My grandad Billy (Granda Whelan), as I called him, lived with my Grandmother a couple of doors down from me for all my childhood. Tey they practically raised me since birth as my Mam and Dad worked very hard. My dad leading Seaman L.S Kennedy was always at sea and my Mam worked as a Montasori teacher. My Grandad was my mentor, my teacher, my life guru if you will. I was so close to him and I miss him dearly. Every day he would sit me down and take out the map of the world and educate me on all the cultures and countries. He told me all about WW2. He basically taught me everything I know. I owe a lot to him.
For somebody who was born in 1922 and whose grandparents were in the Irish Famine he wasn’t very religious like our elders here in Ireland of that generation. He was very openminded and ever since I was a child he would tell me stories about ghosts and banshees and about his many experiences in his life .. we talked about space and other worlds and times and dimensions. He was the most fascinating person I’ve ever had the pleasure to have in my life.
My Grandparents were always old so I dreaded the day they would pass away. Granda eventually went to a care home to live out the rest of his days as dementia was setting in and he was getting a bit hard to handle. He had moments were he was ok and it was like he was fine again then he would forget me. Me and my husband went to see him in the care home last Christmas and I was giving him a glass of water and he wouldn’t drink it. He said to me “Sinead I’m tired now. I’ve lived a great life. I’m sick of this space suit I’m in. I just want to check out now. Understandably I was crying and I said stop would ya! He told me not to be sad that when the time comes of his passing he would give me a sign that there is an after life and I promise you this he said. I just nodded.
My Granda passed away 3 weeks later peacefully. I was devastated – my rock, my teacher, my best friend – was gone. We take our loved ones home when they pass and lay them out usually in the family home for friends and loved ones to come pay respects and pot loads of tea offered. It was a long day that day so I left the family home to go home to bed at this stage I’m 26 years old and have a family of my own. While I was in bed, I remembered my Granda telling me he would give me a sign so I said a little prayer for him and I dozed off…
I awoke with a shake like how somebody would shake you to wake you up I initially thought it was my husband but then I realised he was working night shift. I turned around on the bed and to my bewilderment my bedroom was glowing green. I looked around and I had a sense that somebody was in the room with me. It wasn’t a scary feeling but a peaceful feeling. Then suddenly again a nudge on my arm this time it was harder. My Granda always did this even when he would be talking to me he would nudge me as to get my full attention. I knew it was him. Then, all of a sudden, the radiators started shaking all over the house I was creeped out then .. I froze in my bed .. I shouted out clearly ” I know its you Granda thanks for your sign but your scaring me now, please stop, I love you .. and all of a sudden it stopped .. the green faded, the radiators stopped banging and I knew he was gone ..
The funeral was 2 days later and I was back in the family home. All my cousins were taking pictures of Granda in the coffin so I thought maybe I should too. I had a Cannon camera at the time so I took 3 pics of him laid out with his Granda hat and his cane by his side .. pics looked good on the screen and I was to upload them to my laptop as soon as all this was over. When I returned home and uploaded the pictures, every picture I took in my Grandas house of family and friends came out perfect but the 3 pictures I took of my Granda in the coffin were blurry. I couldn’t make out any of it and I couldn’t get my head around it. Then I got it. Granda didn’t want me to remember him stuck in the body of a frail sick old man, or the old spacesuit as he called it .. he wanted to be remembered as Billy Whelan my life coach..I hope you like true story?
Submitted to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Sinead kennedy
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