The first of October seems to have been dubbed
"Kick-The-Bucket Day" for ill
family members. My beloved aunt passed away on October 1, 2004 at 3:20
the morning, after suffering for about two years with colon cancer.
on October 1, my grandfather died at home with us after struggling to
the transition," so to speak, for two very strange weeks. The first
thing about this is the fact that he died at 4:50 in the morning, only
and a half after my aunt had died last year. This leads me to wonder
had a supernatural hand in helping him cross. As for the other odd
occurrences... well... I'm about to explain them, but first I'll give
My grandpa went downhill very quickly and this surprised me,
fact that he'd been living with us since I was in high school (over
ago) and we'd been prepared for him to die back then, but he had
He was in bad shape all around, which is why he had to come and live
in the first place, yet until this past month he made no discernable
in either one direction or the other. Every so often he'd get sick
with a bad
cold, flu or even pneumonia (which, for the elderly, tends to be a
sentence). So my mom, my stepdad and I would make him comfortable, do
what we could, and anticipate the worst... and the worst would just
come. Instead, he'd be able to barely make it through, a little weak
otherwise "okay" by doctors' standards, and he would cling to life
next seasonal malady would strike him.
This cycle seemed like it would go on forever. Anyone who's ever lived
someone terminally ill will understand me when I say that this messed
my mind. It started to feel like he'd be around indefinitely, and I
admit that I had mixed (and, toward the end, mostly negative) feelings
that. He'd been a lousy father to my mom, my aunt and my uncle when
were kids, and he had a horrific relationship with my grandma (spousal
and adultery, they were both alcoholics, eventually divorced, you get
Anyhow, I think he was lucky that my mom even kept in contact with him
after the kind of past they'd had. The fact that she took him in and
super good care of him says a lot about her, and I think way deep down
knew that... not that he would ever acknowledge it out loud.
So when his situation really took its toll on my mom... when she saw
keep drinking until the end of his days, when he'd embarrass her or say
something rude while intoxicated, when he refused to take care of
because he always assumed someone else would be there to clean up his
messes... and, of course, when he'd get sick, then well enough to
sick again... to put it frankly, it pissed me off. I hated to see how
business really upset her, and it upset me too.
I'd become bitter, though, and accustomed to the idea that this would
never stop. A friend of mine who had taught herself to read Tarot
who had given 100% correct readings every time I had one with her),
told me last year that he was "looking good." She predicted he had
five to ten years. Well, that started to change after my aunt died
I regret to admit that part of my grief after that came in the form of
resentment toward my grandfather... who, once again, had come close to
death (closer than ever, in fact) but recovered right after my aunt's
wasn't fair. My aunt was only 39, and had a loving husband and a
old son. She was surrounded by family who didn't want her to go, and
fought as hard as she could until she was too exhausted to continue.
My grandfather, meanwhile, had just gone through what he'd thought
be a "magic" surgery to improve his leg circulation, and the surgery
made him sick and crazed... but it wasn't enough to either put him out
misery or make him better, of course. He also was pretty bored with
by that point; he never did anything but drink, eat junk food, sleep
television. It didn't take a genius to see he was fed up with being
he remained while my aunt had to die. Inside I was furious, though of
I never said anything because I knew how mean and illogical it was.
it wasn't his fault she'd gotten sick, and it certainly wasn't his
fault that she
He did start to change after that, though... and so slowly that
noticed except me. My mom thought that this year was going to be his
but I had gotten so used to him sticking around that I didn't believe
stopped eating as much junk as he used to, then he gradually lost his
appetite for everything else, except bratwurst -- this was his favorite
which he would only eat if my boyfriend cooked it for him. (He
my boyfriend, so at least that's one good memory I have of him.) He
stopped finishing his booze, but I was in serious denial of what was
happening. I figured he was just depressed.
Here's where it starts to get weird.
My Tarot reader friend... the one who, only last year, had foreseen
five to ten years for him... asked me, over the summer, to remind her
grandfather's age. I told her he had just turned 85. She then
me that she had asked because her outlook for him had changed. She had
not been to my house since last year, so she hadn't seen him since
aunt's funeral, but she said that she could feel it just the same.
"Readings aren't totally set in stone," she explained. "Ultimately,
one who decides what to do with what life gives you." She then told me
in her psychic studies, she had learned that every person is born with
certain number of "Houses of Jupiter" (I think that's what they were
definitely the House of some planet). Anyway, these "Houses of
basically translate into "streaks of good luck," and she said, "His
last one is
coming in this year. I don't know what that's going to mean for him
afterwards, but this streak running out is the last thing I can see...
indicates to me that he's on his way out."
Even this, I took with a grain of salt. I was that deep in denial and
convinced of my own selfish, angry view of the whole thing. Never mind
this friend has been dead on (you'll forgive the pun, of course) with
other reading she's ever done for me.
But sure enough, toward the end of September, my boyfriend and I were
watching over Grandpa while my mom and stepdad were out of town... and
the unthinkable happened. He didn't eat one bite of the bratwurst my
boyfriend had fixed him. Nor did he eat or drink anything else, or
up to walk. Ever again. He had decided to take himself out.
Now comes the major weirdness of my story.
My mom's sister sent us a "practical nurse" to stay with us while my
was actively dying. The first of his final two weeks was horrible. He
doze much of the time, but every couple of hours he would wake up and
completely freak out. His bedroom was right next to mine, so I would
every cry, moan and scream, along with every effort by my mom, my
and the nurse to calm him down. You can bet that none of us slept
that first week.
Especially when, instead of his usual frightened yelps, he would
talk to what sounded like people in his room... people who were NOT my
mom, stepdad, or the nurse, because I would know their voices. Plus,
"extra people" tended to make themselves known only when everyone was
taking a brief break from watching Grandpa. My stepdad would go to
and my mom and the nurse would go downstairs to eat or make phone
I wouldn't hear what these unknown people would say to Grandpa first.
would only hear movement, like they were walking around him or sitting
his bed. He, meanwhile, would ask them questions, and talk about how
needed to make sure he had his wallet and all his luggage. Once he
mentioned something about train tickets.
Sometimes when I'd walk by his open door on my way to the bathroom, I'd
see him making rapid movements in the air with his fingers, almost like
was taking notes or something. He'd never been able to move his
hands so well before... he had bad arthritis. Yet these movements
easy for him. When I asked my mom about it, she said she thought he
be "cramming for the final exam."
He had three main episodes before he stopped talking altogether:
1. He kept asking us where his mother was. He was absolutely
that she was somewhere in the house with us, because he had seen her
coming up the stairs and walking through all of the bedrooms.
2. He asked if Grandma was on her way over to visit. He and Grandma
been divorced since my mom was a teenager, and Grandma had died in
3. Mom told me one afternoon that while I was at school, he looked at
nurse and asked, "Hey... are those two guys here to take me to Heaven?"
pointed to the back corner of the room, over the nurse's shoulder,
saying this. There were no "two guys" anywhere to be seen, and the
guys" living at this house at the time were the nurse and my stepdad.
stepdad, however, was away at work when this happened. Mom and the
nurse were the only ones there.
I find this encouraging more than disturbing, because my grandpa was a
hard core atheist his whole life. He had never believed that any life
beyond this one. He figured that when you were dead, you were dead,
that was all there was to it. So for him, of all people, to see not
long-deceased relatives in the house but angels too... and to recognize
as angels... that's a pretty big deal. And it was a good note to end
During the second week he was dying, he never made any noise. The
had decided to start giving him morphine, which kept him nice and quiet
all times. No more fussing, yelling or crying, and consequently, no
talking to invisible visitors, either.
So these visitors started talking to the rest of us instead.
On Thursday, September 29, I was in my room doing some reading for
school, when over the course of a few minutes I heard two different
calling my name. The first was a woman, NOT my mother. It wasn't her
voice, and it wasn't her attitude. This was an old fashioned voice,
called me by my proper name instead of the nickname my mom always uses.
This made me jump, since my bedroom door was shut and nobody was in
there with me. My mom was downstairs at the time, and this woman
sounded like she was right next to me.
Not five minutes later, a young man's voice called me by my nickname,
sounding like it was coming from right next to me. It was not my
the nurse -- I would know both of their tones and besides, my stepdad
at work and the nurse was busy with my grandpa in the next room. I
all my lights on (since, again, I was reading), so I could see every
corner of my
room quite clearly. Nobody was there that I could see. I figured that
these people were, they were there because they knew my grandpa was
to the end. I guess they were letting me know that they were nearby,
to visit him, or maybe to help him cross over.
On Friday, September 30, my brother came to visit us and see how we
all doing. I was sitting with him downstairs in the living room, while
mom, my stepdad and the nurse were upstairs giving Grandpa his
I was in the middle of telling my brother something when, all of a
eyes grew wide and he jumped out of his chair, looking behind him.
When I asked him what was wrong, he sputtered, "You CANNOT tell me you
didn't just hear that." I had heard something odd, I'll admit, but
since I was
across the room I couldn't clearly tell what it was... but he sure
He said that a man's voice had come up right behind his chair, and
loudly, "Pssst.... hey." He said that it did not sound like either our
the nurse, and we knew it hadn't been them anyway, since they were
Another visitor for my grandpa, I guess. It could have been one of his
older brothers, all long dead from old age. It could have been his
World War II, whose plane was shot down. It could have been his best
from high school, who was killed in a car accident. The guy I had
day before could have been any one of these people too. We'll never
As for the woman I'd heard, I'm guessing it was his mother, since he
asked about her so much before he stopped talking.
Well, my boyfriend and I said our goodbyes to him that Friday night. I
sure if he could hear us... he had been deaf in one ear and really hard
hearing in the other, even before he started dying.... and there was
morphine too... but we talked to him anyway. I told him, "Listen,
this too hard on yourself... those people you've been seeing, when they
you to let go... let go. They're here to help, and they'll take you to
place. You should trust them."
My boyfriend added, "Try to get some peace, buddy. You're almost
And if you want to say hi, we'll see you in our dreams. Let us know
you're doing over there."
Then my boyfriend (who I think was a lot more upset about this than I
asked if he could talk with Grandpa alone, so we all left him in the
him for about five minutes. I asked what he'd said to him after he was
through and came downstairs... and he said, "Oh, that's our secret."
probably gotten emotional and didn't want us to know.
Grandpa died just hours later. He looked better in death than he had
month... relaxed, relieved, home at last. I guess that proved that he
hear us cheering him on to the other side at the end... and that our
invisible house guests were indeed there to help him check out, because
house has had no paranormal activity since then.
Grandpa appeared to my brother in a dream only one day after he died.
did exactly as my boyfriend and I had said... he came to let my brother
he "got there."
It makes sense that he appeared to my brother, instead of me or my
boyfriend. Now that he's on the other side, he probably knows all
mad I had been before he declined, and how I was afraid he'd never go.
my boyfriend was too heartbroken that soon after his death. But my
who's more forgiving than I am and who took his passing better than my
boyfriend, was the perfect person for Grandpa to contact. I just hope
knows I'm glad he's at peace. As resentful as I was toward him before
got bad... I did not wish this drawn out end for him.
And in light of the small miracles that happened in our house... the
people long-deceased, showing us that life does go on... I'm thinking
negativity doesn't matter anymore. So I'll end this story with a
hope. Take heart, everyone: Those we lose here, we'll see again there.
to my grandpa: I'm glad you found peace.