We’d Better Go In

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Other language(s): n/a
Age: 78
Occupation: Retired Nurse
Residence: Bountiful, UT
Performance Date: 11/25/2023

Tags: Ghosts, Ancestors, Family, Hospital

“I remember when my dad was in the hospital, dying of bone cancer. He was simultaneously stricken with horrible Alzheimer’s, which meant he could never tell you his pain level to give any indication of the necessary dosage for his medication. Therefore, he was under perpetual surveillance. My sister, her husband, and I paid him a visit at some point in time. My husband was out of town, otherwise, he would have been there too. I remember us three sitting outside on the porch, it was an old-folks hospital so they had porches like that, positioned right in front of the entrance to my dad’s room. We were talking about the ball game we had watched the night prior and some family gossip when all of a sudden, my brother-in-law said in the calmest tone, “B. just walked in, we’d better go inside.” B. is my older brother, well, was my brother as he died a few years back. Naturally, I was shocked when my brother-in-law reported his ghost entering my dad’s hospital room. We did as he suggested and went inside to see my father in an otherwise empty room. The nursing staff arrived shortly after, just as my dad’s eyes went big – he looked startled at something on the ceiling – and just a short three minutes after we walked in, Daddy died.”

Context: This story is from CV talking about her brother-in-law, GP. CV reports GP has always been a spiritual person, frequently recounting his encounters with the dead and ghosts. Before this occurrence, CV believed that when we die, familiar people come and “pick us up.” This story, then, was a confirmation of that, as her brother, B., supposedly came and picked up her father. She claims his eyes bulged and he looked shocked just before his passing, as he could see B. standing there to collect him, but nobody else could.

Analysis: This is a sort of ancestral ghost story, reminiscent of many religious perspectives, particularly Christian, of the afterlife. Dealing with the liminal moments just before a person dies, this tale gives an optimistic take on what happens after we die. That is, we rejoin with our deceased relatives and watch over our living ones. Many elements, such as the naming of the deceased B., walking inside the hospital minutes before CV’s father’s passing, being isolated from the hospital room, and the nursing staff arriving nearly simultaneously make this story difficult to explain via coincidence. However, I am okay with that, as I’d rather accept a positive afterlife over one filled with horror and eeriness.