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Cutting The Tie That Binds


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.

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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, Seraphina, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
7 years ago (2017-02-10)
Mikepapp, I appreciate your gracious comments on this story. Your Jaws comparison is right on the money 😆.Ever notice that skeptics still want to hear your stories?
You've probably got more experiences to share with us, things that happened a while back so that you've forgotten about them. I hope you'll post them for us.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
7 years ago (2017-02-10)
Hi, Seinfeldfan,
Thank you for the compliment!
Good point about the family. Some people say that picking up on these things can "run in families." Maybe that's true.
mikepapp (3 stories) (34 posts)
7 years ago (2017-01-26)
Hi Seraphina,
I am new to this site, and just had my first story published. The comments I have received have been helpful, and very kind. I just finished reading your story, and read the comments. I have also read some other stories, and reviewed their comments.

Your style of writing is honest, and simple, and pleasant to read. I have submitted one other story that will pop-up after my first one has been thumbed through enough. After that, I do not expect that I will have anything more to share as I will be plumb out of such experiences.

However, I will continue to visit this site. It is a place where I can read, and share with others who "believe". I am reminded of a scene in the movie "JAWS".

The character, Matt Hooper, from The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is trying to convince the Mayor, of Amity Island, that he must close the beaches! The Mayor of course refuses. And, Matt Hooper says, "I understand that you are not going to address this particular problem until it swims up, and bites you in the a _ _"!

The same is true when trying to talk to anyone that has never had an unexplained event occur in their life. It becomes a waste of time or worse.

Your writing style reaches people. Thank you, and goodluck.

Seinfeldfan620 (3 posts)
7 years ago (2017-01-25)
Another good story! I must say you and those near and dear to you have had some very interesting paranormal experiences.:-)
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-04)
Thanks Seraphina. I certainly get a big let-down feeling when it happens because I know the inevitable will eventually happen within the day or two and I don't want it to. I've even tried things like mixing up my routine and doing things out of the norm in the hopes that fate will get shook up and the outcome will be different.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-03)
Hi, DandK,
Thank you for reading and commenting on my story. I apologize for not answering sooner--I didn't know about your comment until just now.

Your experiences certainly do sound similar to mine. I understand what you mean: "I used to think that somehow I was causing those things to happen when I got that feeling, so I tried to ignore it to make it go away. But they happen every time. They are usually small, everyday things." You've got that gift (like it or not)!

DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-12)
Seraphina, you mentioned wanting to hear about things like you talk about in your story, from other people's lives, and I can share some similar but very limited things from mine.

First, I've felt touches before. Very clear, strong hands on my shoulder like someone would do when reassuring you. Someone touching my arm or leg or my cheek. I don't get feelings of who it is though. I like to think it's my late husband (I remarried six years ago).

I've never been able to sense death around someone, like you describe, but I do get a gut feeling when certain bad things are going to happen. I used to think that somehow I was causing those things to happen when I got that feeling, so I tried to ignore it to make it go away. But they happen every time. They are usually small, everyday things.

Thanks for writing your stories. They are comforting to me.

I hope you are well.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
8 years ago (2015-09-21)
Interesting, Bella. My sightings aren't so dramatic, and I'm glad. Your mother must have nerves of steel to deal with a temporarily headless friend or acquaintance!
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
10 years ago (2013-12-28)
Hello,BasSilLeosS. Thanks for your input. I hope you'll tell us more about your own experiences!
BasSilLeosS (guest)
10 years ago (2013-12-26)
about the sensing of things that about to happen, it is a combination of both great analytic skills and intuition, those two things combined together; will get you a great success in other parts of your life, it's not a curse at all!
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
10 years ago (2013-12-26)
Hello, BadJuJu and spiritwaiting!
Thank you for your observations about Amanda. I always respect your insights.
You're probably right that she saw Bill as a father figure. The speculation started, I think, because she was so dramatic in expressing her grief. Maybe her cultural background had some influence on that, though. ❤ Seraphina
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
10 years ago (2013-12-26)
Seraphina, Bad JuuJuu, took the words right out of my mouth. I agree. I believe they had a close relationship, because she saw him as a father figure, and it may have had something to do with her family life (back home). Its understandable that she took it hard, because she lost a family member in her heart. And its a great thing, you reached out to her and helped her seek help. Kuddos.
BadJuuJuu (guest)
10 years ago (2013-12-26)
Well, a non-paranormal observation first. Just because she took his death particularly hard doesn't mean Amanda had romantic feelings toward Bill. Nothing in this story points that way at all. She had no family in the US, wasn't on good terms with her family, it seems like she may have found a father figure in Bill. Blood doesn't determine family. Love does. If he could consider her a daughter, why couldn't she consider him a father?
In any case, good on you for getting that poor girl to seek help. She's in a healthier situation, and he is able to rest in peace. You managed to put two souls at peace, and that's an amazing feat. ❤

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