This is a series of occurrences that have happened to my family over the last few years. It spans a few years of my life, so there's a fair amount of back story to it. Please bear with me while I lay it all out for you.
My grandparents married when they were both quite young. They had a rocky beginning from the start and their marriage wasn't the best or most congenial. After they had their first child (my mother), it became routinely peppered with explosive fights, separations, and adultery. I don't blame or condemn either of them for any of it - it was just the way it was, and, while it was difficult for them, they stayed together until the very end for their family.
My grandparents had four children in total - Carol (my mother), Noela, Kit and Leanne - and my grandparents loved them all equally, but my grandfather had a special bond with my mother. They were the closer of any two members of the family. My grandmother always resented my mother for her relationship with my grandfather and harbored a grudge against her. The youngest two girls were closest to their mother and she poisoned them with her resentment of their relationship, and they in turn resented them too.
Regardless of the difficult relationship between his wife and youngest daughters, my grandfather was always a supportive and present father to his children and enforced if not their respect then at least their obedience.
He was an excellent, adoring grandfather to my sister, my cousin, and me, and my childhood consists almost entirely of memories of time spent with him. I was extremely close to him, and loved and respected him as the only strong male role model in my life until my mother met and married my stepfather.
A week before my tenth birthday in 2000, my grandfather suffered a severe asthma attack in his sleep and stopped breathing. He was rushed by my grandmother to hospital, where he fell into a coma and the doctors established that it was unlikely he would ever wake up. His daughters and wife gathered to be with him when they turned off his life support. My mother, too devastated to stay in the room for long afterwards, was the first person to leave. As she walked into the corridor outside, she heard his voice say, "I've had the bait, Carrie. They finally got me."
A few months after his passing my family fell apart. The resentment and hatred my grandmother and my two aunts held for my mother (and my step-father) got the better of them, and without my grandfather there to temper them and keep them together we were forced to leave what was left of our family. (This is important for later in the account.)
Every year on the anniversary of my grandfather's death, something strange has happened, but I thought I would just write down the most important ones:
One year I was sleeping in my bed and my duvet had fallen off me. I woke up to the feeling of it being pulled over me and I assumed it was one of my parents, so I thanked them without opening my eyes. A male voice hushed me, told me to sleep well, and touched my hair. I thought it was my stepfather, so I opened my eyes to give him a kiss, but when I looked around my room was empty and my door was closed.
A year later, my mother was going through a rough time trying to juggle work, finances, and her personal life. She was up late at night in the lounge room, unable to sleep but still dropping in and out of a light doze, when she felt something sit beside her on the couch and heard a voice say, "Everything's going to be alright, Carrie." She says she tried to wake up and look around, but felt herself being 'pulled' down into sleep, and when she woke up in the morning she felt better than she had in months.
A few years later was the last time we had anything happen from him. It was the year everything started really falling into place for my family, and my mother was up late reading something for work. She was sitting in bed and she says she just suddenly felt like something very important was missing and that she immediately knew that his spirit or his presence was gone, and thinks it's because he felt like he didn't need to look after us any more.
The year this happened was the eighth year after we had stopped talking to my aunts and grandmother. My aunt Noela kept in contact with them though, for important events - births, deaths, marriages, etc., and it was through her that we found out my grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
When the time came, we raced down to the hospital she was in to say our goodbyes, even though we hadn't seen her in so long. My sister and I weren't allowed in to see her (she never let us see her without make-up on; it was how she was) so we waited outside. My mum was pretty upset when she came out. She still loved her mother, despite everything that had happened, but my grandmother refused to even speak to her or look at her while she was there. We left the hospital almost as soon as Noela came back out to tell us she had passed on.
Soon after some strange things started happening to my mum again. She awoke suddenly one night soon after her mother's passing to the feeling of someone pressing down hard on her throat, but she couldn't move or make any sound at all to wake up my stepfather. It passed after a minute or so, but she couldn't sleep for the rest of the night and she says her throat was very tender the next day. She would also periodically see her mother around her yard or in her house, despite the fact that her mother neither visited nor knew where she lived, and she would find mould growing on her favorite pictures of her father, despite her house being very dry and clean.
The most interesting of all was the night my stepfather woke up because my mother was having a nightmare and was twisting around in bed a lot. He looked over to her side of the bed and saw my grandmother leaning over her and reaching out as if to touch her. He sat upright in surprise, and as soon as he moved she looked over and 'snarled' at him before vanishing. As soon as she was gone, my mother stopped moving and seemed to settle into a comfortable sleep.
My mother is very open to the possibility of the paranormal - while she recognizes something that is out of the ordinary, she remains at least practically skeptical. My stepfather has never believed even in the possibility of the paranormal, but has no way of explaining or rationalizing what he saw and felt that night.
There are other stories I have, too, of the lady in white who watched our birds and of my cousin's past life, which I hope to share with you all sometime soon. In the mean time, however, I hope I didn't bore you with my story and that someone found it at least somewhat interesting! It all still gives me chills.