Tuesday, June 09, 2009

His Dead Wife Shows Up For Dinner

This is my favorite picture of my Dad and his 4th wife.

When she died my sister and I flew to Florida that night to be with him. My sister flew in from L.A., I flew in from Flin Flon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I can hear Canadians laughing from here. I WAS ON THE ROAD IN FLIN FLON, population 6, not counting the comedians.

The next morning I was sitting on a couch trying to wake up before I went to make coffee. I didn’t especially like Dad’s last wife but I really missed her in that moment, mainly because she always made the coffee.

I got up and went into the kitchen and noticed that a little placard was missing from the entrance wall of the kitchen. The little plaque above it was still there and I wondered if Dad had removed the other one to keep by his bed. I made the coffee and didn’t think another thing about it until a few hours later, when Dad and I decided to go to the post office. As we walked down the long corridor that led to our front door, we passed the kitchen and I noticed the missing plaque was back.

“Did you put the plaque back?”
“What plaque?” I stopped and turned back towards the kitchen. I motioned for him to follow me.
“This bottom plaque here, did you put it back?” I asked, pointing to the piece of wood.
“Put it back from where?” my father asked. I explained to him that I had been in the kitchen earlier and noticed it was missing. Standing with my father gazing at the itinerant plaque, we said nothing. Which if you know me, is unusual. My Dad? Could have passed for a statue at any point in his life.

Something was happening, as it often did around me and the dead. All I knew was that the placard was missing and now it was back. I just didn’t know why.

That night at the Yacht Club the remaining family and friends sat at a round table and put an empty place for the dearly departed. I find it creepy when people do that but so many people do it that maybe I’m the creepy one.

I had already been through the drama with Dad in the foyer of our apartment, so when we got to the Yacht Club, I repeated the story to the others. Family remained quiet. Friends, not so much.

One of Dad’s friends, Gracie, was an Electronic Voice Phenomenon tech who recorded the voices of the dead for a living. She and I exchanged looks. Suddenly my stepbrother turned to his youngest daughter and told her to stop rocking his chair. “Dad, I’m not even touching your chair,” she answered.

“Well someone is rocking my chair,” he insisted. Again Gracie and I exchanged a look.
“Hey, stop rocking my chair,” my father suddenly said to me.
“Dad, I’m not touching your chair, look.” My father looked down at the seat of my chair, which was a good seven inches away from his. “Dad, it’s your wife. Your DEAD wife, she’s saying hello.”

The chairs stopped rocking. Gracie and I rolled our eyes at each other as if to say, "Humans. Why don't they get it?"

After dinner Dad and I walked across the street to our condo. He looked so old at that moment, all eighty-six of his years engraved on every ridge of his face. His sadness scared me.

“Really, you weren’t rocking my chair?”
“No, Dad. Your wife never believed in reincarnation or the soul and I used to tell her she was wrong, that one day she would see.”
“Yeah, she really didn’t believe, did she?” he said with a small smile.
“Remember how I told her once, years ago, that when she died she would see that I was right and to send us a sign?” Dad mulled that over for a moment, his eyes suddenly filling with the memory as he stopped walking and turned to look at me.
“You told her to send us a sign when she made it to the other side!”
“That’s right.”
“You think it was her rocking the chairs?” he asked.
“Yes Dad, it was her, that was the sign; there’s something on the other side.”

Dad looked happy in that instant, knowing she had come to him. I never saw him that happy again.

When dead people come back to you, it's never bad, it's always good.

Dad died two years later and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. Coffee's good and every town needs more than six comedians.


    Comedians are good and every town needs more than six coffees.

    Oh fuck it.

  2. Great story - thanks!

  3. i read the whole damn thing.

    and it was great............

  4. wait, did Braja just say fuck it?

    man. I wish I could swear.

  5. and are you serving coffee???? I'll take a red eye with half and half and three sweet and lows.

    yeah, that's right. THREE dammit.

  6. That gave me chills! You are absolutely right.

    Braja! Language!

  7. Pretty cool story. Stuff like that never happens to me. i think my dead peeps have run so far from this world, because they never want anything else to do with it. They've had good lives, but the leaving part was so dreadful for them.

  8. Anonymous4:50 AM

    In one of my next posts, I'll retell the story of how the previous ghostly owner of our old house came to visit me.

    Of course your soul live on, duh! And I'll have my coffee like VM minus the three S&L. Those things will kill ya.

  9. Since she didn't believe in the 'other side' before she dided, I think she wanted to be sure that your dad knew she had reached it and there was truly something there... so maybe he could believe too.

    Great post.

  10. I think my grandpa was trying to scare me when I was there for his funeral. That bastard!

    Just kidding, my g-pa wasn't a bastard, but I really do think he was trying to scare me.

  11. I've always said love lingers...

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who DOES believe there's something on the other side - she's certainly stared at it enoigh through the doorway...)

  12. I'm with you! I am a total believer.

    Now could you please ask her to give us some winning Powerball numbers?

  13. And I'm glad for your dad to have felt some comfort and love. Blessings to all of you.

  14. Suzy,
    That was one awesome story. What a great post to happen upon this Tuesday morning, That photograph of your dad and his fourth wife is so sweet....

    So amazing that you could give your dad that comfort in such a time of sadness...

    Now has your dad given YOU any sign?


  15. I wonder if I would be open to recognizing something like that if it happened to me.

  16. Freaky.

    Glad it was comforting. That rocking thing didn't turn out so well for Regan.

    Not Ronald.

    Anyway. Great one liner up top. ;)

  17. Ok So that gave me goosebumps...

  18. Amazing experience. I am quite literally covered in goosebumps.

  19. I can just imagine the gentle relief that washed over your dad - what a wonderful story.

  20. I love these stories.
    Whenever someone deceased comes to mind, for no apparent reason or obvious connection to my thoughts or actions, I believe they are near me.

  21. Wow...another great story. Of course you are preaching to the choir on the afterlife thing. My Dad stayed at my house for a week after he died. He was constantly flickering the lights and turned the TV on full blast; which was noral for him because he was half deaf. He even touched my back once. Swear to God.

  22. Suzy, that was a great story. I truly know the feeling of the dead coming for a visit! My Dad has visited me a couple of times. He was a real comedian. . . probably one of six in my small hometown.

  23. I'm just saying...braja's got a potty mouth.

    Great story..but then when I was scrolling down through the comments, your stupid pic on the side scared the shit outta me.

    NOW I'M DOING IT. Thanks a lot braja!

  24. oh wait, i was cussy before. nevermind.

  25. being a border town, more in manitoba than saskatchewan, i guess you're right on the population count ;) lol

    coffee sounds good, what brand do you prefer?

    and you're right, i get visitations from my dead mom, dad and sis regularly, always positive...

  26. I will believe as long as I can still eat meat on Fridays, pork when ever I feel like it, mix meat and milk with abandon and sleep in on Sundays.

    I guess believing in something on the other side doesn't mean I have to follow a religion, does it?

    I love how you comforted your dad with the knowledge that there is something on the other side and that his wife was there.

  27. Do you think your dead peeps move with you? My parents died in another state. My Mom died before I moved, my Dad after I moved. Kinda be nice to get a sign some time.

  28. You need to write a book - all the cool stuff happens to you.

  29. Anonymous7:14 AM

    Great story except one thing.
    Flin Flon, (*giggling*) is in
    Manitoba, not Saskatchewan.

    That is all.


  30. Great story. Your preaching to the choir here.

    When my mother passed away a couple of years ago she came back to her beloved house and reaked havoc with all of us. I really think she was having a great time what with the flying bicuits and the slamming doors. I loved it.