It was almost cruel to have to go to sleep in the room where the biggest nightmare of my life occurred. I can remember staring up at the ceiling recalling visions of that fateful morning as if they were playing on a movie screen. Every detail just as vivid as the moments when they happened. In the wake after death, people strain for words that will offer both comfort and the glimmer of a life after tragedy. Many had told me that his visits in my dreams would be a sign that he was still with me.
Longing for relief of the torturous pain, each night I would lay my head down on the pillow, close my eyes and hope. Unfortunately, each morning I would face utter disappointment. My sleep was practically non-existent and therefore, reaching the dream state near impossible. There is a desperation that accompanies deep grief. I needed him to bring me answers in my dreams; to tell me, “why” and perhaps provide a form of closure. But the dreams didn’t happen and I was left to idle in my pain and sadness.
The first time he appeared in my dreams would be nearly a year later. I can’t recall a single detail of the dream itself. But I awoke that morning knowing that I had seen him. He didn’t bring the answers I had hoped for and there was no forecast for how my future would be. But in a strange way I felt relief. Maybe the fear that I would forget his face or the sound of his voice was gone. My dream state had shown me that time had not erased my ability to recognize him. Since then, he has appeared in many other dreams. Each time it happens, my body wakes with a warmth in my heart knowing he is still with me,….in my mind.