was a junior in high school, I had a friend named Denise.
We shared art class together. She had been absent from school
for several days when I decided to go visit her at home to
see how she was feeling. We had a nice visit and she seemed
well enough to return to school. She told me that she'd had
a cold but now she felt better and remarked that she would
be back at school the following day. I remember that she was
smiling when she told me that. I visited with her for a while,
then went home, did my homework and other activities, and
went to bed.
I was asleep in my room when I awoke for no apparent reason.
My dog, Duchess, was also awake and stood beside my bed looking
toward the door to my room. I sat up in bed and looked toward
the door and there stood Denise. She was standing in the corridor
facing my doorway.
not misty or glowing or anything like that. She appeared to
be just as real and whole as any living person. I did not
feel any fear when I saw her, only mild confusion as I asked
her what she was doing there in my house. She was smiling
as she said, "I just wanted to stop and say goodbye."
I said "goodbye" to her but did not ask her where
she was going. My 16-year-old mind seemed satisfied with her
answer. She turned as though she was going to walk on down
the corridor toward the stairs. I did not see her disappear
or fade away. I glanced at my alarm clock noting that it was
4:30 in the morning. I settled in and soon went back to sleep.
morning I woke up and thought about Denise's visit. It had
not been a dream so I was at a loss to understand it. I decided
to tell Denise about it when I saw her at school since she
had said that she would be coming back that day. As soon as
I got to school, another friend walked up to me. She asked
me if I had heard about Denise. I said no. Then she told me
that Denise had died earlier that morning.
I was told that her cold had suddenly developed into a very
severe, virulent form of pneumonia and that she'd been rushed
to the hospital where she had passed away. It was all very
sudden and totally unexpected. I was absolutely stunned!!!
At that moment, when I'd heard the news of her death, I experienced
emotions that I still cannot describe. Later I found out that
she had died at 4:30 a.m. which was the exact same time that
she had come to visit me in my room! She'd visited me before
I knew that she was dead.
many years ago but I still think about Denise from time to
time and I will always be grateful for her visit because in
some ways, by doing what she did, she gave me one of the best
gifts that I have ever received. This is the gift of assurance
that there is life after death and that we do go on. This
knowledge has been a great comfort to me over the years.