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.