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Ghost Story

Updated on June 4, 2010

A True Experience

When I was 16 years old, my brother Danny, who was 19, died.

He was a seaman recruit on a Navy ship called the Midway. He fell from a smokestack 40 feet in the air, where he was repainting the call letters of the ship, onto the steel deck. His head was crushed. His body was crushed. He died instantly.


The circumstances surrounding his death were murky. It was possible that he died as a result of a hazing incident that got out of hand. We never really knew for sure what happened.

Our whole family was knocked right out of its orbit. Our siblings were close: we had formed deep ties forged in the adversity of our upbringing. Our parents were strict fundamentalists; too strict--though they did not realize it and so must be forgiven, Dad was a child batterer--we were all just terrified of him, just terrified at the sound of his feet coming up the stairs--and Mom, though she did not realize it, was his enabler.

This is...this is really hard to write about. It's hard to think about. But, for some reason, it's keeping me up tonight.

We were all just shattered, just...destroyed in our hearts by Danny's death. No one expected it. It was my first experience of death in the family and the first sibling we lost.

My sister, who was seventeen at the time of Danny's death, had a distinct premonition of his death the night before he died. She told me of this--oh, we were so close, us three kids, Danny, Carole and me--we shared our daydreams and our nightmares. Carole had a dream that Danny fell from somewhere very high up to his death, on the night before he died.

I pooh-poohed her and tried to reassure her, though I could see she was disturbed by this dream. It was a week later that we heard of Danny's death.

I had no premonition beforehand whatsoever that Danny had died. His death came as the biggest shock of my life. But I remembered my sister's dream...

It was about three months or so after Danny's death that he came to visit me. I remember it well to this very day, so many years later.

I lay in my bed at home, in that twilight state halfway between sleeping and waking. I saw Danny come into my room and sit on the edge of my bed. I saw him just as clearly as I see the computer in front of me and the view from out my window. I could feel him, too. I knew it was him and he was really there and he had something he wanted to tell me, and to make sure I told my sister Carole.

He wasn't unhappy or distraught or bitter or fearful or angry. He wanted me to know, he was alright. He wanted me to tell Carole. I've always wondered why he didn't visit her, too.

He wasn't in heaven nor was he in hell. He was travelling.

That's the closest I can get to what he conveyed to me. He was travelling. He was hitchhiking on the road to Paradise. It might take him awhile, but that was all right. He was happy travelling.

Oh, I found such comfort from his visit! There wasn't anything bad or scary or harmful about it. He has never visited me again, nor has he ever visited Carole, but I'm sure he's arrived long since, and waits for us both.

I remember the feeling, the comfort I found, from seeing him again. It lifted my heart and got me through a very bad time.

I really don't know what I believe about the afterlife. I don't know if I believe in heaven, or in hell. I don't know what to believe about religion. I do believe, we have some kind of spirit, some kind of soul.

And I do believe my brother's ghost visited me after he died to let us know he was all right.

I haven't talked very much about this visitation before to my friends or other people. I think people won't believe me, I guess, or maybe, until now, the feeling has been too personal to share. I don't think my sister talked very much about her true premonition, either, maybe for the same reasons.

I'm glad I'm writing about it now. I think it's the right thing to do, the right time to do it. I'm not sure why...Just a feeling I have. There's some Scottish in our backgrounds. I believe we're all a little fey. I was born with a caul, too, you know.


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    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, Alastar, thank you so much for the kind and understanding comment. It was fine, and I appreciated it. You overstepped no bounds whatsoever.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      The materialists and skeptics will say these things are in our minds only...but you and i and many others know this is not always the case. That night you wrote this was your time to finally place it within yourself; and have the beginning of wisdom on these matters truly begin; plus you gave others the chance to see your experience too. I believe your brother, through his love, was letting you know he was alright and indeed was on a journey in spirit. Hope i haven't overstepped here and if i have please forgive me.Your story just touched me this way.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for your kind and caring comment.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you found comfort knowing your brother is ok. Sorry for your loss.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, mega!

    • mega1 profile image


      8 years ago

      You know, whatever we have to go through in our lives,we just do it. There's not much use wishing it were otherwise we have to face the music. Reading these stories of yours has made me realize that there is no mystery involved in the process of adapting to pain and sorrow - it is. that's all, it just is. I started reading these because you said you were feeling stuck - I was feeling stuck also, in a different way but several things have helped me unplug - I just wish you the best, and hope you will go ahead and write more and more and know that we're all rooting for you!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Sam, for your comment. I wanted this hub to possibly comfort people who have experienced a loss. It is entirely true, entirely from my very own experience. I was pleased and surprised how many people accepted this.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi, Paradise, I read with great interest your story. And I especially appreciate that you were willing to publicize such a personal part of your life, so that it could help the rest of us. I, too, am convinced that our dead friends and relatives are able to come and visit us. I'm quite sure my father came to visit me after I died, that it wasn't just a dream.

      It's my feeling that some have a gift of being able to see certain things, and others don't, because they have a different type of gift. This could be why your sister did not see him; perhaps he came, but she couldn't see him. Or it's possible she forgot the visit. Occasionally I feel like I've been visited, but have forgotten it.

      I do believe in an afterlife, but there's no hell, unless it's the Greek definition: Hell is a translated word used for "grave." I also believe in a God, or some type of "Intelligent direction." And I feel that this being (or those beings, which include angels) have a design that is too complex for us to understand, and therefore, we'll have something happening to one person that doesn't happen to the one standing next to him/her.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Dear Mike. Thank you so much for your comment. There was a lot of comfort in it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Paradise, your story is a sad one, but it is uplifting at the same time. To be reassured by your brother that he was okay must have been a comfort to you. It was a symbol of how close your relationship was that he came to you that final time.

      A very nice story--thanks for sharing it.


    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, RM.

    • rmcrayne profile image


      9 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Paradise I was actually waiting for this story in your Life Stories series, not knowing it was here all along. Maybe add a link on those hubs?

      I'm so sorry for your loss, but so glad Danny came to visit you later. My mother and one of her sisters had a similar experience of premonition (Both decided to go by their parents' house on their way home from work. My grandfather had had a heart attack.) and later visitation (to my mother). I wished so hard for something like this after one of my cousins killed himself.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for your condolences, Leop, and for your kind and understanding comment.

    • Leop profile image


      9 years ago

      Paradise7, I am terribly sorry for your loss. Its a pain no one should have to go through and its very tough. Now about the ghost visiting, I truelly believe in ghost. I am glad you wrote about this. My husband is a ghost fanati and he loves to watch shows like, ghost adventure and others along those line. Thank you. Well written.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, heyju. Thank you.

    • heyju profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree Paradise, I do believe we live on in some form or another. Thank you so much for sharing this personal story.

      I'm sure your brother is waiting for you.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Catherine R., Rob Dee, thank you both so much for your comments. I wish everyone could have that consoling experience after a loss. I'm not sure why everyone doesn't--especially my sister Carole. I'm just not sure about so many things, but I do know there are powers in the universe, and we have a human spirit as well as a material body that we live in. I really do believe, our human spirit lives on.

    • Rob Dee profile image

      Rob Dee 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Wow! i've always thought stories like this were a bunch of hoo-hah, but, for some reason, i believe yours. i'm glad that you were able to get some sort of solace from his visit.

      i'm sorry that you had to go through such a loss.

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      9 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      What a terrible loss for you. I am so sorry - but glad that you got some peace out of his visit. Our universe is certainly a mysterious place.


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