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More Than A Wake


It was a normal and warm day in May. Well, about as warm as it's going to get in Cleveland. I was 12 years old and I had heard the news a few days ago that my Aunt Kathy's sister, Karen, had died. I had never met her, or at least not as I remember. I was told that I had to go to the wake. I didn't really want to, but I knew I had to go to support my aunt.

It was a long drive there, but it was manageable. When I stepped into the funeral home, I knew something wasn't right. I saw an older woman in her casket as I walked down the hall. I couldn't help but think how peaceful she looked. Then I realized she was the only one looking at peace. I walked into the room where my aunt's sister was. Before I even looked at her, I felt a sense of dread in the air. The air was so heavy that it was almost hard to breathe. My mom had told me before that the woman had passed away from cancer. She was told about it Thursday and died the next Tuesday. She left behind her husband and fourteen-year-old son.

I didn't want to, but my mom made my wait in line to kneel by the casket and say a prayer. I did not want to look at Karen, but I felt I had to. When it was our turn to kneel, I gave my mom a look saying that I didn't want to kneel and she gave me a look back saying that I had to. My mom, my little brother, and I kneeled beside Karen. Her body, covered in soft white fabric and surrounded with family pictures, lay in front of me. But she did not look peaceful like the woman I had seen while I was walking down the hallway. Karen looked like she was not ready to die. And I believed that with all my heart.

I said a short prayer and quietly stepped away from the casket, but something was telling me not to. I dreaded looking at Karen's face, but something was forcing me to. I said hello to my cousins, uncles, and aunts while trying to put a fake smile on my face. I looked down to see that my shoelace had come untied. As I leaned down to tie it, I noticed that the lights in the funeral room had quickly flickered.

After about an hour, my family headed back to the parking lot. As I walked away, I couldn't help but look back at Karen's body lying there, her face filled with sadness.

When I got home later that day, I burst into tears. I had never known Karen, yet I felt like I had for fifty years. There was no longer that sense of heaviness in the air. Every time I think about that wake, I burst into tears at the thought of Karen's body lying there. Like I said, I don't know why I feel that I have such a connection with her. I guess I will never know. But the one thing that I know for sure is that living people were not the only people whose spirits were filling the funeral home that day.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, NATAROX101, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments but I won't participate in the discussion.

zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
11 years ago (2012-07-07)
NATAROX: *sigh*...This is the problem with most young people today... They can't take responsibility for their own mistakes...It's not likely for the site to screw up when it's only going by the information YOU GAVE IT... YOU messed up when YOU signed up, end of story, end of discussion...

Here's something you can do to test the site: try changing your password, and when it asks for your birth date put the REAL one in and see what happens... Maybe when you're done proving to yourself that it wasn't the "mistake" of a computer program, you can finally allow this subject to R.I.P 😊
NATAROX101 (guest)
11 years ago (2012-07-07)
then the website is wrong, its not my fault
I don't understand why people don't get that
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
11 years ago (2012-07-04)
NATAROX: I don't want this issue to overshadow your story, so I'll put it as simply as I can... When you signed up to this site you gave information about your birthdate... The information you gave contradicts your true age... I believe the age given on this story was 22, hence the citation of "the author is a young adult" instead of "the author is a teenager"...Yes, you've been honest in the comments, but the information on your account DOES NOT reflect that...
NATAROX101 (guest)
11 years ago (2012-07-03)
But I am being honest and I don't know why people don't understand that. I don't know what the website considers a "young adult," but I have been consistent about my age as 13. If you look at my comments in the links that were provided by zzsgranny, you see that I provided that my age is 13 in both comments.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
11 years ago (2012-07-02)


NATAROX: You see, if you're not being honest about your age this tends to make people think you're not being entirely up front about anything else... It casts a shadow of doubt on everything you say/write...
SpiderZA (2 stories) (81 posts)
11 years ago (2012-07-02)
NATAROX101, actually you will find that question a lot, its about getting the facts straight so that we can decide what to comment on the story.
If the facts don't add up then its a problem...

NATAROX101 (guest)
11 years ago (2012-07-02)
First of all SnowQueen, why do you care about my age?
Second of all, stop creeping on me.
Jesus_soldier (guest)
11 years ago (2012-07-02)
Nikky, you are correct. You didn't make a mistake. That's very strange. Good catch by the way. 😊

SnoWQueeN (5 stories) (100 posts)
11 years ago (2012-07-01)
Okay, link isn't clickable I think.

'It's Not A School Day' and
'Being Watched And Flying Things' where you said 13. Nobody noticed or I made a mistake?😕
SnoWQueeN (5 stories) (100 posts)
11 years ago (2012-07-01)
NATAROX101, Sorry for your loss and I agree with Jav.

I have a question to clarify my doubt. Your age is displayed here as a 'young adult' but you have mentioned your age as 13 in this page

And this


NATAROX101 (guest)
11 years ago (2012-07-01)
Javelina, I partially agree with you that there has not been much paranormal activity with this case. What I would consider paranormal about this story is the fact that this woman's presence is always felt and the fact that the lights flickered. Like I said, I didn't know the woman, yet I felt her in the funeral home that day.

HappySpirit, Karen had cancer previously. She had gone through treatment and it eventually went away. About a year later, Karen had been experiencing some health issues. When she went to the doctor, he told her that Thursday that she had lymphoma. She died the next Tuesday.

I appreciate all of your comments. You have great ideas and I am grateful that you decided to share them with me.

Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
11 years ago (2012-07-01)
I am sorry for the loss of your loved one, I truly am. However, I fail to see the paranormal aspect to this experience. It is a very sad and sorrowful recounting of the death of a loved one, and I am painfully aware of how difficult these things are on those left behind. But I am sorry dear, I just don't see a connection to what this site is all about.

My prayers are with you and yours at this time of sorrow.

Jav 😢
Jimmiejam (14 posts)
11 years ago (2012-06-30)
Sorry to hear of your sorrow.

What Happyspirit is saying may be true, but I also think that part of the problem is that she wasn't ready to die.

When people are told they have a life threatening illness they usually produce a bucket list of things they want to do before they die, and she either didn't have time to compose one herself, or did and died too prematurely before she could do what she really wanted to 😢

She may have focused on you because you were the most sensitive and empathetic person there, but keep in mind that if she does visit she may want you to send a message for her to someone else, help her move on through comforting, or run an errand or two.

Nothing much to worry about, unless she wants you to do the bucket list itself while she watched, and it included sky diving and paragliding etc (the last part was a joke 😜) hehe

But if a message is the case then the only problems I can thinking of is her getting the message accross to you, and you passing it on to someone you either may not know how to get a hold of, or having to say something to someone who doesn't believe in this sort of stuff.

Best of luck whatever happens (If anything) ❤
HappySpirit (187 posts)
11 years ago (2012-06-30)
Was Karen far along in her illness and waited too long to get it checked out or was it a very fast acting cancer? I totally believe your story but 1/2 week from diagnosis to death is extremely quick. At any rate, it sounds like she really needed support crossing over; I think your sensitivity and ability to connect with someone you hadn't even known was a great help to her.

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