Grandad's Visits

My Grandad died in Port Macquarie earlier this year after a long illness, and I have a few small stories that I believe are related to him. While only one happened to me, the rest I also believe to be true.

We stayed at Grandad's house during our time in PM, he was in hospital throughout this time. Before I start, my Mum and her parents were all born in England, Nanny was, and Mum is, still quite believing of the old Cornish superstitions and sayings, and both received the gift of being able to perceive beyond normal perception.

The evening before Grandad died (He died at roughly 0520) I stayed at his house on my own to watch the end of the Australian Open match (hoping Hewitt would lose!). Mum and my uncle had gone on to the hospital to see him. I was going to head over there after the match. Grandad had an old clock that chimed every quarter hour (the Westminster chime, it chimes as many times as the hour that has just been reached). I remember the clock chimed at 1700, because I looked up at the clock (I wasn't used to it, the noise startled me). I went back to watching the tennis, the clock chimed for quarter past five, and then at about twenty past it chimed for five-o-clock again. This has happened a few times since his death (Mum kept the clock), we call it "chiming out of time". Anyway, I got a bit scared, so I went to the hospital to see Grandad.
By this stage he couldn't really recognise anyone and didn't speak much. We sat with him for a while and then went home. He said "goodbye" before we left. The nurses called us early the next morning and we sat with him as he died. My uncle pointed out after we left the hospital that the night before he died, instead of saying "goodnight", he had said "goodbye".

After we had packed up his belongings and headed home to Canberra I went back to work (got stuck on night shifts). Mum took some time off. She told me one afternoon after I woke up from my post shift sleep that she'd had a strange thing happen to her that morning. Our old house had a hallway leading up to the bedrooms, and the kitchen was the room before the hallway. Mum had been standing at the kitchen bench cooking and had seen someone standing in the hallway watching her. Assuming it was me she started talking, but when she got no reply she turned to look at the hallway. No one was there, so she came into my room thinking I had gone back to bed. I was sound asleep.

The next day she was out on the verandah at dusk looking down the garden (the yard was quite large and sloped down). There was a young gum tree next to the pond near the back and she told me she saw a man standing under it. She was understandably scared as she thought there was a stranger in our backyard. When she told me I remembered that the clock had chimed out of time just a few minutes before.

The last thing to occur was when Mum took Grandad's car (he left it to her) to the shops to do some banking. Grandad had undergone an operation for bowel cancer and so had a stoma, leaving him with an unmistakable smell. Mum parked the car and did her stuff. When she got back in she closed the door and was overwhelmed by Grandad's familiar smell. She was so shaken that she couldn't drive for about ten minutes. The car normally smells like a new car (as it was very new when he died and he rarely drove it).

The clock still chimes out of time every now and then, and my sister (who has picked up Mum's Cornish sensitivity to ghosts and all things paranormal) says that she sometimes has very vivid dreams where she talks to him about recent goings on in the family (she's in Warnambool at Uni and sometimes knows things we hadn't yet told her). While I've missed out on the Cornish gift in the family, I have no reason to disbelieve them, and I did hear the clock chime out of time the evening before he died! Perhaps it was his way of letting me know I had to come and see him before he was no longer able to say goodbye.

Submitted by Helen-Claire, ACT, Australia