It was a dark and unsettling night, and I was struggling to fall asleep despite the lulling emptiness sounds of the night. I tossed and turned, trying to clear my mind and find a comfortable position, but something just didn't feel right.
Suddenly, I felt a presence in my room, and a faint whisper in my inner voice ear.
"Wake up, Careen" a gentle voice said.
"I have something to say "
I sat up in bed, my heart racing with a mix of fear and excitement. I couldn't see anyone in my room, but I knew who it was. It was the awakening spirit of my great grandmother Nanny Kuia, come to visit me in my waking dreams.
My great grandmother had always been a spiritual woman, deeply connected to her Māori heritage and the natural world. She had a special bond with me and I always felt her presence even when she was far away. I never spoke of my love for her to anyone, it was a knowing we shared. A secret knowing. Her eyes were always so perceptive and her facial wrinkles so kind.
But today, I could feel that she was very close, and I knew that she had something important to tell me.
"What is it, Nanny K?" I whispered, my voice shaking with emotion.
"I have come to say goodbye, child," she said, her voice filled with sadness and purpose. "My time on this earth is coming to an end, and I must pass on to the spirit world."
Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized what she was saying. I had always known that my great grandmother was getting older, but the thought of losing her was more than I could bear. In fact I had been in denial for quite a while. But nature waits for no one.
"Must you go now Nanny, I mean Elvis just died. That will be two tragedies in one week" I begged, reaching out into the darkness. "Please stay a little longer. ".On some level I knew it was a futile request.
"I wish I could, child" she said, her voice soft and comforting. "But my time here is done. But before I go, I have one last request for you."
"Anything, Nanny K" I said, willing to do anything to keep her with me just a little longer.
"I want you to go to school and ask your teacher for a weeks worth of homework. Just tell her your Nanny died and you will be going to the reservation - Marae for a week" she said. "And then, I want you to pack your bags. Your brother, sisters, mum and dad will be going to Kihitu for a week."
I was surprised by her request, but I knew that my great grandmother had always been full of surprises. I nodded, promising to do as she asked. She smiled at me and my fears and sadness melted away for a time. For a moment I forgot the reason for her visit.
"Thank you, child" she said, her voice growing faint. "I will be with you always, even when you can't see me. Remember that."
And with that, she was gone. The darkness of my room seemed to grow lighter, and I knew that her spirit had left me.
The next morning, I woke up with a renewed sense of purpose. I had always loved going to the reservation with my family, and I knew that this would be a special trip.
I packed my bags and set off for the reservation with the memory of my great grandmother's visit in my heart and mind. As I traveled, I felt her presence with me, guiding me and comforting me. I knew that she was still with me, even though I couldn't see her.
When we finally arrived at the reservation, we were greeted by our extended family, who had all gathered to celebrate my great grandmother's life and her passage to the spirit world. Our time was filled with ceremonies, storytelling, and tradition, and I felt closer to my great grandmother than ever before.
As the week came to an end, I felt a sense of peace and closure. I knew that my great grandmother was at rest, and that her spirit would always be with me.
As I aged, she would ocassionally visit me, always her presence was kind and nurturing. Sometimes I forgot she was there, it was those times she carried me. What I didn’t know then, was that this was just the beginning of my encounters with “spirit messages”.
I still miss her voice, but her love stays with me always. I love you Nanny K.