Reader Submission: The Man at the Door

“My father always argued that a near death experience was the result of chemical processes in the brain.

This all happened Wednesday night, 2/15/17. I returned home after my husband had taken me out for a fancy diner the day after Valentine’s Day because it would be less busy. After we got home, he went to bed and I stayed up watching YouTube.

At 11:30 p.m., I heard someone knocking on the front door and it sounded like they might be trying to break in. I started yelling, asking who it was. It was a police officer.

I told him to hold on. I ran up and told my husband to get up and come down…’It’s the police.’

My husband talked to the officer as I hid behind the door. The officer asked for me. I came out from behind. He then said something that knocked the wind out of me. Mom couldn’t reach me by phone. Come to her house. My father’s in the hospital.

We drove the five blocks to her house. We passed the police car on our block. Two more were parked on my parents’ block. We pulled into their driveway. My husband turned the car off, and I looked at the front door. It was open. Light from inside was shining through the screen door. My father was standing in the doorway looking at us.

I can’t be sure what happened next, but he walked away and I had the biggest sense of relief. I don’t know if I verbalized it, but the thought came to my mind as I unbuckled my seat belt that it had all been a mistake. The police had brought dad home. Everything was okay.

I walked into the house to find my mother, by herself, wearing a bathrobe and sitting on a chair near the front door. She was crying and choked out the words that dad was dead. She went on to tell me all the terrible details of what she had been going through that night. That they had gotten, and lost, a heartbeat. That they had taken him off a breathing machine. It had all already happened and was done and could not be undone.

I was in such a state of shock that I thought that I must have seen my mom looking out the door at us. But I’d seen his beard. His hat. His hands in his pockets.

When I came back the next day, I asked mom if she had gotten out of the chair and came to the door. Did she see us pull up? No. She said she had not. I asked my husband, ‘What did you see?’ He said something. He’s seen a figure and some movement and a man wearing a hat”.

One thought on “Reader Submission: The Man at the Door

  1. My condolences to you and your family on the recent loss of your father. I know how hard this is but…I do believe that he was there in the doorway and that was his way of saying ‘Goodbye to all of you’. This is not as uncommon as you may think. I really hope that last memory will help you in the coming days and be one of comfort for you.

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