This story isn't chilling or dramatic, but it's the kind of thing I experience once in a while. It will probably seem familiar to you, since you're all YGS readers, but I'm always looking for reassurances that others share these types of experiences. I hope you'll write some comments about things like this from your own everyday lives.
Bill was a slightly-built older man with a nervous facial twitch and a stammer. He'd been at our company for decades longer than I had. He worked in a different department, so I didn't know much about his personal life other than the fact that he was divorced - but not by choice. Since his office was down the hall from mine, we would run into each other frequently. We used to chat about work-related things now and then, and I found him to be a kind, sensitive man.
Amanda was at least twenty years younger than Bill. She'd come to the US by herself as a teenager, so she spoke with an exotic accent. Thin and fragile-looking, Amanda had bitter feelings toward her family. I don't know the details about their estrangement, only that she felt abandoned and alone.
At first I think Amanda just admired Bill for his knowledge; he was an authority on a topic that interested her, so they had long conversations. They shared an office. Soon they were eating out together, going to concerts, and so forth. They became good friends, but no one gave their friendship much thought.
One winter Bill had been out sick for a few days. The day he returned to work he stuck his head into my office and made a casual comment about a book we both liked. He still had a nasty cough, I noticed, and he looked miserable. I asked if he should maybe go back to the doctor.
"Oh, I'm fine," he said. "I'm actually getting over walking pneumonia, but I'm a lot better than I was." He seemed in a good mood.
But one of my unwelcome "abilities" is seeing something about a person's face that means death is nearby. Sometimes I also "see" a person I know walking toward me from a distance. When the person gets closer I realize it's a stranger, but I know then that something bad has happened to my friend or acquaintance. (Does anyone else on YGS have this happen to them?) So I was startled to see a hint of death in Bill's face.
Amanda found Bill dead on the floor of his apartment a day after he'd stopped answering her phone calls. He'd had a serious heart problem - something no one knew, not even Amanda - and the pneumonia affected his lungs, putting extra stress on his heart.
Many of Bill's colleagues attended his funeral, and that's when they began questioning the type of relationship Bill and Amanda had had. This was because of Amanda's strange behavior. She entered the sanctuary after everyone else was seated, sobbing and leaning heavily on the arm of an usher. Bill's ex-wife and adult children were sitting in the front pew - and Amanda joined them there, even though they hadn't invited her. They definitely weren't happy about that. Later there was an incident at the gravesite where Amanda fainted, followed by literally months of scenes at work when Amanda burst into tears and fell into the arms of a startled bystander.
Let me just weigh in here with my own opinion. Even though Bill was legally divorced, he was a very devout Roman Catholic, so I think he probably saw himself as still married in a spiritual sense. He considered Amanda an especially close friend, but I'm guessing she was more like a substitute daughter. (He did have a grown daughter who rarely visited him.) Amanda evidently saw their relationship in a different light, though. One thing I do know: He genuinely cared about Amanda, even after he passed away.
It was late afternoon on a gray, rainy day. I was standing in the hallway outside my office, talking to a friend. My back was to the far end of the hall, where Amanda and Bill had shared an office. A few people passed us as we spoke, but the halls were quieter than usual. Then I heard soft footsteps come up behind me. A hand grazed my shoulder; it was a friendly touch, as though someone I knew was acknowledging me while walking past.
But no one was there. At first I couldn't believe it. The sounds, the touch were so matter-of-fact, I was sure somebody "real" was nearby. My friend, who was creeped out by my confused reaction, laughed nervously and said, "Maybe it was Bill saying 'Hi'." I knew right away that she was right.
When I go into the building where I work, I usually come in through an entrance near Bill's office. Since his death I could feel he was still there behind the closed door - really intensely present, straining to get my attention. If you read my previous story (Thursday Night Visitor) you're aware of what a big wimp I am where paranormal things are concerned. They fascinate me and scare the heebie-jeebies out of me at the same time. So my skin felt prickly every time I walked near that office.
But he'd been a good person in life. I don't think death changes that. I tried to calm down and pay attention whenever I passed that door, until I could understand what Bill was trying to say to me.
Finally one day the opportunity came to give Amanda a message. I told her she was preventing Bill's spirit from leaving. He was worried about her grief and how it was affecting her health. If she wanted to help him find peace, she needed to let go.
I suspected Amanda was anorexic among other problems, and I eventually convinced her to get counseling from someone we both knew who was a licensed therapist (and a very spiritual person). It took a long time for the therapy to help, although it eventually did make a difference. After several months Amanda began to look a bit better. Her complexion wasn't so pasty. Within about a year she stopped wearing all-black clothing. She was able to say Bill's name without choking up. She stopped visiting his grave every day.
This happened about five years ago. I still pass Bill's old office every workday - but he isn't there anymore.