He was there, he was with me. It was a dream and yet it felt so real.
My sister, Sarah, and I were with my dad, along with a few other people I didn’t recognize. We were in a large tent gathered around an elaborate table, eating and talking. There was laughter and happiness. As I looked around, I realized we were in some sort of an oasis in the desert. There was a slight breeze – I can still remember the way in which the gentle cool air felt on my face.
I was sitting next to my dad with his arm around me. I looked at him and felt such joy in seeing him, being seated next to him, feeling his arm loosely around my shoulder and seeing his smile. Everything about this moment felt perfect and then I saw my sister move away from the table. She was visibly upset so I followed her. She was crying and pointing to where we had just been, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
I saw her tears flowing and her hands trembling as she pointed back at him. She was pointing at my dad and then I suddenly realized that he wasn’t supposed to be there. In my dream I remembered that he was dead.
He slowly got up and moved away from the table. He walked a few feet before crumpling down on a bench. I ran to him. I tried lifting him up. I begged him to stand, to please stand up. I just need a hug, I pleaded over and over again. I continued to try to lift him up, but I wasn’t strong enough. I began to realize that he was in a tremendous amount of pain – so much so that he couldn’t stand.
I kneeled next to him, pleading with him to not leave me. My forehead was pressed against his knee, his hand rested on my back. As I felt him fading away all I could do was cry and then I heard him say, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that I can’t fix this. I’m sorry.”
And then he was gone.
I woke up with tears streaming down the sides of my face. My pillow was wet from the tears I had been crying while I slept. The pain I felt in my chest was too much. I needed to breathe and yet I couldn’t. I slowly slid out of bed and sat on the floor crying and gasping for air. I cried as if he had just died.
The rest of the morning was filled with little bursts of tears brought on without any obvious reason to those around me, but I couldn’t stop reliving the dream. I couldn’t stop feeling the pain that came from saying goodbye.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it is this … Grief – it doesn’t matter if it’s been 18 days or 18 years, it is powerful and it is painful, but it is also beautiful. I like to believe that grief reminds us of the love we had for those we’ve lost.
Blessed │ Wife │ Mom │ Friend │ Founder of GOOD │ Author │ Public Speaker │ Golf Fanatic
It took me years to find my voice and even longer to learn how to use it so that I’m creating GOOD rather than just fighting the bad. Now I use my voice to heal myself and hopefully others along the way.
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Sending love to all those who struggle with mental health and/or have lost a loved one to suicide.
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