By: Courtney Keller
When I was twelve years old, my great uncle died. I did not know him very well as he was not in my immediate family, but since I was still his great niece; I was at all of the funeral events. I was more than even just present at the funeral events, I was actively involved. At the time, I was simply confused. I was saddened that my family members were upset over the death, but I had not really known him and I was puzzled as to why I was so heavily involved in the events as compared to some of my family who knew him better than I. I asked my mother for an explanation, but she refused to say anything more than the fact that they wanted the whole family involved.
I was always bothered by involvement at the funeral and my mother’s uneasy response to my questions. When I was fifteen I asked my mother again about the funeral, but this time she told me the real reason.
My great uncle and great aunt had two children, but one of them died of mysterious causes. Stephanie, the daughter who died, became ill with a fever when she was seven years old. My great uncle was in the army and the family lived on base, so Stephanie was taken to the infirmary there. Her symptoms soon worsened and the doctors couldn’t help her. The night before she died, she called out for her mother. When her mother came to her she said, “Hold my feet down. They are trying to take me away. I do not want to go yet.” Stephanie did not sound scared as she spoke, just certain that she did not yet want to be taken away. Her mother cried and held her feet for the rest of the night. In the morning Stephanie died. The autopsy report was inconclusive and the cause of death was unknown.
Twenty-two years later, while my mother was pregnant with me, she visited a psychic. My mother was a little weary of going, but she still agreed to it as her sister and mom were going with her. The psychic spoke to my mother about the child in her womb. She said that the child would have blonde hair and that this was not just a normal child. She asked if there was an unresolved death in the family. My mother immediately thought of Stephanie and the circumstances surrounding her death. My mother was the same age as Stephanie when she died and everyone was haunted by her passing. As my mother began to weep, the psychic told her not to be afraid. Sure enough, a few months later I was born. At first I did not look anything like Stephanie, but as time went on my hair turned blonde and I began to resemble her more and more.
The whole family knew that I was seen as the “reincarnation” of Stephanie and that was why I was so heavily involved in the funeral of her father. My mother was concerned that if she told me this story that I would be scared, but I am not afraid. I do not know if I believe that I am the second coming of Stephanie or if the reason we look alike is because we are family. All I know is that my family is very spiritual and my presence at the funeral comforted everyone.
The main part of Stephanie’s death that has affected me is when she spoke of something trying to take her away. My family believes this was the angels trying to bring her to heaven. I wonder if there is some other explanation for this or if there could have been more information regarding her death if it happened today.