This experience happened when I was 8 years old and was my first experience with death, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I haven't shared this experience before because most of the people I've been around would have thought I was crazy, wouldn't have believed me and then made fun of me, and some of them believed that anything even remotely paranormal was "evil."
I knew my great-grandfather (whom we called Papaw) was very sick and in the hospital, but I didn't know why. Because of our young ages and inexperience with death, my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother didn't tell us what was wrong or that he was dying. We weren't told until we were a bit older. They were just trying to protect us from any possible trauma.
It was back in the '80s when I was 8, and the show "Knight Rider" was hugely popular. I watched it every Friday night. This particular Friday night was Good Friday. My mother and I were at my grandmother's house. I was watching "Knight Rider" as usual and Mom was upstairs making Easter eggs for an Easter egg hunt the next day for the kids at the Baptist church we attended at that time.
I was laying on my stomach watching television, and I felt a tapping sensation on my shoulder. I turned over and looked up. There stood Papaw. I wasn't afraid because it was him, and didn't think I was seeing a spirit, although in hindsight I know I did.
Papaw always gave all the kids a dollar every time we saw him, and always told us to save it. He stooped down on the floor where I was, and by then I was sitting straight up. He went through the motions of giving me a dollar and said, "Save your money, J. You'll always have plenty of money if you save it, and when you need to spend it, do so wisely." Then he said, "Well, I have to go now. I love you and you be good." I reached up, thinking I could hug him, but he quickly vanished.
Immediately the phone rang and my mom answered it upstairs. A few minutes later, she came downstairs and told me that she needed to talk to me. I sat down on the sofa beside her and she said, "Honey, Papaw died a few minutes ago." I was too shocked to say anything to her, especially about the experience I'd just had. I just started crying, and my mom told me to go to bed.
I haven't seen, heard, or felt his spirit since. I know he's in a good place and knows that I'm okay. And I still live by the common-sense financial advice he gave me as a child.