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She's Still With Us

Paul Kincade, Nevada, USA
January 2006

On April 4, 1994, Frieda, my loving wife of over 48 years, suddenly collapsed in my arms and died of a burst abdominal aneurysm. Before her death, when we'd watch TV, I'd usually fall asleep and when the 11 p.m. news ended, she would loudly say, "Honey, wake up and go to bed." A few nights after her death, I was asleep in my chair, when I was awakened by her calling and telling me to go to bed. Startled, I opened my eyes and looked at her chair and there she sat! As I jumped up, she disappeared. Several times, at night, I could hear her walking in the upstairs bedroom.

After she died, I had her cremated and my son and I arranged to scatter her ashes in the nearby National Forest from a friend's airplane, a restored Navy trainer. We put her ashes in a paper bag and stapled it shut. We then attempted to put the bag in the speed brake, a perforated metal plate under the fuselage, that lowers to reduce speed in a dive. The idea was to open the speed brake and the wind flow would rip the bag and scatter the remains. My wife did not like to fly and three times she tore the bag, so we couldn't keep her in the plane. We finally managed to keep it in long enough to get it closed and we took off, my son in that plane and me in another one, so I could take videos of the whole event. I forgot my wife didn't like her picture taken and as they were about to deploy her ashes, the battery in my video camera went dead, even though I had fully charged it the night before. I quickly replaced it with another one that I had recharged the previous night, but that one also went dead immediately! I later learned neither could be recharged for some unknown reason. She was controlling to the end.

Just before we scattered her ashes, a friend from Japan came to visit us, as he was like an adopted son. It was the first time he'd been to visit since we'd moved from San Diego, so he brought his camera and took dozens of photos. When he got home he had the film developed and sent us copies. Two photos were of my son and me, standing beside the curio cabinet that held the urn, with Frieda's ashes. Of all the pictures he took, only these two had a gray shadow over us. There was no explanation as to why it only appeared in those two photos, but they were the only ones in which the urn appeared.

Two years ago, I sold the house and moved to a new one and no longer see or hear her. I've never mentioned her death in the house to the new owner, but often wonder if he hears Frieda walking around upstairs.

Paul Kincade, Nevada, USA
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