if he was alright.

That evening, when she was home alone with our daughter (I was at work), my daughter was playing along side my wife in our den. My wife told me that suddenly, our daughter stopped what she was doing and looked over by the sliding doors which were closed and had the curtains drawn. Our daughter never knew her grandfather and only saw pictures of him around the house. She said "Look mommy, there's grandpa." My wife froze and asked "What?” Our daughter repeated "There's grandpa, he's talking to me." My wife looked around the room, saw nothing, and began to get nervous. Our daughter continued "Grandpa has something he wants me to tell you." she said. My wife remained quiet, and sat there with her eyes fixed on our little girl. Our daughter looked away, then back at my wife and said "He says, you don't have to pay taxes up here." Then our daughter sat down and went back to her dolls. My wife started to cry and left the room. That little scene, my wife believes, is a sign from her father. She's at peace now because she knows he's in a better place.

What I left out of that first version posted on the other website was the fact that it was my brother in law, my wife's older brother, who asked their father for a sign just a moment before he passed away. I was there with the whole family in the hospital for his final moments and witnessed him bend over and whisper into his father's ear. No one knew what he said, and we did not find out until the next morning at around six a.m. when he called his mother and his siblings in an excited state. My father in law died at around three thirty in the afternoon. My brother in law claims that he whispered to his father "When you get to the other side, when you are finally where you are going, give me a sign. Tell me you're okay." He claims that at around five a.m. the next morning, he awoke to the sound of music playing in a bedroom down the hall. He and his wife moved into their new home only months earlier and still were not finished unpacking as Dad's illness consumed their lives as well as the rest of us. In this particular bedroom, they placed all of the boxes they planned to "get to" when they had time. With the impending death of his dad, that time wasn't coming any time soon. He said that before he entered the bedroom, the door was shut, and he heard a music box. Across the room, on the window sill, was a small music box all wound up and cheerfully playing even though no one was in the room for weeks. The carton it was in was on the floor, and had been opened. Immediately, he ran from the room and woke up is wife, crying to her saying he received his sign and that is father was okay.

Another detail I omitted from the original post was that my wife sat with friends in the lunch room at her place of employment and told them the story about her brother asking for a sign at their father’s death bed years after it happened. Her co-workers were all moved by the story, especially her brother's satisfaction in hearing the music box chiming away in the unused bedroom of their new home. My wife laughed and said "If I had known that you could ask someone for a sign when they were dying, I'd have asked my father for one too. Leave it to my brother not to tell s he wanted to do that." It was later that night that our daughter claimed to see her grandfather.

One final element was left out. Our daughter did not see just her grandfather that night; she also saw her great-grandfather who died the year before. My daughter never knew her grandfather as he left us four years before she was born. She only saw pictures of him, and never saw any video with him in it because we don't have any. She did know her paternal grandfather whom she referred to as "G-G Pop." The "G G" stands for "Great Grandpa." She stopped playing and told my wife that she "saw G-G Pop, and someone is with him. It's Grandpa. He has something he wants to say to you." Then she paused and looked at my wife and told her "He says you don't have to pay taxes up here." Of course G-G Pop would talk to her first, she knew him. Grandpa couldn't appear on his own or he would scare her.

You can see why I truncated the version I posted last year on the other forum. This tale is not only a lengthy piece to type out as a document; it takes a several minutes to tell in polite company. There have been a few times I’ve been asked to entertain the crowd with this yarn at various functions and gatherings we’ve been invited to over the years and the results have ranged from awkward, to tedious, to awe-inspiring. Many times, due to the short attention spans of some of those asked to listen, I’ve been interrupted while drawing a breath by someone eager to tell their own “creepy story.” Other times, I’m cut short by rude “crashers” who see me deeply engrossed in my story-telling who come over and loudly ask “Hey, what’s going on here?”, or words to that effect. Then there are those folks who react with suspicion, or those who believe right away. My wife has no more success than I do recalling this memory as she has so much more emotion; and, it saddens her to summon up even the happier moment with her dad at the kitchen table when he teased her about paying taxes on all of her money. Still, this story should be told every once in a while, and it is also a good exercise for a writer, such as myself, who needs to practice keeping track of numerous details. I’m working on that part.

Who knows why our little girl claimed to see both her great-grandfather and her grandfather that day? She was happily playing with her toys in the den alongside her mother when she stopped suddenly. It could be argued that she heard something about taxes on TV and decided to make a joke about it as only a three and a half year old child could. Nevertheless it is a bizarre set of coincidences that pieces together this story to make it seem like our daughter, as a toddler, was able to see and speak to her dead grandfather and great-grandfather and relay to her mother a message which only she understood. It can be a mere coincidence that this happened on the same day my wife told her friends the story about the sign her brother got from her father and that she was upset that she did not think to ask for one. But, what an extraordinary fluke that is? Yet, we all get gut feelings. These are emotions which we can’t articulate, but believe to be true. I don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, or that we are capable of talking to he deceased. However, my gut tells me that this in fact occurred. My daughter, now twelve years old, does not remember any of it.


Kimchihead said...

Now that's spine tingling! I'm glad those kinds of things don't happen to me. If the dead are floating around, I don't think I really want to know about it. At least from personal experience.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Kimchihead...glad you stopped by. Most people who hear (or read) this story have the same reaction. Thanks for stopping by, and I will be visiting your blog later today. Have a great day, and thanks again.