Is there an Afterlife?

The hands on the wall clock in our building’s laundry room weren’t moving. In the 33 years my husband and had lived in our Greenwich Village apartment, I’d never seen that so I would have been surprised even if I hadn’t asked my dying brother to stop a clock. In his final days, he talked about joining our parents in an afterlife and I said, “If you get somewhere, send me a sign. Stop a clock. That’s the kind of thing I think you might be able to do.”

Excited by what I’d seen, I rushed upstairs to tell my husband. Martin, refusing to give credence to anything unscientific, said, “There’s such a thing as a coincidence.”   

Reading online about people believing they’ve received signs from the deceased often claim they’d happened on a meaningful date. Checking the calendar showed it was exactly a month after Jack died. I wished I’d stipulated a time as it didn’t feel conclusive.

I hadn’t expected Jack could – or would – stop a clock. My 79-year-old brother had needed help turning his ahead for Daylight Savings Time. I agreed with Martin to consider this a coincidence, though uncanny. But the next time I was in the laundry room, the clock was stopped again…at a different time. That gave the incredulous a little more credibility. Later that week I went down specifically to look at the clock. The hands weren’t moving and were pointed to yet another time. “What’s going on?” I asked someone on the staff.

“Beats me,” he shrugged. “It stopped so I changed the battery. Stopped again and I did the same thing. Third time, I changed the clock.” Was there any significance to the fact that each time I’d visited, the clock wasn’t running? Or was that another coincidence? Frustrated by my ambivalence, I decided to stay out of the laundry room. Soon after that, impossible things started to happen in our apartment. I’m intrigued but don’t know what to make of it.