Barbara, a widow, finished her life in a home for the aged in Columbia. She was placed in the home by
her two daughters who were concerned by her strange behavior. It seems that Barbara believed she
could speak to the dead. This is a belief she had had since the age of nine and it all started simply
It was a warm February day 76 years ago when Barbara was taking her usual walkon the countryside to
school. About halfway there a child came out from behind a group of cedar bushes. Barbara had never
seen this child before even though she’d been walking the same route for almost four years. The child
was a boy about the same age as Barbara though somewhat taller wearing a tattered white t-shirt with
faded gray shorts. He looked at her with a playful expression andasked her if she would like some
company on her way to school. Barbara was thrilled to here this as she didn’t have many friends
and immediately said yes. They strolled off together chatting about her life. She was surprised to notice
he was never bothered by any of the bugs that annoyed her. Barbara was thrilled that Jose seemed to
dote on her and this began what was to be a longrelationship.
Every school day the boy, Jose, met Barbara right next to the cedar bushes, but strangely enough he
never had lunch with him and always seemed to disappear as they arrived at the school. Barbara
asked him about this, but he just shrugged and said he didn’t have time for school. She didn’t want to
risk losing a good friend so she never pressed him for more details. Over the yearsthat she attended
that particular three room school she saw him every day, but when she transferred to the high school
as a teenager, he seemed to disappear. She went back to the cedar bushes many times, but never saw
During high school Barbara developed relationships with many other children her own age. They all
seemed to appear from nowhere, but, unlike Jose, would stay with herall day. Barbara soon realized
from the expressions of some classmates that no one else could see or hear these new friends so she
learned to be careful when speaking to them. It was never the same group as new members of her
“secret” friends club would appear and disappear daily. They seemed to range in age from about six to
eighteen and always appeared to be in perfect health. Being aparticularly bright child, Barbara soon
realized these friends were all children who had passed away and, for some reason she could never
understand, she was able to communicate with them.
After much thought she decided to talk to her parents about this, but they were mortified about her
obsession with the dead. They had brought her up in a strictly Catholic home and such notions astalking to the dead were unheard of. They immediately took her to the Father Rodriguez, the
priest at the local parish to try to clear this up. Barbara realized that nobody would ever believe her so
she decided to agree with the explanation the priest had given her for her apparent “visions,” and the
matter was never brought up again.
This was how life went on for Barbara. She had hernormal relationships with the living and her secret
life with the dead. By the age of 18 she had grown into a beautiful young woman with dark hair
and a tanned complexion. At a local festival she met Pietro who lived in a neighboring town. He was
handsome and well-spoken and seemed to attract friends. Pietro was immediately smitten with
Barbara and two years later they were married.They moved to the city and had a wonderful marriage
with two daughters and eventually six grandchildren; however, he never knew of her relationship with
the dead. She feared he would leave her if he ever suspected such a thing.
At 87 Pietro passed from the living and while for many women this would be a devastating event
Barbara was able to weather it well because of her special gift....
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