My encounters with the paranormal have mostly been much more unexciting but this is perhaps the most interesting experience I've had.
First of all, you need to know a little background to this story and the events that preceded it. I share the same name with my paternal grandfather's favorite older brother who tragically perished while serving in the military during World War I. My grandfather was apparently very appreciative when he heard what my name was going to be and my Dad has said that he thought that it established a special bond between the both of us and that he was very fond of me when I was young.
Sadly, though, we hardly got the chance to know each other. My dad was working as an expatriate in Southeast Asia while my grandparents lived in Melbourne, Australia. Traveling was not cheap and the distance between our two countries was quite long so we only saw each other every two or three years and my memory of my grandfather is quite vague. By the time I was ten, I had not seen my grandfather in four years
In 1991 that looked likely to change. My father accepted a job position in Sydney and was preparing to relocate our family there. That meant we would be able to see my paternal grandparents on a much more regular basis since we were both in the same country. We were all looking forward to this arrangement.
I'll try to be brief about this but I do want to emphasize that, in the months leading up to our move to Australia, I started to get this strong instinct or feeling that we needed that time was running out for my grandfather. Part of this may have been due to common sense and what my parents had told me about him, that he had suffered from a series of strokes and that his health was deteriorating (although his short-term prognosis was not unduly alarming). But it nevertheless was quite a strong feeling and I remember having a dream about it about one or two months before we were due to move. I later learned that my grandfather had exactly the same feeling that time was running out for him and had expressed to my dad a desire to see my mother and his grandchildren as soon as possible. When my Dad told him we would visit him at Christmas, he gave my Dad the distinct impression that he thought that he wouldn't be around for that long. I'm not sure if there was some spiritual connection between our thoughts but I was thinking of him on the night of his death.
My grandfather died approximately ten days before we moved to his country and we would have been closer to him. It was a deep blow for all of us because we were all looking forward to seeing him again.
That Christmas, we all went down to visit my grandmother in Melbourne for the trip which was supposed to have reunited us with both grandparents. I think we all felt a keen sense of loss and sadness that we were so close and yet so far away from seeing my grandfather.
My grandmother had moved out of her bedroom to accommodate us. It was the room which she had shared with my grandfather since they had moved into the house just over two decades ago. My mother and I were sharing that room while my Dad and sister were sharing the other room.
It was late on our first night there and my mother was in the bathroom, getting ready for bed. I was alone playing with my toys when suddenly I heard a male voice coming from near the cupboard by the window. It said "Hello ___________ (my name), welcome to Melbourne".
I was frightened out of my wits. I knew I was alone in the room and that the voice wasn't supposed to be there. I ran out of the room -I can't remember if I was screaming but I remember being distinctly frightened. My parents came and comforted me and in the end I went back to the room, my mother came in not long afterward and there was no further incidences that night. Despite what happened, it didn't deter me from spending time alone in that room after that.
Afterwards and even to this day, I feel very guilty about my reaction in being frightened and running out of the room, even though I accept that it was somewhat understandable that a 10-year old with no experience of interacting with the paranormal would have that reaction. I have no doubt that the voice in question was that of my grandfather and I strongly believe that one of the reasons that he was still in that room was because he had unfinished business in not having seen his grandchildren for so long before he died.
My grandmother was not aware of all that had happened and we decided not to tell her, for fear that it may upset/distress her. Some time later, for whatever reason, my Dad did tell her about my experience. My grandmother was a straightforward, no-nonsense type of person and I felt sure that she would dismiss my story as ridiculous nonsense. To my great surprise, she implied to my Dad that she had sensed his presence around and that it had been a while after his death before she finally felt that he had left to continue his journey to wherever the next life took him.
Even though I reacted badly to that encounter with my grandfather, I am grateful for having had it and am touched that my grandfather loved us enough to want to reach out to us from beyond the grave to make up for not being able to see us before he died. I love you grandpa and may you rest in peace until we meet again on those distant shores of the afterlife.