This is something my grandfather told us sometime in 1980. We were living in Kandy, Sri Lanka in my grandparents' house. My grandfather was very ill and was in and out of hospital for about a month and we were sure he was not going to make it through.
His bed used to face a window that opened out into the garden. On this particular evening he was lying in bed, ill and in pain, when he said he saw someone standing at the window, shrouded in a long robe with a hood. He said he could see no face, but the figure nodded to him, as if calling him to come. My grandfather then shook his head, "No, not yet..." and he says the figure disappeared.
Within a day or so, my grandfather recovered. It was then that he related this story to us. He also insisted that when he dies, his body should be covered from head to foot with a while cloth (representing the shroud that the figure wore).
He fell ill again toward the end of 1981 and passed away in February, 1982. We never knew whether he saw this figure or any other spirit again when he was about to pass on, because he died in hospital and at the time of his death sadly, none of the family were with him.
But this is not the first time my grandfather has spoken of "ghosts," for the lack of a better word, and I believe that he really did see things that were not visible to us. He was very practical and firmly grounded and not the type of person to let his imagination lead him a dance. So I believe that he really did see what he says he did, but maybe he was not prepared to leave us and move into the next life at that time.
Since then, my mother (he was my maternal grandfather) has seen him several times in her dreams, and each time he had a message for her, and each and every time this message proved to be related to incidents about to occur -- like the time my aunt (my grandfather's sister) fell and broke her arm. My mother dreamed that my grandfather had come into the house and said, "Zelma is bleeding. Why aren't you attending to her?" When my mother called my aunt, who then lived about 150 miles away from us, we learned that she had fallen and fractured her arm.