I dreamed about my middle son recently. I wanted to never wake up. He was so handsome; so grown up and mature; so strong and confident. He was who I know he would’ve grown into had he not gone to heaven. I believe he is that person now, in heaven.
This is not the first time I’ve dreamed about him and saw him how I believe he is now, not how he was when he died. It is an interesting thing to see your son looking like you think he would look five or so years in the future. In my dream last night he was warning me about something. I’m not really sure what; I will know when I need to know, I suppose.
In some of my other dreams, he was also older, more mature, looking different than he did while he was here with us. The first dream I had after he was gone was a few days after his funeral. He was squatting down by his grave, dressed in a white button-down shirt and khaki pants (different from his usual attire of jeans and a Navy t-shirt), and he was looking up at me standing beside his grave. He gestured with his arm closest to me, down at his grave, then up toward the sky. He did this 2 or 3 times while I watched, but I was so overcome with grief that I couldn’t comprehend what he was trying to tell me, though I knew he was trying to tell me something. My husband, Dan, later told me that he believed he was telling me that he was not in the grave; his body is in the grave, but he is in heaven, doing whatever it is God has him doing, waiting for us to come to him. That made perfect sense to me, and seemed right in my heart. It became such a comforting dream to me after Dan told me that was what he thought it meant.
Some of my children have also had dreams about him; dreams that seem like he is visiting them in their dreams, assuring them of his safety and whereabouts. They have become cherished moments for all of us, like stars shining in the darkness of grief.
My favorite dream of him occurred a few months ago. I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep, but feeling so overwhelmed with grief that I couldn’t. My usual allergy and sinus crud was plaguing me as I lay there, and I began to think about what I could do to relieve it when I decided that I would look into having surgery to correct the problem. Being in the grieving state I was in, my next thought was that maybe I would die on the operating table and finally get to see the son I haven’t seen for over two years. As soon as I thought that – whether I feel asleep and dreamed this or just “saw” it, I don’t know – I was standing at the gate going into heaven, looking into heaven, and my son came running up to the gate, skid to a stop, turned slightly toward me and said, in an exasperated tone, “Mom, I’m ok!”. As soon as he said that to me, I immediately woke up and was lying in my bed still, though it felt like I had been in heaven seconds ago. It was so real and so touching, I began to cry. I knew it was a gift from God, allowing me to see that yes, indeed, my middle son is ok. It is another gift I cling to for comfort on the long, hard days of grieving.
I dreamed of him again last night. This dream was more along the lines of my subconscious leaking out into my dreams. I was out and about doing normal things a housewife/mother/grandmother does during the day, when I came upon my boys working on a job somewhere – all three of my boys. I was so elated to see our middle son with our oldest and youngest sons, but I was shocked and scared, too. I knew, in my dream, that he had died and shouldn’t be here, doing something as normal as helping his brothers on a job-site. After I squealed with fear and delight, I asked him how he was able to be back with us. He said – and here I have to explain one of my mother fears: I’ve always been afraid of my kids getting drunk and driving and hurting themselves or someone else – he said, “I was drunk, Mom, and the doctors mistook that for me being dead.” Awww, dreams. Aren’t they sometimes just the funnest things?!?! As it usually goes in dreams, I readily accepted his explanation and continued on, doing whatever it was I was doing, and our son disappeared from my sight. A little while later, I saw him again, and in a very short amount of time, he disappeared again. I began to be a little anxious. Later in the dream, he appeared while we were at our doctor’s office, and I squealed again, this time in anxiety, with complete understanding that he was dead and gone and shouldn’t be with us here on the earth, talking to me and looking at me the way only he looked at me. I screamed his name, and he said, in that familiar, slightly embarrassed and exasperated tone, “MOM”. I lowered my voice and began questioning him again as to why he could be here with us, and he gave me the “drunk” explanation again. I then noticed that he walked with a limp, and some of his limbs were slightly deformed. Then he disappeared again.
Mercifully, I continued sleeping, and didn’t remember the dream when I first woke up in the morning. But for some reason, as I was making my coffee, it came into my mind with a rush of emotion, and caused me to have a short crying jag. I miss him. I don’t painfully miss him everyday because he was a grown man, not living with us anymore, and not communicating with us everyday, although we did communicate several times a week. But some days, like today, I miss him so much it makes my heart and my stomach ache.
I’ve always dreamed a lot. Sometimes it seems like my dreams mean something special; other times it seems like I ate too much pizza before I went to bed. When I dream about my middle son, who has been gone from our presence for a little over 2 years now, it feels like a precious gift from God, a kiss from heaven, letting me know my son is alive and well. I’m thankful for this sweet gift.
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh