A Strange Thing Happened After My Brother Died

Mary McGrath
Crow’s Feet
Published in
3 min readAug 28, 2022

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Some things are hard to explain…

My older brother Hal. Photo from Teresa McGrath

I was never very close to my oldest brother Hal. He was twelve years my senior, so we didn’t have much in common. But he was a tender soul, and like many tender souls, he died too early, at the age of 54.

Some strange things happened after my brother was gone, and to this day, it only reaffirms what I believe about the afterlife. Perhaps after our loved ones pass, maybe they are still with us in a different way.

A few days after my brother died, I got a call from my sister-in-law, who also lived in the vicinity of my brother. While she was walking her dog, she saw a familiar figure at the end of the street. He was dressed exactly like my brother, with a red sweatshirt and blue jeans that hung too low around his waist.

He was smoking like he usually did. My sister-in-law dismissed the thought, thinking that he was a neighbor she didn’t know. As she returned to her condo, she looked back at the fellow who was on the sidewalk. He wasn’t there. Perhaps Hal had paid her visit to let her know that he was okay?

About a week later, my partner was driving into the valley for a business appointment. While she was driving along, she saw someone dressed in the same fashion, with a red sweatshirt and low-hanging jeans. He had a newspaper under…

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Mary McGrath
Crow’s Feet

Top writer in humor, short stories, writing, advice and poetry. She’s written for Newsweek, Wall St. Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.