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The Wolves Of Mourning


This event happened to me last year, when tragedy struck our family. I'll try and make it short, but I feel I have to give this story some background to do it any justice.

I am a happy part of a huge extended family here in California. I grew up on the east coast, away from this part of my family with my parents and brother. I moved here about three years ago, so this has been a very new experience for me; being very good friends with cousins and having a strong support base. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins up and down California and in Las Vegas. If you have a problem of some sort, there is always someone who you can talk to or hang out with, every one of us is important to one another. Being so closely knit, it was devastating to all of us when my cousin Jean (I'll refrain from using his real name) was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning in Vegas where he lived. He was 23.

A group of cousins and I were just waking up from a night of partying in LA when we got the call. We rounded everyone up and took three cars of family there immediately. When we got to his mother's house, her front yard was full of friends and family. I just remember everyone either being hysterical or in a state of shock, it was chaos. Only really knowing Jean for about two years, the feeling of loss for me wasn't as much as the cousins who grew up with him. So, as it got late, I figured my cousins needed some space and each other, and chose leave with an aunt and uncle with their three boys. I slept in their guest room, while their rooms were all upstairs.

Sleep of course was very light and troubled; I drifted in and out of sleep a few times. But, one time in particular, as I lay there with my eyes closed, I had this vision of walking into a room. I may have been asleep and dreaming or awake and visualizing, but the room I walked into was the guest room I was staying in and I saw my cousin John sitting across from someone playing a guitar. I couldn't see his face because he was sitting with his back to me, but when I saw his Lakers jersey and matching hat, I knew it was Jean. I then hugged him tightly and said, "Dog, you don't have to go. Everyone needs you here, don't go." When I turned to look at his face I woke up.

I didn't wake up completely though. I was experiencing sleep paralysis; I couldn't move, open my eyes or breathe, and I felt a presence in the room. I wanted so much to wake up and see him for one last time, but I couldn't. When I finally "powered" out of it, I jumped out of bed and looked around the room. Nothing. As I sat back in bed after a couple of minutes to regain my thoughts, I heard something outside. It sounded like wolves or one wolf howling faintly. Living in southern California, I would some nights hear coyotes howling, so that didn't seem strange. What was strange is that I couldn't tell if it was near the house or far away. I peered out of the window and strained to hear it better. As I did this, it sounded less like wolves and more like children crying. It also sounded as if it could have been coming from up stairs from an open window or something, so I thought my little cousins were crying. So I crept up the stairs enough to get a view of their rooms. Their doors were open and they were fast asleep. It must be wolves or coyotes, I thought and went to get a drink from the kitchen.

The howling seemed to be getting louder outside. Though a bit spooked out by now, I took a look outside the sliding glass door to the backyard. I heard the howling, but I couldn't see into the dark backyard. All I could see was the street light on the other side of their brick fence and the light fog that surrounded it. It was then that the howling began to die down. This was also strange because if it was coyotes or wolves, I figure that they'd just stop howling, rather than slowly fade away. I returned to the guest room and, wanting some rest, I turned on the TV and let the shamwow guy bore me sleep.

During breakfast the next morning, I asked my uncle if the kids were up crying last night. He said no. Then I asked if they get many coyotes or wolves out there much. He again said no and asked why. When I told him, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He insisted that coyotes don't come out that far into the desert and wolves are pretty much out of the question. As he told me this, the hair on the back of my neck also stood up.

I've heard of loved ones visiting people after their passing, but never in this kind of manner. Could it have been my cousin or something else? How would you interpret this?

Thanks for reading and I apologize for the unintended lengthiness!

Comments about this paranormal experience

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

book_luver123 (227 posts)
13 years ago (2009-09-01)
I think that perhaps that it was your cousin saying goodbye. Your dream could have been the same. ❤
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
13 years ago (2009-08-31)
Your story brings to mind a long-held belief among many people that dogs howl when a death is imminent. What's unusual about this is that the howling was heard after the news of the death arrived.

I have no explanations and probably as many questions as you do about this phenomenon.

Are there any stories in your family concerning howling heard following a death?
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
13 years ago (2009-08-31)
Paul--Your mourning wolf or coyote or neighborhood hound might have been picking up and broadcasting your sorrow, but I vote for him being a stand-in for your cousin, who figured he'd already scared the bejesus out of you in his dream appearance. He knew you'd pick it up, associate it with him, and come to realize grief is a universal. You might try asking a local native tribe member what it signifies to the ancients of the land, or you might ask an old cowboy. A good story. Thanks.
wertona9 (3 stories) (14 posts)
13 years ago (2009-08-31)
Well, animals sometimes are more in tune with the departed than humans, some species in particular from what I've heard. I remember hearing that canines are one. You never know, did your cousin like wolves or coyotes, or any other kind of canine?

Sakamoto ❤

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