The Presence of my Late Father: Tales of the Unexpected


The Presence of my Late Father: Tales of the Unexpected Tillism طلسم

You will find more stories from the magical world of Anniqua and Selma at: In this episode I reminisce about the way my mind enticed me to believe something that wasn't true.
My Late Father
My father as a young man

Twenty two years ago, my father left this world after a stroke left him paralyzed for eight whole years. In the days after he passed, my three sisters and I decided to sleep in our mother’s bedroom to keep her company.

When my father was alive, my mother and his in-house carer moved him around three rooms during the course of the day – one room for the morning, another for the afternoon, and a third for the evening, so he could have a change of scene. There was a bed for him in each room.

My late father
Abu, my father, never let his paralysis prevent him from enjoying his grandchildren

Exactly three days after Abu أبو, passed, I was taking an afternoon nap in one of these rooms when I felt a very odd sensation. My heartbeat lost its steady rhythm and became a rapid flutter. At exactly the same time, my younger sister, Anniqua, called me to join the family for tea.

While we were having tea, my older sister, Aysha, told us that last night, just before she fell asleep, she heard Abu calling her, and she had answered, “Yes” out loud. My eldest sister, Afshan, said that she had thought Aysha was just talking in her sleep. Then, Anniqua added that when she was making tea in the kitchen, she had felt the presence of our father. 

I said nothing. Was the sensation I felt in the other room the same feeling that Anniqua had had in the kitchen? I didn’t speak because I wasn´t really sure and didn’t want to look silly. I didn’t want them to laugh at me.

In the years that followed, we never spoke again of the voice that Aysha had heard, but I felt the same sensation many times and each time I felt as if my late father was with me. At the time, I was also reading The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible, by John Geiger. Just sensing the presence of my father was a great source of comfort.

My late father and me
Abu and I – before his stroke

A few years ago, I went for a routine medical checkup, and the doctor told me that I was anemic. She asked if I had any symptoms other than fatigue. I told her that sometimes my heartbeat became very rapid and I felt as if there were butterflies fluttering in my heart. She told me that that too is a symptom of anemia, and gave me a prescription for iron tablets. I thanked her and took the prescription to the pharmacy.

For six months, I took the iron tablets, and my hemoglobin returned to its normal level.

Since then, I have never felt the presence of my late father again. But whenever I remember this incident, I can almost hear him laughing – his carefree, happy laugh. And that too is a source of comfort.

My Late Father
I know Abu is laughing


Click here for the story in Spanish: La presencia de mi padre fallecido: cuentos de lo inesperado

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  1. I still feel the emotional presence of my parents. I believe it is memories of their love, support, and encouragement that still resides in my heart

  2. Just beautiful. I lost my father a few months ago and miss him every day. The world is so much smaller without his hand on my head. Loved it. Thank you.

    • It takes many years for that emptiness to fill up again with memories. My sisters and I talk about our father and remember the stories and laughter. It is comforting.

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