When I was a child, one of our neighbors died. Her name was Helen, and she was 89 years old. When my parents and I came to the wake, we saw the old lady serene and beautifully dressed, laid out in a gray casket. On her finger was a ring with a large emerald.
My mother reminded Helen’s daughter Millie to remove the ring before the burial. Millie said that Helen wanted her to have the ring, but she thought her mother should wear the ring for the wake. She said that she would remove it before the casket was closed.
At the funeral the next day, Millie was overcome with sorrow and forgot to remove the ring before the casket was closed and locked. The casket was lowered into the grave and the dirt piled in. Millie and her husband stayed at the site until the grave was filled and the floral pieces placed on top.
As they rode home, Millie suddenly remembered that she had not removed the emerald ring from her mother’s finger. But it was too late.
The following days were very quiet at our neighbor’s house. The family was grieving. We were surprised when Millie pounded on our door. She was wide-eyed and jubilant. She had her mother’s emerald ring in her hand. Today was her birthday, and when she awakened, the ring was on her pillow!
All of us had seen her mother’s casket closed and locked at the funeral home before the procession to the cemetery. Millie and her husband stayed until the grave was filled with earth. How did the ring get from the dead woman’s hand to the daughter’s pillow?
This remained a happy mystery. Years later, while studying Spiritualism, I learned that spirits can transport small material items to those they love or are concerned about. These are called “apports.” Helen wanted her daughter to have the ring. In a process known only to the spirit world at this time, the ring was transported to Millie’s pillow.
At the time, people who heard of the appearance of the ring doubted it. They believed it was another ring Millie’s husband bought and put on her pillow, that the funeral director had removed it before he closed the casket, or that the grave diggers took it out.
My family was very skeptical, too. But when I saw the radiance of Millie’s face, I had no doubt that her mother had, in some way, brought the ring to her daughter’s pillow.
-Evelyn Thor, Worth, Ill.