On The Other Side of Death
David, CA, USA
Let me preface this story by saying that it is one hundred percent true. I still wonder if I was dreaming, but I swear to you I was fully awake when I made this phone call...
On a very warm summer afternoon, I was alone in our house and was taking a nap on the sofa in our front room. I was having a strange and melancholy dream about my brother who had died a little over a year ago. I don't remember the details of the dream, but I remember that he kept telling me a certain number over and over and over again. When I finally woke up, the number was still sticking in my head... it was a seven-digit number.
After several minutes, I realized that the string of numbers was a very familiar phone number. I just couldn't place the number at first. Then, suddenly, I realized that it was the phone number of my grandparents, who lived in San Diego. They had died over ten years prior. My deceased brother and I were very close to them and often called them to talk when we were in our elementary school years, which is why it was such a familiar number.
I don't know if it was because of the heat or because of the lingering emotions brought on by my dream, but I got a crazy notion to call the number.
The phone on the other end rang four or five times. And then someone answered. My heart started racing. I was expecting a message that the number had been disconnected.
I really didn't know what to say... so I asked, "Is Dottie there?"
Dottie was my grandmother's name.
There was a pause, and then the voice said, "Who IS this?"
I said, "This is David."
Then there was what I would describe as surprised laughter on the other end of the line. Then the female voice chuckled, "Oh, my God! It's been so long!"
I asked, "Who is THIS?"
The voice sounded slightly perplexed, and she said, "Why, it's Nana!"
That was what my brother and I used to call my grandmother. Only our family and my uncle and his family knew that we referred to her as Nana.
I felt my stomach getting queasy from fright and disbelief, and I squeaked out "Nana?"
The voice said, "Yes! It's so good to hear from you, David! Let me go get your Grandpa. He's in the Rumpus Room out back."
My grandparents had a part of their garage in the backyard that had been converted to a full bar with a pool table and couch in it, which they referred to as their Rumpus Room.
The line got very noisy. Then there was a squealing sound, and then the line went dead. I felt a mixture of relief from the creeps I was getting from talking to my long-since-dead grandmother, and disappointment that I didn't get to talk longer to her, or at all to my grandpa.
I have called the same number again in the recent past and got the message that "This number is no longer in service."
I really don't know what to make of that phone call. It seemed that the person really was my Nana. It sounded kind of like her voice, but younger than what I remember. And because she knew about the Rumpus Room…
Is it really possible to make a phone call to the other side?