Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Next Answer

Did you dream about him?

For the first few weeks following Phil's funeral I went to bed each night expecting a visit from him in my dreams. I felt certain that he would, at some point, have a message to deliver to me using the dream medium. Surely he would want to tell me how much he loved me? Didn't he want to reassure me that he was okay and I would be, too? Hadn't I always heard stories of dead loved ones coming to their family members in dreams? Though I went to bed each night begging him to visit me, I awoke morning after morning to the disappointment of no dream message. As the dreamless days began to add up, I felt betrayed and angry. Persistently, and often desperately, I asked myself, and Phil, why I wasn't dreaming about him. My frustrations were compounded when friends and family began sharing with me stories about their dreams of him. For six weeks I waited, cried, pleaded, and waited some more; all to no avail. By the end of six weeks I was tired of the the daily desperation, and terribly sad about being away from Phil for such a long time. On the last day of my six week break from work I wandered the house terrified of re-entering my work life, knowing that I was actually going to have to start a new daily routine, and feeling very alone and frightened in a world I traveled confidently only weeks before. The kids were away that day, and I spent most of my free time moving from room to room in our house wishing Phil were alive. Standing in the threshold of our bedroom, I realized that Phil's side of the bed remained untouched since the last time he slept there. A sudden overwhelming desire to be near him shook me, and I lay down on our bed, in his spot, wracked with grief and awash in the tears of my despair. Eventually sleep overtook me, and suddenly Phil was there in my dreams. His face was iridescent, but there was no question about his identity. He was sitting on the couch in our living room. As I walked into the room, I cried out in surprise at his presence. I ran to him, and hugging him tight sat in his lap. Kissing him, I told him I loved him and that I missed him. He told me he missed me too, and that sometimes he forgot I couldn't see him. Next I wanted to know if he could read my mind. Phil paused and then said, "I can't answer that honey, the question is too powerful." Insisting that all I wanted to know was whether he heard me when I talked to him, he replied, "Well I definitely can't hear you when a track meet is on, but maybe during a football game!" My dream faded away just as I opened my eyes in wonder at having spent a moment with my husband. Each part of the dream reflected his personality perfectly. The confirmation that he missed me brought on a new wave of tears. Though as I cried I laughed at the mention of his obvious love of all things track and field, and I sat on the bed amazed that I finally saw Phil in my dreams.

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