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A Mother's Kiss


It was August 1981 when my telephone rang. It was my brother-in-law calling to tell me my 66 year old mother had been found down and unresponsive on her front lawn. An ambulance had taken her to a local hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Within an hour a second call confirmed her death. I quickly made ready to travel and in a few hours I was driving to Detroit from Washington, D.C. A John Denver tune played in my head. Something about some days being diamond, others stone. This day was clearly stone and I do not remember much about the trip. I think I drove all night.

My younger brother had lived with her. A Vietnam war veteran, he stayed in her home partly out of convenience, partly to watch over her. It was he who discovered her in the front yard, then gave her CPR without success. I found him partially unhinged. I thought the experience had been too much, which seemed reasonable. The unexpected death of a loved one is indeed difficult. He faulted himself for not saving her, which added guilt to loss.

It was not her death which had disturbed him so, though that clearly had a real impact on his emotional state. "She's still here." he said. That is what troubled him so. I fully believed him. My mother was an exceptional psychic and deeply spiritual. A day or two before her passing she called to tell me goodbye, though I did not know it at the time. Her conversation with me was a bit cryptic and I found it frustrating. Her words became all too clear after her death.

My mother had a personal trait, a behavior, that had become her hallmark. She would stand at the kitchen sink doing dishes, ever so slowly, as she stared out the window, her mind in another place. We could hear the silverware being washed and dried, tinkling, clicking and clattering. It took the longest to do for some reason, and I think she enjoyed it. Perhaps she found it relaxing. Many, many hours had passed this way in our home. That hallmark behavior was apparently still active.

Our bathroom shared a common wall with the kitchen, with that wall located just to the left of the kitchen sink. When we lounged in a hot bath relaxing our cares away, we could clearly hear the silverware being washed and dried. That sound was unmistakable. That very sound was heard by my brother as he bathed in that tub the day my mother died. She passed about midday, or early in the afternoon, and her body was in the hospital morgue. He bathed in the late evening. It was the sound of rattling silverware that turned death into a haunting experience. When my brother told me he heard the silverware, I had no doubt that my mother was still in the house.

My wife, our two young children, and myself spent that first night in one of the house's two bedrooms. I do not recall if it was her room. I was very tired. During the night my wife woke me. There was fear in her voice, though not great fear. "Your mother just kissed me." she said. "On the forehead, just like she always does." Again, I did not doubt it. My wife's emotional state made clear she believed my mother kissed her.

You see, my mother worked in a hospital and was fearful of passing on contagious illness to her family. When she kissed someone it was always on the forehead. My mother often kissed my wife and children on their foreheads. My mother and I did not have a relationship that included kissing. That she kissed my wife and not me was our family norm.

No more was heard from my mother and there was no continued haunting. That kiss was a mother's goodbye.

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

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-14)
ajonverge -

Thank you for your kind words about this story.

When I wrote it the words simply flowed from my fingers. I just re-read the story, and I find no story at all. Those words tell what happened, how it was, what I found, what I felt and how difficult the experience.

Her death was 36 years ago. That experience still lingers. All I did was unzip my heart and let what was inside out to the light of the world. Perhaps someone can benefit from understanding that the dead may choose to linger.

I confess that when I share an experience on YGS I feel a sense of relief and comfort, knowing that a real experience has been documented for future readers.

Thank you again. I appreciate you taking the time to write.
ajonverge (6 stories) (84 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-13)
MrRiggs: When I read this story, I was all teary eyed. Beautiful sentiment. Just goes to show Love will find a way one way or the other even from an alternate dimension. Seriously very nice story.
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-12)
Jubeele -

Thank you for your gracious comments.

No, I didn't wish for any additional signs or gestures from my mother. I was in a state of shock at my mother's unexpected death. When my brother told me he heard the silverware rattling and was convinced she was still there, I believed him.

My focus was on her farewell telephone call to me a few days earlier. She was making her goodbyes and I misread them as eccentric behavior. I became rather abrupt with her and deeply regretted it.

In that call she asked me some rather basic questions, such as my age, length of marriage and my children's ages. Then she said words to the effect of "You will be OK, you are going to be just fine." She was actually telling me goodbye, and that everything was going to be alright. She must have known she was about to pass and I didn't grasp the gravity of the call.

You mentioned your dreams. While this isn't the time to discuss them in depth, I will say that I am a great believer in dreams. They can be much more than they seem.

Thank you for reading this story and being kind enough to share your feelings. My mother's death was long ago, yet somehow never really goes away. It has been helpful to share this story with people who have an interest in spirits the lingered before leaving.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-11)
Melda -

Thank you for taking the time to read the story of my mother's passing. How right you are about a mother's death being a life changing event. Though we have (and had) very different personalities, I have often wished I could speak with her again.

You have seen your mother if she has appeared in your dreams. Dreams are not simply the meanderings of the mind as the body rests and repairs itself. There is much more to them. I do understand you long for something more substantial. I believe that many partipants on YGS share that longing with you, to include myself.

Somehow I can feel your sentiments as you said goodbye to your mother in that empty flat. That was a moment in time that will live with you as long as you draw breath. Words can never adequately convey what is felt at such a parting. Somehow each step you take, at least for a while, seems less sure. And the hollow in your heart never completely heals.

Thank you for your kind words.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-10)
EmmalineTexas -

Your response to the story of my mother's passing is remarkable. I don't know that I have ever read (or heard) of anyone having a conversation with a deceased family member that arrived and sat upon their bed.

I share with you the wish that your final contact had gone better, My mother and I were very different in some ways, and that difference created some distance or, perhaps, intolerance on my behalf. Her last telephone call to me was a day or two before her passing. That call was very strange. Looking back it seemed as though she were saying goodbye. It was, in fact, goodbye. I wasn't keen enough to perceive that. I was pretty short wth her, and a bit angry. Then she was gone.

That experience was more than a little troubling. I could either let it go or let it haunt me. I chose to let it go and never looked back.

Having a bi-polar parent does not make for a perfect family experience. What happened to you at your father's return was part of life in an imperfect world, even where/when the paranormal intersects with the natural. Fathers can get angry, but rest assured, fathers forgive. Your dad has no doubt forgiven you. Don't be too hard on yourself for something you said pre-coffee (or tea).

Yes, I inherited a bit of my mother's psychic ability, as well as a hint of her spirituality. I cannot explain how psychic ability works or control it. It is simply knowledge that arrives or appears without reason. A sixth sense seems the best description I know of. At least half of mine comes through dreams. The rest just shows up uninvited.

No, my mother did not kiss my kids goodbye that we know of. Perhaps she did and they didn't know it as they were asleep.

My mother was a gentle soul with one foot in another world. She was like a lightning rod and transmitter to the paranormal. Life for her was hard and I suspect she is better suited to her present existence.

Thank you for sharing your experience. It was kind of you and comforting.
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-09)
AugustaM -

Thank you for taking time to read this story, as well as your kind remarks.

In response to your questions, I saw my mother in a dream. She appeared fit and well, as well as mentally alert and sharp. She was strictly business when we met and warned me several times to "watch the phone." A day, perhaps two passed, then an early morning telephone call. My sister was dead.

The house was immediately sold and I have not been back. That part of my life is over.

Yes, I will read your story. I will be delighted to.

It seems the more we look the more we learn. And I have learned the dead are not as dead as we tend to believe. Death does not seem to be a finality. Instead, it appears to a be a fleshless state of being.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2017-12-08)
What a lovely story and an untimely loss -hug- have you heard from her since? Is the house still in the family?

My grandparents too passed too early - at about the same age as your mother. They were 68 - cancer. If you have a look at my story 'Coming to Say Goodbye' - you'll see an interesting similarity between our accounts ❤

As always, your writing style is so engaging and I look forward to reading more of your experiences.
Jubeele (26 stories) (897 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-28)
This is a poignant, thought-provoking account. I liked the idea of your mother in her familiar routine of doing dishes at the sink one last time before conducting her farewells. Maybe she wanted to make sure everything was in order before leaving.

May I ask this: even though it was not your family norm, did you somehow wish for a final demonstrative gesture from her? Not wishing to sound impertinent, but that would be my personal wish though. The thought did occur to me that perhaps your mother's spirit didn't linger because she knew that all would be well with you.

I have dreams on occasion of seeing my father who has passed away for 13 years and even of my mother-in-law (can you believe that?) who has been gone for 5 years. They could be memories at play or messages from beyond sent to comfort me.

If as Percy Bysshe Shelly says, "Death is the veil which those who live call life", then your mother's passing is but a transition to her next phase.

Thank you for sharing this memory.
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-28)

My computer shows I received your response around 3:30AM. I took the liberty of checking your bio and learned that you seek the knowledge that man has sought since the beginning. I once spent 40 minutes in what I regard as the "The other side." I also recall where I was pre-birth and the process of getting an earthly life.

I am not a sage but a sensitive. I do not consider myself wise by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned some things through experience. Much of that experience has been difficult and came at a price.

If I am anything, I am my mother's son. I grew up in an environment filled with the mysteries of psychic and spiritual ability my mother possessed, and which my father scoffed at. I inherited a small percentage of her gifts which, candidly, I do not enjoy.

If I were to offer you anything, it would be that life does not begin at conception or end at death. We are who we are whether in the flesh or out. I think physical death is not so much about an unfathonable afterlife as it is about life continued.

The answers are remarkably simple, though the path to those answers is cluttered with minefields and deception.

But we are here about ghosts, not other things. So to remain on topic, my view is that most ghosts are simply life continued out of body. I have been out of my body a dozen times. To be out of the flesh does not bring death to the body, but the death of the body releases the spirit. After that, it appears there are some variables.

There is more to this, of course, but in general terms I think that is the process.

Once I realized that we are not our bodies, and our bodies are not us, understanding the system became much easier.

I hope you find what you are looking for. If you seek answers at 3:30AM it is clearly important to you.
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-28)
MrRiggs - You and your family were very fortunate that your mother made you aware of her presence, doing the things she did in her everyday life.

My mother also died when she was far too young, 64, of leukemia. I think one of the hardest knocks we take in life is when we lose our mothers. It's as though the cornerstone of our lives has been kicked out from beneath us.

I felt my mother's presence when one of my sisters, my brother and I cleared out her flat (apartment). I went back on my own to lock up while the other two waited for me in the car. I stood in the empty lounge and felt her there very strongly. I knew she was there. I just softly said "bye mom, I'll be seeing you". Sadly I have never seen her again, except in my dreams.

You write so beautifully MrRiggs, you have the ability to make each occasion very real and special.

Regards, Melda
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-28)
MrRiggs - How lovely that your Mother finished her daily tasks, kissed your wife's forehead and went on to the next plane. I wonder if she also kissed the children's foreheads too.

My father died unexpectedly and we saw him walking down the hallway, wearing his favorite sweatshirt and white tennis shoes. He made a beeline into my son's room and we heard my son giggle and say Pop-pop.

He also woke me up the next morning by sitting on my bed. I was groggy but he asked me to be nicer to my mother. I explained that we were oil and water (she was bi-polar) and he became angry with me. Unfortunately, I became defensive and reminded him that he was dead. He looked startled, got up walked through the wall and was gone. To this day, I wish that I had been more awake and just promised that I would try.

I really believe that there is an adjustment period when someone passes. I was taught that it's three days. I'm sorry for the loss of your Mom. She sounds like a truly remarkable woman. Have you or anyone in your family inherited her talents? She sounds very caring and thoughtful.

RANDYM (2 stories) (266 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-28)
Mr Riggs

Thank you for sharing another wonderful experience
I just know your the type of person that I would love to sit on a porch on a pleasant day and spend the afternoon listening to some of your life's experiences and a great deal of wisdom that I know you possess
Please do continue sharing


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