This particular experience occurred while I was still living at my parent's house in Perth, Western Australia and it started a few days before my Nan's funeral. She had had a major stroke the week previous and never woke up.
When I found out that my Nan had died, it finally sunk in. I hadn't coped very well that past week while she had been in intensive care and wasn't particularly comforting to my Mum either. I dealt with the situation as best I could - with feigned detachment. So when she did pass, I finally let my guard down and began to accept what had happened. With the funeral coming up close I hadn't been sleeping the best anyway, so when I woke up at 4 am on that Monday morning, I wasn't completely surprised but that all changed when I heard a noise from outside my window.
It was an indefinable muffle, very low and I had to strain my ears to make out what it was. I remember my heart started pounding and a knot grew tight in my chest. Turning on my bedside lamp, I sat up in bed and couldn't move. Listening harder I realised that the noises I was hearing, were actually words. I slowly crept out of bed and walked towards my bedroom window, to see if I could make out what was being said. My heart stopped momentarily and I began to cry. I understood what I was hearing - a sentence, being repeated over and over again. It said - "Traci and Aimee, its Nanny, Traci and Aimee, its Nanny" - which are mine and my sister's names. I was overwhelmed with emotions, both terrified and upset at the same time. I remember telling the voice to stop (even though I knew who it was) as I was scared and panicked.
As I told the voice to stop, I heard another noise coming up the hall, like shuffling feet - then it stopped at my door. As I waited in anticipation, my cat started scratching at the door urgently. I opened it up quickly and she raced in, jumped on my bed and laid down looking at me. When I regained my focus, the voice had disappeared and all I could hear was the first birds of morning.
After a while I fell asleep again, with my cat by my side. When I woke a few hours later, I knew I had to tell my Mum straight away what I experienced, so I went down to her room and proceeded to tell her everything that had happened. To my surprise, my mum confessed to me that she had also woken up at 4am but heard no voice. She told me as she was lying in bed, she was looking into the blackness of her walk in robe just thinking, when she noticed an orb of light sitting mid high in the air. She told me it was perfectly round but didn't really think much of it at the time - dismissing it as the glow of a street light coming through the window and went back to sleep. But when I had told her about my experience, we checked out the window in the robe and the blinds were half closed. There was barely enough room for a slit of light to escape, let alone a perfectly round ball.
My Nan visited again a year or so later, one night as my mum and I sat watching TV. We were sitting together in the lounge room watching a show when all of a sudden the power went out. From memory I think we scrounged around in the dark looking for a candle or something when the lights came back on again. It was around 11pm at that stage we were quite tired, so we decided it was time for bed.
We turned off the TV and the lights to the lounge room and said our good nights while standing in the hallway (which was facing the lounge). As I was about to head to my bedroom, I heard a voice from the darkest corner of the lounge say softly but clearly - "its okay, she's alright". Stopping in my tracks I looked at my mum and by the look on her face I knew she had heard the same thing. I asked her if she had heard what I had just heard. Cautiously, she asked me what it was I had heard. After repeating the sentence, she confirmed my suspicions. After freaking each other out, we ran to our rooms at opposite ends of the house. It wasn't until the next day did we find out from my sister that at 11pm the night previous, when the lights went out in our house, she and her fiancé had lost control of their car no more than 5 minutes away from our house and crashed into a power line, which in turn caused the blackout. She passed out for a moment and found herself being dragged from the car by a passer-by just as it burst into flames. Luckily both her and her fiancé walked away unhurt.
It was (and is) comforting to know that even though my Nan had passed away, she was still looking out for us. After these encounters, I had a few dreams of her - most of the time she sat mute - eyes blank. In others she was dressed in white, lying in bed and talking to me, looking much younger than I could ever remember her to be. In the very last dream I had of my grandmother, I was sitting down on a bench watching her follow my family around in a shopping centre, not walking with them but closely behind. She stopped all of a sudden and turned towards me. As she walked over to me, she began to speak - not verbally but to my mind. She told me she had to go and couldn't stay any longer. I remember crying uncontrollably, telling her I didn't want her to go. This time she cried too and gave me a huge hug. As I told her I loved her and missed her, she disappeared. I woke up straight after the dream had ended, still racked with sobs. I have never dreamt of her since or had any experience that would indicate she is still here but I miss her every day.