The Lunch Buffet

I am happy to be here to enthrall you with my silver (or purple?) prose.  We Californians did not fall into the ocean last night, after all. I hang my head in shame (not!)  It was quite thrilling to think about, though, and I believe a part of my mind craved the somewhat warped excitement of thinking about the end of it all!

Serving up something a little different today:  A psychic experience recounted by the daughter of a woman dead now three months, and we will call it The Lunch Buffet.

Marie sits in her mother’s worn rocking chair, pondering the way her mother Karoll had died and when exactly she had died.  Karoll had been married to her second husband Ernest for nearly 40 years, and in the twilight of their lives, they had both slowed down considerably from coping with the pain of arthritis and the frailty of old age.  They kept up one activity:  their weekly lunch at the buffet restaurant.

They always had their discount coupons; Karoll, her walker, and Ernest, his cane.  They were in the company of many other elderly people every Friday at the buffet restaurant.  Karoll had told Marie that they really didn’t know any of the other elderly diners, but after so many Fridays, they all looked familiar, and would nod to one another and say hello.

Karoll had begun to have a strange feeling when she and Ernest entered the restaurant, as if all the other diners were watching her covertly and smiling.  She would see a face turn away quickly, and think, “Oh, I know him.  I have known him a long time.  But who is he?”

These feelings intensified each Friday when Karoll saw all the familiar people having their lunch.  She felt she was one of them now, and wished they would not look away so quickly when they smiled at her.  She felt more and more reluctant to leave the restaurant.  And Ernest, who had always been large and loud, seemed to fade somehow.  She came to be barely aware of his presence, so focused was she on the other diners.

One sunny but chilly Friday, Karoll and Ernest went to the buffet restaurant for lunch as usual.  As soon as she entered Karoll knew something was very different.  The luncheon diners would look at her directly and smile.  Some of them would say “Glad you decided to join us,” or just “Welcome home.”  Karoll thought some of them looked very much like her deceased parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and old friends.  Ernest seemed to have faded completely out of her field of vision.

Finally, enveloped in a feeling of soft, warm comfort, Karoll realized that these people were all her relatives and friends who had died before.  She recognized each one of them, and knew that she had died, too, and all of the “diners” were easing her way into her period of rest and recovery from the struggles of life.  The pain was gone, the tiredness on her chest was gone, Ernest was gone.  Not afraid, she smiled back at them.

Marie remembered sitting by her mother’s hospital bedside, wondering why she smiled occasionally, and made motions at times as if she were eating.  She remembered her mother’s last smile and the soft sigh of relief when she took her last breath.

Marie told me that during the last three months her mother was in the hospice, that she had actually passed away and was enjoying her death dreams.  I believed her.

The buffet restaurant is still there, and you can pass by any day and see the elderly people, leaning on their walkers and canes, and clutching their discount coupons for the lunch buffet.

I wish to thank Marie for sharing her mother’s story.  Marie wishes to remain anonymous, and so it shall be.  Please note that if you have a story to tell or a psychic experience to share, the best way to reach me is to send an email to:  Thank you.

2 thoughts on “The Lunch Buffet

  1. I’m really glad that you shared a story about these two friends who hit a lunch buffet every week. I’ve been trying to think of something that my mom could do with her friend to keep them in touch and keep their social lives going, so being able to find a lunch buffet for them could be neat! I’m going to have to see what lunch buffet options are here locally and see what my mom would think about making it part of her routine with her friend!


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