Dedicated to my brother, Kevin Messenger. 1959-2005. We Miss You.
I debated about this post, especially the title. This is a personal story, and I don’t want people to think I’m making light of it or using the story to gain attention. That’s not the case. I really just want to share it with you because it’s a part of who I am.
I’ve always ‘sort-of’ believed in ghosts. I grew up in an old house and had all kinds of experiences my parents brushed off.
Throughout the years, I heard footsteps in the house and felt the smothering sense of the air growing heavy around me until I thought I would explode. I’ve felt the bed move as though someone were sitting on it (I convinced myself that was just me until my parents mentioned years later they’d had similar experiences in different rooms). Last but not least, one night about seven years ago I was asleep in the guest room (my mother has taken over my old room) and out of nowhere something rushed over my face bringing with it a gust of air. I felt it move over me.
I jumped out of bed and ran into the hall. Mom chastised me and said it was the cat. Not bloody likely. That cat was a wailer and would have been in the hall yelling at me for scaring him.
My friends say I’m sensitive. My husband says I’ve got a big imagination. I never knew what to believe until the night after my brother was killed.
I have to give you some back story here. In June of 2005, I was 12 weeks pregnant. We’d tried for five years, and due to a genetic issue that increased my chances of having a Downs Syndrome baby, we had only conceived once, which ended in miscarriage. That devastated me, and I lived in a deep depression for weeks. So when I got pregnant the second time, only my parents and one of my brothers knew. On June 7, 2005, my husband and I went to the University of Iowa for prenatal testing to would narrow down the odds of our unborn child having Downs. That day, my brother Kevin called my mom to see how I was doing and to ask when we’d get the results. He was worried about me.
He died in a car accident that night.
I didn’t find out until the next morning. I was stunned. You think something like that can’t happen to your family, and then it does. I won’t go into to details, but he never stood a chance. It was horrific and could have been prevented.
I rushed to my parents home two hours away and went to the funeral home with them. I sat in stunned silence while they made arrangements along with my sister-in-law.
You can imagine the grief of the rest of the day. I went to bed—in the guest room—exhausted. Empty. Worried about my test results and feeling guilty for thinking about something other than my brother’s death.
I became trapped in a horrible dream. My brother stood at the foot of my bed staring at me with an expression I’ve never been able to fully describe. He wanted to tell me something. He leaned forward but didn’t speak. In the dream, I jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. He followed me room to room, the same pleading expression on his face. I couldn’t think straight. I’ve never been so scared—not even in real life.
A terrifying sound woke me. It was the weather radio signaling an upcoming storm. My mother and I both woke and went down to the kitchen. She could hardly talk; I was shaking. The dream had been so vivid, so real. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
I told Mom about it, and I can still see her sitting there in her old nightgown, pain radiating from her.
“He didn’t look like himself, though,” I said. “His face was puffy, and he didn’t have a mustache. And he was wearing that burgundy shirt and khaki pants he wore at Xmas.”
My mother turned white. “That’s what he’s going to be buried in.”
After an hour of talking, I explained it away as coincidence. The last time I’d seen him he’d been wearing that shirt. My mind just filled in the blanks. Still, I couldn’t shake the realness of it all.
The next day was the viewing. Nothing could have prepared me for the pain of that experience, let alone what I saw. I remembering stumbling to the casket and nearly collapsing. Not only was Kevin wearing those clothes, but his face was swollen and puffy from the trauma, and he didn’t have a mustache.
Kevin was eighteen years older than me, and I’d never seen him without a mustache. Ever.
Barely able to stand, I asked his poor wife about it. Why didn’t he have one?
“He was trimming it a few days ago and messed up,” she said. “I told him to shave it off.”
There’s no way I could have known that. The mustache sealed the deal for me. For whatever reason, Kevin had come to me the night before. I was convinced he was trying to tell me something, but what? He and I weren’t that close. He knew about my pregnancy because he shared the same genetic condition and Mom had told him. I hadn’t seen him in months. Why me? Why not my older sister? The two of them were very close.
I got my answer later in the day. While sitting at Mom’s kitchen table going through pictures and trying to decide which ones to share at Kevin’s funeral, I got a call from the U of Iowa. Our tests results were back. The Downs screening isn’t absolute, but our odds had drastically narrowed. Our baby was very likely fine.
And then it hit me: that’s what Kevin was trying to tell me. He’d asked about the test the day he was killed, he’d told Mom how worried he was that I wouldn’t be able to handle bad news. I don’t know how, but he was trying to let me know that everything was going to be okay.
I know this in my gut. No one will ever convince me otherwise. The clothes, the mustache, the test results—too many things to be a coincidence.
All the years I joked that I wanted to have a “real” ghost experience, and it’s my own brother. My family will never get over his loss, but I am so grateful to him for coming to me the way he did. After the experience, I believed in the test results. My anxiety about the baby went down, and I was able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I wouldn’t have done that had Kevin not visited me.
You don’t have to believe. Most never will until they have their own experience. I just wanted to share mine with you.
My daughter Grace was born 12-26-05. She’s perfect☺
Wow! What a haunting story. So sorry that you had to lose a brother, but I'm very happy that your daughter is perfect! thanks for sharing that painful memory.Personally, I am always open to these types of experiences. I had one as well that makes me believe. I was sitting with my son in the car when he was about 2 1/2 and out of nowhere he said "Poppy says hi." Poppy is what I called my dad who died 3 years before. My son never met him and we didn't refer to him as Poppy around the house. Was spooky, but very comforting because I KNEW that he was able to see my son.
Thanks for posting, Hallie. The experience definitely changed my life.And yours is incredible and sweet. Experts believe kids are more likely to see because they don't have the filters we do.Thanks for sharing!
Sonia G Medeiros
Wow! That is both beautiful and scary. And amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Oh my God. I'm rarely this stunned. I believe you, Stacy. I have always believed actually. This is so sad, all of it. I have told you this before, but I am so sorry this happened in your life. I joke about ghosts too but I believe and even though I say I want to see one, I am scared shitless of these stories. And I'm reading this in the dark so there's a good chance I won't be able to sleep.. It's nice to think they stay with us for one more day, but it's still very spooky. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
SoniaThanks. It took me a while to come to terms with it, but I'm grateful he chose me.Lyn,It is pretty stunning. There are still times I can't believe it, but I know it was real. Thank you. It's still hard to believe he's gone. It's one of those things that doesn't seem real but then hits you like a brick.As for ghosts, the house I'm sitting in right now is haunted. My best friend has had too many experiences with things flying off shelves, a handprint, etc., for something NOT to be going on here.Thanks for commenting!
What you are talking about happened to me many times after my beloved uncle died. He was like a second dad to me, and he keeps coming back to my dreams with meaningful signs. I believe you, and I used to be so afraid of these dreams (I had a terrible dream years ago about a friend who passed and she did a few days after my dream, I was afraid to sleep for months). My uncle brings good news to me, and it all came true. There is no explanation, but I just stopped fighting it.Best, Revitalwww.revital-sh.com
Wow. That is scary. I'm not sure I could handle something like that. But I'm glad your uncle is a positive experience. I wish I could figure out the dream thing and how it works. Doesn't seem like a normal haunting.Thanks for commenting!
There are so many things in life we do not understand, there are so many scientific facts and scientific theories. I guess that this is part of not understanding things. I learned just to accept and let go. Hope this is a little helpful…
That IS awful, revitalsh. I have a very good friend who had the same experience. She has been freaked about it to this day. She even dreamed the cause of death and the next day, they were gone, and she was right. *shudders* Stacy, just a quick nerd-alert: if the 'ghost' sends things flying off shelves, it's probably not a real ghost but a poltergeist, which is pent up energy building up and lashing out on objects. You know, like when angry teenagers live in the house. Or so I've read. 🙂
I believe you Stacy. There is way more to reality than what our 5 senses would tell us – our usual experience must be only a narrow slice. My condolences for your brother's sudden death, but what a caring brother he must have been to have treid to communicate comfort to you during this time of transition for him. Thank you for sharing this amazing story!
RevitalYou're absolutely right. So many things out there we don't understand, we only use a small portion of our brains. Who knows what the rest is capable of. It is, thank you.Lyn, I did know that. But there have been footsteps, a handprint, and sightings. Not sure that's a poltergiest.You're welcome, Carol. I agree, we use so little of our senses and we are capable of much more. Thank you. I feel the same way, and I'm very grateful.You're welcome! Thanks for posting.
Stacy, your story choked me up. What a touching, neat story. I bet Kevin was trying to let you know it was going to be all right. I'm so sorry you lost him. I think they stay with us, though. I'm so glad Grace turned out perfect. 😀 The morning after we put our sweet Pom to sleep, I was laying in bed crying. I still struggle with putting her to sleep, but she couldn't eat anymore and was starving to death. As I lay there crying, I felt the deepest love wash over me. The thought, "It's okay. You loved me," sort of came into my mind. I've always though it was a message from her. I grew up in a haunted house. To this day, it's a scary malevolent place when you're alone there at night. Sometime I might blog about it.
Oh, my gosh, Stacy. What a story. I totally believe that your brother came to speak to you. Thank you for sharing that very personal story with all of us.
Thank you for sharing something so drenched with emotion. My mother has said she saw a ghost floating over my brother's bed when he was an infant. While I'm still a little on the fence, I'm leaning more toward believing than not. Thank you again.
This is absolutely incredible Stacy. I am so sorry you lost your brother, but those were no coincidences. You were being sought out by your brother. So very strange, yet wonderful to know that he was trying to help. I won't forget this story for a very long time!
CatieThanks:) They do stay with us. And yes, we got really lucky with Grace. That's the main reason we decided not to try for a second.So sorry about your pom. That's so rough, and you never get rid of that guilt for putting them down even though it's a blessing for them. You should totally blog about growing up in a haunted house!TiffanyThanks for your comment, and you're welcome:)TammyYou're welcome. Your mom's story sounds like one my grandmother used to tell. And I think that it takes an experience for a lot of people to put them over the fence.AnnieThank you, and no, those weren't coincidences. Too many things to be put together. It is wonderful that he did. Thanks for the comment!
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