My Nana passed away just over 11 years ago. Out of 5 grandchildren I was the only girl so we were very close. Her favourite flowers were violets and she always wore a perfume called 'April Violets'. I can remember her big warm hugs and smelling the sweet scent of her perfume. It's one of the fondest memories I have of her.
Every day she used to walk to the local corner store and buy a newspaper and an ice-cream. She told me she liked to walk because there was always something different to see every day. She was a very independent person and lived in a flat by herself even when she was old and frail. She suffered from bad asthma but she always went on her daily walks no matter how long it would take her. A few months before her passing she was mugged by a scumbag (sorry I can't think of any nicer words to describe this "human"!) and due to this she lost her independence, stopped going on her daily walk and her health deteriorated very rapidly. She was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties and a few days into her stay seemed to be getting better.
My Dad was just about to leave work and he received a phone call from his brother to say that my Nana had taken a turn for the worst and that he had better come to the hospital. My Dad made his way to the hospital and stopped at a set of traffic lights and turned on the radio on. The song that started playing was Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison, one of Dad and my Nana's favourite songs. My Dad said he just knew that she had passed away and sure enough we he got to the hospital she had passed away not long before he arrived.
My Dad's brother had been by her side in her final moments and he said she glanced at the celling, smiled and said 'hello Leo' and took her last breath and passed away. Leo was her husband that had passed away many years earlier. My Uncle found great comfort knowing that she died his father was there to meet her. My Dad spent some time alone with her in the hospital room and apologised that he wasn't there with her in her final moments, as he felt bad that he had not made it to the hospital in time.
When my Dad left the hospital he got into his car and noticed something wedged between the wiper blades and the windscreen. It was a tiny purple flower... A violet. He felt it was my Nana's way of telling him not to be sorry that he wasn't there when she passed.
The funeral was a few days later and my brother and I drove together to the cemetery. On the way we were talking about happy memories we had of Nana and all of a sudden the car was filled with a strong scent of violets. My brother was first to say 'can you smell Nana's perfume?' The scent lasted for about 30 seconds then it vanished as quickly as it came. We both agreed Nana was letting us know that she was there and was listening to our fond conversation about her.
A year later on the date of her first anniversary of her passing, my Dad was driving home from work. He stopped at the same set of traffic lights just as he had a year earlier on the way to the hospital and he turned on the radio. The song playing was Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. Perhaps it was simply a coincidence but he felt it was Nana letting him know she was still around.