My uncle passed away in the late summer of 2009 due to lung cancer. We were very close, and when I heard the news he had died I was devastated. There's one incident surrounding his death that follows me to this day, one that I have never told anyone about.
I was babysitting at the time, and the children were in the next room while I was watching TV. It was about 7:40. I was just eating some popcorn when my phone rang. Startled, I let go of the bowl and it rolled to my side, spilling its contents all over the floor. I cursed and looked at my phone. It was my uncle. This was strange. He was in the hospital.
"Hello?" I said. There was silence on the other end of the line. I repeated myself, but there was no answer. "Hello, (Uncle's name)? Hey, hi?" I said again. I became irritated. After another few moments of silence I hung up and began to clean up the mess I had made.
The phone call had been odd, and a weight had formed in my stomach. I suddenly felt scared for my uncle. Visions of one of those heartbeat monitors going flat next to my uncle's bed clouded my mind and I couldn't rest easily for the rest of the evening.
Later that night my mother called. I knew from the moment I picked up that something terrible had happened. "Hello, (my name)?" She said. Her voice was shaking. "Yes, Mum, what's wrong?" I said.
"It's about (Uncle's name), he's..." She didn't need to continue. I was completely frozen, staring into the distance as the reality hit me. My uncle was dead. My beloved, poor uncle was dead.
When the parents came home, I walked to my house. It was a short distance away, only about 10 or so minutes. My father and mother were on the couch. She was crying. I snuggled in between them and began crying too. Then my dad started. We were all crying.
Some time later, when the strange phone call popped into my mind, I asked my mother what he time he died at. She said it was 7:40. Around the same time as the phone call. I nodded, thoughts racing through my head. How could my uncle possibly call me if he was dead at that time?
Sometimes I swear I can smell cigarette smoke in my bedroom at night. I have never smoked in my life, nor have my mother or father. At other times, when I'm alone and my parents are out, I feel my uncle close by. It has never frightened me though, because I know he's watching over me.