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My Brother's Trick


This story took place in February 2018 in a suburb of Oklahoma City. My brother, "John," had a stroke at the end of December, which left him unable to speak understandably. He had been a heavy smoker, which probably contributed to the stroke. I didn't visit him often before the stroke because I have asthma and had to avoid the cigarette smoke.

Following the stroke, John had pneumonia twice and no quality of life, being completely dependent upon the care of the staff of a nursing home. I was alone with him at the end in a hospital room. His breathing had been shallow and gaspy for a few hours, but painkillers and sedatives were keeping him comfortable. Then he sighed, and that was his last breath. I could see his pulse in his neck, and I watched as the heartbeat faded away. I talked to him, told him to fly to the light, and said many loved ones were waiting for him there.

A while later, other relatives arrived and learned that John had passed, and we comforted each other and dealt with the nurses, chaplain and doctor. Then I went to tell my elderly mother that John had died. We had been talking for a while when a niece called to say she was on her way to my mother's house. I had left my car in the middle of the double driveway, so I went out to move it and make room for my niece's car.

Right after I got in my car, I smelled cigarette smoke - John's kind of cigarette smoke. As I moved my car, I said, "John, what are you doing out here in my car all by yourself?" After I parked and opened the car door, I said, "Well, you might as well come inside with me and see Mom!" I imagined him snickering at the joke he had played on me and following me into the house, walking with his distinctive gait. When I saw my mom, I said, "I just had a visit from John." In my mind's eye he was so happy and free that it was a comforting experience. When I left a few minutes later to go home, my car had no smell of smoke in it.

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

Twilight1011 (9 stories) (322 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-06)
I see I'm a little late on responding to your post, but in the case of you checking back on this one, I wanted to share what my mother and I like to think of as my brothers last prank 😊 Just a brief summary, my brother passed away 19 years ago this past September 4th, at the age of 16, and I was 11. That winter after he had passed, my mom went to make a fire in the fireplace, when she was startled by what seemed to be little fire crackers going off in it. Knowing I'm not much of a prankster, unlike my brother (I'm now an only child, as I only had my one brother) who loved pranks, she still asked me if I had put them in there. I said no, and that I never even had any firework type stuff. That's when she began to laugh, as she realized that it had to of been my brother then, and thought of how he must have gotten a real good kick out of seeing her freak out on those fire crackers going off 😁 she wondered how long ago it had been, when he even put them in there, as she only uses the fireplace in the winter, and he passed away in September. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, as I enjoyed reading it, and thinking back on our old memory.
moonshadowsmom (2 stories) (4 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-22)
Thanks, CuriousDee! And Miracles51031, thank you for the link to that story -- amazing and uplifting!
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-21)

My heart feels full after reading this. I loved that you told him to "Fly to the light". I remember telling my grandma to go to the light and asking my mother to "come get grandma". Thank you for sharing such a beautiful experience. ❤
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
6 years ago (2018-04-21)
moonshadowsmom - I loved this story, thank you for sharing it with us. If you are interested in a similar experience, here is a link to one of my favorite stories from our mod zzsgranny I think you'll like it 😊

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