Really unsettling coincidence

About a year and a half ago I posted about how I tracked down my long lost Uncle Dick who had not been seen in 27 years:

My sister and I left our contact information with the agency. In the time since I found him the daughters that did want to see him had done so.

I do a lot of historical research in Lorain County, Ohio and have solved a few puzzling things over the past few years. I was talking about one such case with a friend. In this instance I corrected the identification of a farm shown in a Lorain history book. It was not the one they claimed and I tracked down the actual (long gone) location of their photo and the story of the chase got published on the Lorain history blog.

As I was sitting in my car ready to leave, he asked if I had found any other cool things. I started telling him about my lost uncle. I had never told that story to anyone in person before. As the tale unfolded my cell phone rang but I ignored it to complete the story. As I drove off I listened to the message.

My Uncle Dick had just died and the home had called.


In the same vein, I had the best friend ever from 1981 until around 1990. We shared births, deaths, good times and bad…until she went a bit mad and was institutionalized. We lost contact around that time.

One evening in 1995 I had an uneasy feeling and wanted to reconnect with her. Without her contact details, rang a family member…only to be informed that Sally had died the day before.

Anytime the phone rings around here, I’m overcome with a sense of dread. I got nobody but old, sick people in my life.

I don’t dare think of anybody too hard. I’m sure it would jinx them.

I once had a dream that I got in to work in the morning, my phone rang, and it was someone telling me that my boss would not be coming in to work because he had died.

As soon as I got in to work the next morning, my phone rang, and it was my boss, telling me that he would not be in to work that day because his mother-in-law had died.

Last Friday morning I woke from a dream because I heard the phrase ‘London Bridge is down’ which is what we’ve been told is the code-phrase for Queen Elizabeth’s death. Fortunately I was pleasantly disappointed.

A few years ago, I was remembering my days in college, back in the '60s. I had a friend, George, whom I hadn’t seen since then. Facebook was no help, so I traced him through his home town in southern Ohio. George had made quite a name for himself, but had passed away the previous day.

I was talking to my good friend and fellow volunteer about driving at night. We both expressed fear of deer running out and causing us to wreck. A week later she was dead from running off the road and hitting trees. At the funeral her son told me the state police had determined she had swerved, probably trying to avoid deer. I was understandably upset.

I’ve personally heard family stories that are unsettling.

I had a great Uncle that had been in a nursing home for six years. His middle aged daughter had been found dead in bed. My aunt went to tell him. He was semi-conscious (dementia) and became alert. She started to tell him and he interrupted. Saying, “I know, she was here a little while ago. She’s dead now”. My aunt told that story for many years.

Another of my relatives woke up in the middle of the night. Extremely upset that something was wrong. She was convinced something terrible had occurred. She called her son"s house and learned a grandchild had died in an accident just hours earlier.

I wouldn’t call those coincidences.

The absolute laws of physics are independent of the direction of time’s arrow. Perhaps the past→future temporal relationship associated with cause→effect is not inviolable.

I had an uncle who was a cook on a merchant marine ship. He once gave me a monkey fist knot on a 3 or 4 foot lead. It was great fun to swing that sucker overhead and let it go to see how far it would fly. Eventually it got stuck way up in one of the locust trees in the back yard and there it stayed for years. Then one night we had one of those wicked windstorms the PacNW sometimes gets. Next morning I was out cleaning up the yard, dragging limbs & such to the burn pile, and the monkey fist had finally come down. Uncle Sy had been on a rare shore leave in Los Angeles and was learning to ride a motorcycle. I don’t normally accept supernatural explanations for stuff, but I’ve never been satisfied calling it a coincidence.

Wait. Did Uncle Sy die in a crash on that ride during the storm or something?

When my mom died, I called one of her friends to tell her. The friend’s daughter answered and told me that her mother had also just died. At least neither of them experienced losing each other.

Now, that one is scary.