I had a dream about a dead person. A person I knew long ago. I didn’t know this person as an adult, I knew them when I was just a kid, a kid in high school. In the dream, we were at a festival of some kind, there was music, and people milling around talking and having fun. People were meeting with old friends and chatting, there was laughter and good food. This person and I were going to perform in some way, I don’t know how maybe we were going to sing. Anyway, this friend of mine was doing some stage makeup for me.
This wouldn’t have been uncommon for this person to do this for me back in the day. They often did our makeup before the performances I was in; of which there were many. Anyway, she was doing my makeup, talking to me, gently whipping away mistakes, and just being their normal self. Suddenly, the haze of the dream was drawn away from my eyes and saw her. I knew she had died and knew I was in a dream. I stood up with intense sadness in my heart and began crying, the tears rushing down my cheeks.
Then she stood with me. “You’re dead,” I cried. “I know you’re dead, but you’re here.”
“I am here,” she said. “It’s okay. It’s really okay.”
I stepped forward and hugged my friend. It was a hug from years and years ago. When I was just a kid who was hugging a friend that he loved. She cried too, but her tears were not tears of sadness, but of joy that she was able to hug her friend again. I realized I was the only sad person at the festival. The people were around us were talking, laughing, and loving each other in friendship and family. It was a beautiful thing, and yet I continued to be sad.
I woke up, tears wetting my pillow, stunned. I’ve had several dreams like this in the last couple of years. Dreams where I have seen friends of mine who have gone on before me into the afterlife. My mother-in-law always says that when you dream about someone, that’s the Lord’s way of bringing that person into your mind to have you pray for them. What do I do with dreams of the dead though? I’m not completely sure. What I do know is that I pray for their families and those left behind.
I’ve lost several friends and family in the last several years and I think that may be catching up to me. Loss is a difficult thing. Sometimes, you weren’t as close as you would have liked to have been. Sometimes you were very close and the loss seemed personal, like the person’s death was a slight against you. Not that they wanted to leave, but that God wanted to harm you by taking them. The sadness and anger can be almost overwhelming. I don’t feel angry. I don’t blame God. Maybe I haven’t been hurt enough to feel that. All I know is, I miss my friend, and I’m glad I got to give her one last hug.
D. Michl Lowe