The man on the stairs: Why was he in my home?
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H elping my daughter Nicola change her new-born baby, we both gasped in surprise.
‘Look at that,’ Nicola said. ‘He’s got a birth mark exactly the same as Bampa’s!’
Bampa was our name for my father-in-law, Bryn, who’d died of a heart attack a few months before. My daughter Nicola was devastated that he’d died without meeting his first greatgrandchild.
Now, looking at her beautiful baby Josh, we were amazed to see exactly the same odd-shaped birth mark as Bryn had, in the same place as his, under the ribs.
‘I knew Bampa was looking after me all the time,’ Nicola smiled. Strangely, the birth mark disappeared the next day, but Bryn did make another appearance in Josh’s life. At two years old and an adventurous toddler, he was very independent – and this included taking himself off to the bathroom on his own. We used to listen out for him from downstairs, and one day we heard him stop on the stairs and start chatting, as though he was talking to someone.
‘Who were you talking to?’ Nicola asked. ‘Nana’s friend,’ he replied.
‘Which friend?’ I asked, puzzled. We both knew the house was empty.
‘The man in that picture – the one with the hat,’ said Josh. He pointed across the room to a photo of my mother-in-law with Bryn.
We asked him for more details and he described Bryn perfectly, from his coat to his glasses. He told us Bryn had asked him if he was a good boy, to which Josh had replied, ‘Yes’. Bryn had chatted to him a bit more, then told him, ‘Be good for your mummy,’ before disappearing. Sospecial I’m so glad he came back and visited Josh. Bryn was a very special person – a lovely man who was not afraid of death, maybe because he lived and worked in a cemetery for much of his life. He used to say, ‘It’s not the dead you should be scared of – it’s the living.’
We think he also came back to visit Josh’s younger brother, Nathan, when he was a toddler, because exactly the same thing happened to him on the stairs – but Nathan reacted differently, screaming out, ‘There’s a man here!’
Maybe Bryn visits the house because they brought his body here after he died, or maybe it’s just because of his love for his family. Whatever the case, it’s wonderful to think he’s still watching over us.
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Bryn had never feared death
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