I never really knew my mother. She died when I was eleven. Having four older teenage sisters, my mother was more concerned with them and their teenage issues than my three brothers and I, so I never really got to spend much time with her. As a result we don't have many memories of her.
She was diagnosed with Cancer in May of 1990, and after only four months fighting it, she died in August of the same year. She spent the entirety of her illness in hospital. While she was ill, my brothers and I spent a lot of time with friends and relatives - my father wanted to keep us away from the hospital and protect us from the fact that our mother was dying. She died on a Wednesday and the last time we saw her was the previous Thursday. We never got to say goodbye.
It's tradition in Ireland that when someone dies, before they're buried they must spend one night in their home surrounded by friends and family, and one night alone in the church. We brought my mother's body home and laid her out in her bedroom. All our friends and family filtered in and out of the house, saying their goodbyes. My brothers and I felt a bit distanced from the whole thing.
That evening the house was still full of people. Suddenly my youngest brother, who was eight at the time, came running into the house asking us to come outside with him, that he had something to show us. My two other brothers, one of my sisters and I followed him outside. He pointed to the embankment that ran alongside our house. We looked and saw the perfect white silhouette of a person. The strange thing was that it was just my brothers and I who could see it! My older sister could see nothing & thought we were making the whole thing up! We stayed for a few minutes looking at it - it didn't move, disappear or change. We felt no fear from it - just reassurance. We eventually went back inside, but the figure stayed by the house all night, only visible to my brothers and I. We've never seen it since.
I believe it was the spirit of my mother, coming to watch over us one last time, coming to say goodbye to us.