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The Token Of Death


When my mother was a little girl growing up during the depression in rural Ohio, she knew her family was different. Her five sisters and two brothers looked nothing alike. The fact that her maternal grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian originally from Kentucky played a huge role in her life.

Jewell had dark skin and hair, high cheekbones, and was of short stature, but a temper so fiery; her dark eyes turned jet black and seemed to shine. One look from her and you knew to go home in a hurry, my mother remembered. Yet, she was kind and loving, especially to her favorite granddaughter, Jennie. They seemed to click on a spiritual level. Seeing and hearing things seemed to draw them together. But nothing prepared the small child for a night of frightening terror.

After a long hot summer day, my mother and her two sisters went upstairs to bed. She couldn't get to sleep right away and lay awake. She heard voices coming from her parent's room downstairs but couldn't make out what they were talking about. She said they never stayed up that late as her father had to get up early the next morning. He worked for the railroad,. Finally, she started to doze off when she heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs. She sat up in bed expecting to see her mother walk into the room, but a woman in a long black dress with buttons running from her waist to under her chin walked in. She looked right at my mother and said, "One gone and two remain..."

Strangely, neither of my mother's sisters heard this ghostly figure. Finally, realizing that was not her mother; the trembling child yanked the covers over her head. She stayed that way for a long time, barely able to breathe, sweating under the covers. She desperately wanted to wake up her sisters, but she couldn't move or say a word. At last, she peeked over the edge of the blanket, no one was there. She hardly slept at all the rest of the night. When she heard her mother, Edna, in the kitchen at daybreak, she went downstairs.

"What are you doing up, Jennie?" she asked, as my mother climbed up on her lap. Her eyes were filling with tears. "Did you come upstairs last night, Momma?" she asked. "Yes, I did but you girls were sound asleep, why?" She told her mother that a woman dressed in black came into the room and what she said. Her mother was about to tell her father when the phone rang. After she hung up, she looked pale and shaken, "Jake that was your sister from Kentucky. Your brother just died. That leaves two boys left..."

Mom was confused. What did that have to do with the woman in black? It seems she was a death token warning of the approaching death of her father's brother. Later, she asked her grandmother, Jewell, about it and she assured her it was real. In fact, she believed my mother had inherited her ability to see them. Cherokee Indians believe a ghost is a "guide" that appears when they want to communicate with the living - only to visit or bring messages about good or bad health for a person.

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

whitebuffalo (guest)
12 years ago (2011-01-12)
As a matter of fact, Jitow, I DO believe in Spirit Guides and Teachers.
I do believe that I have Guides and Teachers all around my family AND myself. Personally, I believe that all people do.
Thank you.
Jitow (362 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-11)
That is very interesting Whitebufalo, does that mean that you believe in spirit guides and spirit teachers and the like? Do you have your own personal spirit guide?
BYLUYSTER (11 stories) (78 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-05)
Whitebuffalo-Thanks for enlightening me. Maybe that was just what they called it back then. I have yet to experience a warning of death and don't want to. 😐
whitebuffalo (guest)
14 years ago (2008-09-04)
Well, not only are SPIRITS a form of a guide, but also an adviser. Spirits are allies, teachers, friends and confidants.
Never, in all of my teachings have I ever learned, both through the act of being a student, or in my personal experiences, have I heard of a ghost being a harbinger of death.
I have heard of spirits bringing warnings. I have heard them bring news. I HAVE heard of them telling of an event to come, with instruction.
A "Token" loosely translated means Supernatural sign of death, or evil, birth or holiness. It all depends on the perspective of the person receiving the message, and THEIR interpretation of it. Most generally tokens of death are of the animal kingdom.
For instance, if a rooster were to jump up on your porch, turn his head about to look at someone and crow, that is supposedly a sign that someone with in the family is going to die.
In other words, your Mothers first real feelings of the vision of this woman were of wonder. She WONDERED who this woman was who was visiting with her (did she ever find out who she may have been?). It would not matter what her Mother or Grandmother thought, as this woman came to your Mother.
If the vision had come to anyone else, the coincidental phone call the next morning could have come into play. However; I do believe that this was a wonderful coincident, or a friendly Guide preparing your Mother for the news that was to come, NOT a token of death.
Thank you.
BYLUYSTER (11 stories) (78 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-04)
ChrisB-Thanks for the support and the other posters. Through the years I have to admit I felt like it was a mixed blessing. Even today I still feel that way. I often say, "I wish I didn't have to know things."

My son calls from college, "Hay, I had this really weird dream and today it played out almost perfectly. Strange, huh?" So of my two children, the boy is more attuned to this than my daughter. Gift... I wonder too, especially when you feel helpless to help the person involved. And I do believe it runs in the family... You just can't let it take over your life. But you can warn people to more careful.

ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-04)
Hi and thank you for sharring this very interesting story! I realy enjoyed reading it. I believe in this story. I don't think you would make up a story on someones death. I found this one very interesting and I hope you share other stories soon with us. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
rstahley (3 stories) (102 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-03)
Well, I find this story to be troubling. I used to believe that my dreams vaguely told me the future. Whether that was true or not, I don't know... It doesn't happen ever anymore, but what I do know is that I didn't like it. I didn't like the feeling that I had to know something before it happened. It was like I was getting cheated somehow of experiencing life the way others got to experience it. And they call what you mother has a gift... And maybe it is, but it sounds like a difficult gift to bear, and so I believe that it takes a strong person to accept that they have a sixth sense, and I respect those that do.
Jmak (6 stories) (156 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-03)
Once again I have to say that unless we are there than who are we to say what happened and what didn't. BYLUYSTER's mother was the only one to see the entity all we need to do is read the experiences and help where help is asked for; not judge. I know when I share stories that were told to me they are somewhat fragmented in the retelling sometimes. BYLUYSTER thank you for sharing your mothers experience. 😊
BYLUYSTER (11 stories) (78 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-02)
Tonith-you hit it right on the head. No wonder some people are more attuned to such things. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why I had to know things. The most upsetting part was I didn't always have all the facts, but still I knew something was going to happen. Sometimes bad and sometimes good. There are times when I'm not too happy about it. Take care. 😊
Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-02)
Maybe the woman told your mother because she was the one that was sensitive enough to see and hear her and the message was for your father about his brother's demise. Jewell understood this could happen so I'm glad your mother had her to talk to about it and validate it. I don't think there are harbingers of death personally but I do believe there are ways of learning about someone's demise without that proverbial phone call that all of us dread.
BYLUYSTER (11 stories) (78 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-01)
First off, this story was about my mother. She told me about it and other strange things that happened to her and my aunt. She talked about her grandmother, Jewell, and how it seemed to run in the family. I only mentioned the fact she was a Cherokee Indian to help you better understand how my mother and I are able to see things and to explain why we are able to do.

As for whether or not I have had any experiences, see The Night Visitor on this website. Trust me, it happened.

I did research on the topic of death tokens just for my own peace of mind and was shocked to learn they are a signal of approaching death, in this case my mother's uncle. Whether you chose to believe this story or not is up to you, but it did happen. And those are the words she spoke. Thanks for reading my story and for your imput.
lilblackpom (13 stories) (218 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-01)
Hi Byluyster. This was an interesting story but a little confusing to me. Thank you for sharing it here though. 😊
Brownie09 (6 stories) (293 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-01)
Hi BYLUYSTER, This was a interesting story, as for the ghost in the dress telling you that and then that happening, maybe she was sending you a message, but as for her saying One gone two remain, just something about that part, don't seem like it was a nice thing. Have you had any more experiences?

Thanks for sharing. 😊
Not_scared_anymore (1 stories) (31 posts)
14 years ago (2008-09-01)
Nice story BYLUYSTER... Empahsis however on the word STORY... Very randomly put together though.
But I don't buy it 🤔

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