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My Family Makes A Sick Call: Part I


I've hesitated to offer these experiences on YGS because some readers would probably classify them as dreams or hallucinations. Although I understand why someone might come to that conclusion, I personally can't think of my experiences as anything but interactions with some of my deceased family members.

Now that I've seen a recently posted YGS story on a similar topic, though, I'll send in my own story and see if it makes the cut.

In the winter of 1976 I was a twenty-seven-year-old divorcee and single parent of a four-year-old boy. I was in graduate school at the University of Michigan, where I lived in family housing with my son "Mikey". (Not his real name.)

I decided to have elective surgery, a procedure that was supposed to be uncomplicated and would require no more than a few days in the hospital. My aunt agreed to stay in our apartment and take care of Mikey until I'd recovered enough to manage without help.

You've probably already guessed there were unexpected complications. Everything that could go wrong, did: multiple blood clots near the surgery site and in my lungs, allergic reactions to a medication, problems with the wound that required additional surgeries, etc.

My parents were living in another state, but my mother took the first plane to Michigan and camped out in my hospital room for two months. It's a good thing she did, because she needed to run for help more than once. I know her vigilance saved my life.

Since I wasn't always conscious during the worst days, I wasn't clear about what was happening around me. My mother later filled me in on the blurry parts.

The day the blood clots were first discovered, my medical team started treating me with the blood thinner heparin. The doctors hoped this would eventually break up the clots so further surgery could be avoided. It was a dangerous development.

Several hours went by before my mother felt she could safely leave me alone to grab a cup of coffee. I'd drifted off, but suddenly woke up, realizing that I had visitors.

There was a group of familiar-looking elderly people dressed in heavy winter coats and huddling just inside the door. Trying not to wake me, they glanced at me with worried expressions and whispered to each other. Slowly I began to recognize the individual people in the group: several great-aunts from my mother's side of the family, standing with their husbands.

Happy memories began flooding my mind - Fourth of July picnics, Christmas parties, summers at the great-aunts' lakeside cottages. It was so comforting to see their faces, I struggled to stay awake. But it was no use. Before long I drifted out of consciousness.

When my mother returned with a Styrofoam cup and a magazine, I opened my eyes again. "Where did all the people go?" I asked.

"What people?"

"The family. They were just here."

My mother was puzzled. "No one was here," she said. "I only walked down the hall to the coffee machine. I would have seen anyone coming to visit you."

As I was forming the words to tell her exactly whom I'd seen, it began to dawn on me that all of my "visitors" were family members who had died.

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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)
9 years ago (2015-08-05)
Biblio, you certainly packed a lot of knowledge into one post. Wow! Thank you for taking the time to reflect on my experience!
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-05)
Greetings, Seraphina.

At the age of twenty-seven, with a four-year-old son depending upon you, and having been admitted to the graduate program at one of the US's prestigious universities (U of M's Law School and English Grad degrees, among others, are top-tier programs). I'm pretty sure that your brain would have focused on hallucinating positive images (health, recovery, happiness, success, even close friends or your son) not an older generation of family members huddled in winter coats whose presence -in turn- reminded you of positive memories, but at a remove. While the memories in themselves would certainly have been reassuring, their being triggered by a visitation by the beloved deceased seems peculiar.

The workings of the human brain remain elusive and surprisingly complex given that the one organ contains memory, reflexes, consciousness, and cognition; you may have manifested your fears in the form of incorporeal loved ones, but their presence triggered happy recollections which would run counter to the very point of a hallucination expressing fear. Hallucinations, while they seem clear and rational to a distraught mind, only appear to be real because their internal consistency prevents the affected individual from questioning their validity. (DISCLAIMER: fairly well-read English teacher's information; I hold no degrees in psychiatric medicine!)

Unless there's more recent research (and there probably is), I'm going to have to join in with everyone else's general consensus and state that I, too, think that your hospital room was visited by relatives who were concerned about your well-being, and who wanted you to recover.

It's fascinating, really, that so many of them showed up; you must have had a close-knit extended family.

Be well,
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-01)
Chapulin, I'll bet you were shaken! But what a pleasant way for your relatives to visit: a party!

Redwolf, thank you for the reassurance. Blessings to you!
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-30)
Great story. Whenever you have something like this happen don't hesitate to write about it on here. Be well.
chapulin1234 (guest)
9 years ago (2015-07-30)
That happened to me in a dream!, I dream that everyone was having a big picnic party in my parents backyard, I went and started helping serving and moving (drinks I believe) on a tray and saying hi to everyone, then it dawn on my that everyone in the party were dead relatives! 😭 I woke up shaken! 😨
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-30)
Thank you for your kind comment, Vonboeckmann. 😊 I appreciate you taking the time to contribute your thoughts.
Vonboeckmann (guest)
9 years ago (2015-07-29)
Hi Seraphina
I bellieve your family were there with you.NDE? They are there to protect during an intense critical situation... Heparin is anticoagulant and as advised rarely non hallucinogenic. However if your surgery was recent the anesthesia is still in your system. Whatever happened may you take comfort and the gift knowing you are not alone. Wishing you a speady recovery steady gentle as we say... Kind regards J.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Miracles, DeathByDonut,Tweed, Hecate, Valkicry and lady-glow, thank you for those well-considered comments. Although each of you has your own perspective on this experience, you seem to be reaching a consensus of sorts. I appreciate your willingness to think of the family visitors in a broader sense than just hallucinations. I do want to tell you all what happened next, because that's what really blew me away!
Lady-glow, I enjoyed your pink elephant in a tutu 😊
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Seraphina: a pink elephant in a tutu would be considered an hallucination, a person's loved ones (either dead or alive) being worried about her/his welfare is only a fact of life.
Looking forward for part 2!.

DBD: I'm not an expert on the paranormal, I just enjoy reading stories and learning something new from the experiences of others.
valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Of course, I don't know what other drugs you were on in the hospital, but Heparin isn't considered a hallucinatory medicine. Something like less than 1% of patients report hallucinations as a side effect of it. Could you have been suffering from some delirium due to the illness? It's a possibility.
Going by what you've told us, so far, I'm thinking that it really was family coming to check on you though. Mostly because you were recalling past events while seeing these relatives. Hallucinations are generally very 'in the moment'.
Looking forward to part 2!
Hecate0 (4 stories) (418 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Seraphina, I imagine your health situation was dire at the time. This sounds very much like the beginning of what people report who have experienced a near death experience (NDE), an out of body experience (OBE) associated with a life threatening situation. Although you may not have left your body, you, in your ill health, were much more open to other energies. My father reported hearing family members just before he died. We were very open, so assumed it to be true and not hallucination. Thank you so much for sharing. It must be comforting to know they are close when that huge transition approaches.

Best to you! 😊

Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
hahahaha I'm not an expert Donut! 😆

Seraphina I'm looking forward to part 2 of your story.😊 I'm with Miracles, under the influence or not, people report this sort of thing ALL THE TIME, and it makes so much sense. Wonder if there's something in the sedatives which heightens our supernatural awareness. Blerugh that sounds so phony doesn't it. Well still I wonder about it.

Look forward to part 2, thanks for sharing!
DeathByDonut (guest)
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Yeah, you are right the first thing that came to my mind was that you were dreaming (maybe but no one knows for sure).
The other possibilty is that your mind was playing tricks on them and its last for a short time. Just like it might have took hardly 3 minutes for your mom to come back in room and it ended in that time itself.

You may wait for Tweed or lady-glow to comment as they are experts here
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-07-28)
Seraphina - I understand your hesitation about submitting this story. I'm sure there are people who would consider this experience an "under the influence" situation. I, however, think your family was there to watch over you because they were worried.

Thanks for sharing this with us 😊

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