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Visited By My "brain Dead" Brother


Just over four years ago my only brother, who is two years older than me, was in a car accident. This happened in Virginia where he was living with my mother temporarily, while sorting his life out and finding a job. Prior to the accident he had a sort of change of character. I had moved to California several years prior, partially to get further away from our unstable mother and her side of the family, but also to go to school and start my life. My brother had been struggling to find his place in the world. He had recently returned to the USA after testing out moving back to the UK to live with my father, which is also where we were born.

In the months prior to his accident he was calling me at strange hours and asking very serious questions. Most involved which direction he should take his life, but also to report the strange behavior of my mother. On more than one occasion he had come home to find her sleeping outside in the garden. Another time he found her sleeping in his bed and covered in dirt. Whenever he would wake her up from these "incidents" she flew into a blind rage and shouted obscenities at him. My mother had also been a bit unreliable, but only in the previous couple of years had she become "unhinged." One of the reasons I left home is how much her incidents disturbed me. She would get this far away look in her eyes and react with what I can only describe as a "blind rage." After these incidents she seemed not to recall them, and certainly would never apologize or admit to the trauma they caused. It's very scary to witness, in addition to being traumatic.

Needless to say, it was very disturbing for him to be so close to all of this, especially in a time when his life was quite uncertain. After a series of late night calls -- between midnight and 3am Pacific time, so 3 hours later for him on the East Coast -- I began to worry about him but wasn't quite sure what to do. He would ask me strange questions and seemed to be not quite present himself. Prior to this time he called far less frequently and far less seriously, now he was calling several times a week at late hours. I was in my senior year of college at the time so I couldn't exactly drop everything on a feeling. He told me he was afraid he would never escape. Now I wish I had done more, although I am not sure if it would have changed what eventually happened. We both had an odd sense of impending doom.

A few weeks later, just after Thanksgiving, I received the worst phone call of my life. It was a woman I never even knew existed, who told me she was my brother's girlfriend and that he was in the hospital after a car accident at least two days prior. The hospital had not contacted anyone else, despite my mother living only a few miles from the hospital. From her tone of voice I knew it was not a good situation. It then fell on me to inform my mother and father, then I booked the next flight out.

As soon as I saw him in the hospital I knew he was no longer there. I have had quite a few "spirit" encounters in my life -- I just seem to be one of those people. He was suffering from permanent, violent seizures brought on by traumatic brain injury. The doctors said he'd been conscious when he arrived at the hospital with two badly broken legs, but only gave my father's name and address as his residence -- and since he was in the UK they didn't know how to contact him. They rushed him to orthopedic surgery to mend his legs and place bars/rods.

While in the recovery room he was left unattended, crashed, and went over five minutes with no oxygen to his brain. The doctors said he was brain dead and recommended we remove his life support and allow him to pass peacefully. My mother refused to accept this, and kept causing explosions of activity by declaring he had spoken to her or had moved his arm -- completely untrue, but the doctors were obliged to run a full battery of tests each time until they realized she was unstable herself.

During this time my mother accused me of "killing my brother" because I didn't believe her. She was in a full psychotic/manic state and was managing to make the worst moment of my life 1000x more difficult. Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment was when the police called to have us pick up the contents of his destroyed car. Inside were a whole wardrobe full of new clothes and shoes -- apparently he just received a job offer and would be moving away within a week. This was his dream job working in DC at his friend's company, and he had been out celebrating on the night of the accident.

Eventually I had to return to school in California, as my brother's status was unchanged: brain dead and on life support. Once my mother realized she had the power to keep him on life support indefinitely, she said something that still bothers me to this day "Now my son will never leave me." To this day, he is still in a private hospital because my mother refuses to let him go. She got a large cash settlement and uses that money to continue his care. I have had to take a hands off approach, something for which I harbor guilt, because of how abusive my mother was. After I returned home she started calling me, my boyfriend, and his family hundreds of times in a row. Leaving messages stating I had killed my brother etc. As a result of this, I cut her off completely. This also means I haven't seen my brother since.

In the years that followed I worked hard to process my grief and mourn my brother. Not only did I lose my only sibling, and everything that means, but also my mother and her side of the family who continue to enable her behavior lest they face her wrath.

One evening right around the third anniversary of his accident, also just prior to Thanksgiving, I was feeling a certain abstract sadness. It's a difficult time of year for me, especially coupled with the holidays and I was just feeling a bit lonely. Nothing major, just some quiet reflection. It was that night after I had gone to sleep that something incredible happened.

Usually a solid sleeper, I suddenly awoke in the middle of the night. Instantly I was wide awake and "felt" a presence. I was lying on my side facing the wall when I heard very clearly, although not quite out loud, more in my mind by very real, "Psssssst." I turned my head ever slowly as I was quite scared at this point. When suddenly the tension broke and I heard his laughter. In the corner of my room was my brother. It was incredible how instantly I recognized his presence, his height, his posture -- all those things you don't quite remember clearly about someone after you lose them. He clearly found it funny that I was initially scared. He just sort of smiled at me and emanated a very clear feeling of "I'm ok. You're not alone. You didn't abandon me. I'm not suffering." All of the things I had been worried about. Had I done the wrong thing? Was I abandoning my brother by not facing my mother? All of that was suddenly lifted.

We just sort of sat there together, enjoying each other's energy until I eventually fell back to incredibly peaceful sleep. Before this I didn't know what to think about where my brother was. Do people whose brains die, but bodies survive, pass over? Now I believe they do. That is why his body was so clearly an "empty vessel" and why I reacted so instinctively to keeping his body alive any longer. When he appeared he was quite clear, and his body was strong and fit as he was in life, although he seemed to be made of light rather than a human physical form. His appearance spoke volumes, lifting a weight I didn't even fully understand I was carrying until it was gone.

I love my brother so much. I am so happy that he is free of the toxic negativity that has overtaken my mother. It was the most incredible gift I've ever received. Thank you for taking the time to read this account of the most profound and meaningful experience of my life:)

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

bella333 (1 stories) (4 posts)
3 years ago (2020-07-13)
Chel, I am so sorry to read your story, but happy your brother came to you and gave you the peace you need to move forward with your life. When I was reading the story, before I read the comments, my first thought of your mother was, I bet she was sexually abused as a child. I had a friend who committed suicide and was the victim of childhood sexual abuse. He actions are very similar to others who have been abused. It sounds like they are all very dysfunctional, and I am glad you are far away from them going forward. May God bless you and your brother...
Glurr (3 posts)
7 years ago (2016-06-06)
I really want to cry, in a good way. It's so sweet, I love the way you wrote this. It's sad about your mother but please don't take it as an offense, I'm glad you now have that invisible weight lifted off. The part where you saw your brother is so touching, I'm reading this at school but if I was home I might have cried. Thanks for sharing this story ❤
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Peace887 -- It's HIGHLY unlikely that my mother will ever get the psychological help that she badly needs, which for me is the biggest obstacle in the way of us ever reconciling.

While the family was gathered in the ER just after my brother's accident, one of my aunts did shed some light on my mother's history of psych issues. There were several times in my childhood when my mother sent my brother and me to live with my dad suddenly and without notice. According to my aunt, on several of these occasions she was actually committed to psych wards. This had been kept totally hidden from me, my brother, and my dad. My aunt is the one who told me about my mother's Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. She also told me that my mother refused to believe there was anything wrong with her, and has an intense hatred for psych doctors.

She is now living on a "family compound" with two of her sisters and their husbands, as well as her mother (my grandmother), and her father (my grandfather) and her step-mother. What makes that situation especially weird is that her father was severely physically and emotionally abusive to his family -- especially so with my mother and grandmother. He also cheated on my grandmother with his secretary and got her pregnant, and is still married to her now. Why they would all want to live together with all that unresolved tension is beyond me! In a weird and dysfunctional way, they are all peas in a pod I suppose.

My mother's childhood was horrific and marked by physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. I once heard my mother call out my grandmother for not protecting her from one my grandmother's boyfriends who preyed on my mother as a child. My grandmother reacted first by denying it outright, but after a while she accused my mom of wanting it and encouraging him. It was sick. That occasion was the first time I can remember seeing my mother have one of her rage fits. I was 17 at the time and it was very scary. That same year I found out my mother got pregnant when she was 12, and was sent away in shame to have an abortion, which the family then pretended never happened and told her to never speak of it again.

Believe me when I say I am well rid of all of them! I am so happy that I was able to spend a significant amount of my childhood living with my dad. He and my stepmum have had a decades long stable and healthy relationship and really rescued my brother and me from suffering from all the instability on my mother's side. I thank God everyday that even though I have the mother I do, I have an incredible dad who I love and cherish. I feel very lucky to have such a loving and stable relationship with him.
Peace887 (guest)
8 years ago (2016-02-09)
Chel I do not know how you stayed so strong, especially with the way your mother turned against you. Do you think your mothers side of the family will ever cajole her into psychological help?
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-09)

I'm very sorry to hear about your sister, it's so incredibly difficult to lose a sibling and I feel for you. As for tips for contacting her, I'm not entirely sure. For one, this was not my first spirit communication, although it was the first time I've seen or heard a spirit I am related to (that I know of). Meditation always helps me attune to the spirit world first and foremost.

My brother's visitation was 3 years after his accident and I certainly wasn't expecting or asking for it when he came. He came when I needed him the most; the night I sincerely and calmly missed him. After I had processed the most acute stages of grief and arrived at acceptance that he was gone, and acknowledged and owned the hole his loss left in my life. His timing was perfect. It's amazing, really. He came when I had found peace.

As for sensing him... It was obvious! He was in my room. I felt his presence, I saw him standing there. I immediately recognized his posture and felt his spirit. I heard him laugh at me. Believe me that when it happens, you will know! 😆

Grief and spirit contact is such a personal thing, I could never tell you the "right" way to do it. For me it was about openness and acceptance. He came when I needed him most and I was ready, at least subconsciously.

I wish you the best and hope you and your family find peace ❤
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-09)

Thank you so much for saying that. I truly feel that my brother's accident, and the extremity of her behavior towards me at that time, finally gave me the strength to cut her off. Without it I'm not sure if I would have been able to. I think of it as a sort of parting gift from him.

There was a while when I truly wondered if she was/is possessed. I'm still not sure, but my best guess is that's what happen to people when they spend their whole lives running from their demons... They catch up! She had a horrific childhood -- she endured just about every type of abuse that exists. If she accomplished one thing as my mother, it's that I never suffered from physical or sexual abuse like she did. I consider that a small success for her not to repeat those cycles. I sincerely hope that she confronts her demons in this lifetime, but I have my doubts. One thing I am sure of though is that she will not escape them when she dies. We either do our work in life or we stick around for it in death.

As for me, my spiritual work with regards to my mother certainly did not end with cutting her off. Since then there have been several times I've come into contact with women displaying similar behaviors towards me. At one point I felt like a magnet for it, which was very hard to cope with. Then I accepted that there was still work I needed to do and the universe was calling that to my attention. You can avoid or postpone your spiritual work, but can never really escape it -- no matter how painful. You've got to confront what you've got to confront in this lifetime 😊
DevilDinosaur013 (3 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-02)
Chel, what you have with your brother is truly amazing. I have the same connection with my sister, she has passed (completely) yet I haven't sensed her, if you could go into more detail about what you feel when you sense your brother, it would help me find her.

Best wishes,
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-02)
You are an inspiration to those who have gone through this or are going through this. You had the strength to say enough to your mother even though you couldn't see your brother afterwards. Although the special connection you had/have with your brother you will see or at least sence when he is around again.

As for your mother. What kind of mother tells her child that they killed their brother? A bad one. You were right to cut ties with her and her family. Not one of them can stand up to her? What a bunch of cowards. You're mother will be sorry one day when you get married and have children. As long as someone she knows is told your mother will find out.

Meanwhile when you have some quiet time just talk to him. He will hear you.

Best wishes to you dear, take care.
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-02)
One more thing, I want you all to know that I've read all of your responses several times. It truly a blessing to be able to share this story with people who clearly understand and emphasize so deeply.

And a special thank you for the support about my mom and for validating my decision to end contact. I'm not sure I could have ever done so while my brother was alive, which is a strange feeling, because it wasn't until after I had room to breathe that I truly blossomed as a person.

I am still unraveling the effects of living with so much fear of her for so long, but I am blessed to say I am really am a happy person. I hope she can find peace as well. That's the message I want to share with people. That even your greatest pain can be a gift.
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-01)
Miracles51031: I'm very interested to know what your feedback is. One weird thing about this experience is that there was a sense of inevitability to all of it. Something was coming and we both knew.

Despite all of the pain and loss, it was so beautiful to see my brother so clearly, and so healthy, so full of joy. And also, if he wasn't teasing me, it wouldn't be him 😆
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-01)

Thanks for relating those experimental findings. I am with you 100% and have had similar "precognitive" experiences, including one that saved my life. I will write it up soon.

I'm actually a very "left brain" person in many ways -- I studied statistics and social science research methods. Now I am now a data scientist. But I also believe very strongly in the power of the human soul and this incredible bond we all share, which means none of us can ever truly be alone.

I hope you will all read some of my other stories as I share them. Much love to you all ❤
chel (2 stories) (8 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-01)
Thank you so much for all of your beautiful responses. It really means a lot to me to be able to share this story with a supportive community. It's a difficult story to share for quite a few reasons.

I am in a much better place now. My biggest lingering feeling is sadness that the circumstances of his "death" robbed us all of a ritual to remember him. We have never had a funeral. His Facebook page is still up and still reminds me when it's his birthday. I see some of his friends still posting messages to him as if he is there to read them.

This whole experience has actually made my life better in a lot of ways. For a long time I felt guilty saying that, but it's true. It has made me stronger and I know I can get through tough times. I ended up getting straight A's my entire senior year at UC Berkeley, and now have a great job and an incredible community of my chosen family.

That's another reason I wanted to share this story. I hope it can help someone else going through a similar time. There is beauty in death and there are rewards as well.
Gayatrishiva (3 stories) (121 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-26)
Che it brought tears in my my eyes as I know what experienced is true... I too had visiting from my younger brother. Please do my read my story in which my childhood school friend contacted me when actually she was in coma. After that experience I honestly and truely believe people who are in coma can visit you when they are brain death.

Bless your brother and when I read your story I didn't feel it's your brother but felt like it's my brother... Thank you so much... Sending lot of love
Mystic25 (guest)
8 years ago (2016-01-22)
Chel, Firstly I must say you are a very strong person and I am very sorry that you had such a difficult time with your mother during the little time you had with your brother before his passing. Though I am glad that he came to you and assured you that he was alright. The bond of a close sibiling never fades and by your depection of the two of you nothing can come between that bond. Not even death. May the peace you received that night from him live strongly in your soul.
Tweed (33 stories) (2463 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-22)
Oh Chel, bless you and your brother. ❤

As you move forward with your life, always keep your brother in your heart (I know you will, but sometimes it's nice to hear the words).
With regards to your mother, I know it's easier said than done, but I advise you to 'stop it'. Just stop the emotional turmoil, the emotional connection. Stop it all. You're your own person and cutting ties with her does NOT make you a bad person, quite the contrary. You could make a few reasons you would make contact with her. But be careful about these reasons, choose them wisely. Just be happy you are you.

Growing up a relative of mine (related through marriage) lived with multiple personality disorder. She was a total hoot to be around, real gem of a woman. But she had her switches, or alters, and one of them did similar to what you describe your mother doing. I'm not saying your mother has this condition, just that I understand mental illness does horrible things to people. One of her alters was exceptionally cruel to everyone. While the others were quite nice. The cruel one unfortunately made it unbearable for their family and most of them cut ties with her later in life because of this. My immediate family were one of the few that didn't cut ties. I saw how everyone else cutting ties actually helped the woman because it lowered her stress levels.

I know your situation is completely different, but I wanted to give you an example of when cutting ties is the best for everyone. 😊

Your brother and you have a very special bond and I thank you for sharing this amazing moment you shared. I'm sure he still checks in on you from time to time and I'm sure he stands by your decisions. ❤
aussiedaz (19 stories) (1565 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
Mac, Spirit is the master, matter is the servant. Well put Mac, being brain dead is totally irrelevant, I think the authors brother honed in on his sisters frequency and presented himself in spirit.
Macknorton (5 stories) (646 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
Thanks for sharing. I'm a firm believer that the only reason our bodies exist is because spirit animates them. Once the spirit / soul leaves the physical body, it dies. Spirit is life. Spirit is the master, matter is the servant.

I believe your brother returned to reassure you.


valkricry (48 stories) (3244 posts) mod
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
I'm sitting here groping for words, besides those that would echo Miracles' sentiments. I sincerely hope that you have made peace with yourself by now.
It's a possibility that your Mother really did think she saw him move, etc. If only in her mind. Letting your child go, is more than hard, and even harder if you believe there's the slightest chance they might recover. Perhaps in her mental condition she just could not do that. But accusing you of killing him? I've no words to defend that. I can't even fathom how she came to that conclusion. Just consider the source and let it go. For you to avoid her toxicity towards you by not having contact with her is probably best for you both.
As for not being able to see your brother...well, you already know he isn't there, he's moved on.
C2C (3 stories) (62 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
Hi chel: I personally believe life, called that due to lack of better terminology, is better after we die than while we live here on earth. It appears your brother knew of your sadness and wanted to reassure you. Kudos to you for separating yourself from the toxic relationship of your mother and her family and making a better life for yourself. It takes a strong person to severe familial ties. Your story was touching and perhaps will help others who are going through similar situations. It was very well written.

I found your sentence "We just sort of sat there together, enjoying each other's energy..." significant. The human body is an incredible work of art housing energy, enabling it to be harnessed to effect the physical world, much like a dam harnesses and directs water. Though the shell eventually dies, energy cannot be lost. The only question in my mind is where does it go? How lovely you were able to experience this visitation from your brother and know he is still part of the big wide world.
aussiedaz (19 stories) (1565 posts)
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
chel, I feel for your circumstances mate, first of all, don't blame yourself for not doing enough, I can obtain how big your heart is by the way you have described your account and for someone still young, this whole ordeal and the fact you and your mother are not talking is more than enough to deal with on your own journey throughout the struggles of life. Things will get better keep your chin up...chel, I want to share this experiment I'd watched some 12 months ago on the BBC channel and then validate a point of which I know you feel about this meeting with your brother being the real deal and not your imagination (not that you are thinking that latter). They did this experiment with 1000 subjects and received the same result on everyone of them. They wired up their brain and gave them a button in each hand and was asked to press left or right every six seconds. The decision to press left or right had to be made on the last second of the six count. Here's what was discovered during the test. Upon observing the activity of the subjects brain wired up to receive neuron activity, the scientist were able to know 6 seconds before the subject had made a choice of left or right which one they were going to choose. How incredible is that and What does this mean? Well they know the brain is receiving a signal from somewhere and then acting on that message 6 seconds later. Now, there's are another group of physicist with very strong mathematical principles, who believe we are living in a hologram with out going into detail about that. For mine, it's not hard to make a connection between all those experiments, facts and theories to come to a conclusion that our spirit is the source sending the signal and it doesn't really need a brain to interact in our hologram if it choose's to and you only have to read the thousands of accounts here including yours to understand that. Your brother came to you laughing, this was really clever of him, loved ones who visit us in spirit will always try and make us feel relaxed about their meeting. Take heart from this account, it was given to you to help you cope with all the pressure you have been under... Thankyou for sharing and best of luck.

Regards Daz
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
8 years ago (2016-01-21)
chel - this is one of those stories that I hate to say I really liked because it was so tragic; however, the peace I could feel at the end seems to make the horrible events leading up to your brother's visit more bearable. I just want to say I am sorry you and your brother had to go through what you did and I'm terrible sorry you lost your brother.

I have another comment to make but can't get the words to come out the way I want them too. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll be back.

Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It may help many who have wondered if they really had a visit from someone who was on life support.

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