Friday, November 25, 2022

Sweet dreams

For the past several years, I've struggled with chronic insomnia. It's gotten so bad, I dread the nighttime because I know, when it's time for bed, I'm not going to sleep. But on rare occasions, especially when I take medication to help with sleeplessness, I dream. 

Last night, I dreamed about my brother. It was a very odd and unexpected thing, especially since he's been dead for 491 days at the time of this posting. 

My brother and I were very close and when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I was devastated. His cancer diagnosis came after my breast cancer diagnosis, so I knew a lot of the things he'd face as he began treatment, but I didn't expect him to die so suddenly. It was a heart wrenching experience, and I didn't feel we had the chance for a proper goodbye. Maybe that's why God allowed me to have the dream about him last night. 

Dreams are fickle, as most people know. You can't trust them, but this one was so unique, so comforting, and peaceful, it was vastly different from other dreams I've had in the past. 

I don't know exactly where we were in the dream, but I was in some type of large building wandering through crowds of people. As I worked to find my way, I caught a glimpse of someone who looked like my brother. As our eyes met, I jumped up to see above the people and threw my hand in the air to wave. Within seconds, we were close. The sea of people had parted. As we stood there, face to face, we smiled. There were no words, just a knowing. I knew he was my brother. It's kind of like I felt his spirit, but I don't want to sound weird and new age-y. It's difficult to explain. 

We began walking together down a hallway. As we walked, we talked without saying anything. It was like we were expressing our sadness over missing each other but at the same time, we were glad to be reunited. 

We continued on for some time enjoying each other's company and then, I felt our time was coming to an end. 

In my dream, we never said goodbye to each other. He was just there and then he was gone. 

When he vanished, I wasn't sad or upset. I was thankful we'd been given one last opportunity to "visit." I took comfort knowing he was at peace, and we'd meet again one day. I think he felt good at having been able to "checkup" on me. 

Now I don't believe in contacting the dead or anything like that, in fact, the Bible warns against it, but I do think, at times, God allows brief encounters for those who're struggling with the death of a loved one and often times, those experiences come in brief dreams. 

I've only dreamed once or twice in a similar way about a loved one who's already passed on. Each time, it's been a comforting thing, not an unpleasant or scary experience. 

We don't understand the ways of God and while I'm not positive this was His gift to me;

(Jimmy in the camo hat)

I'd like to think it was especially since it gave me a type of closure I've needed for months. 

Loving someone is complicated and is definitely an investment. It's a conglomeration of feelings, tangled together with experiences that often span years and years of time. But it's so worth it, don't you think? 

Many people lose loved ones before having a chance to apologize or make amends for hurtful words or actions. It's so much easier to release someone you love when you know you've done everything in your power to show your love to them. 

I'm thankful Jimmy and I were able to spend many good days together before he left this earth. Those sweet memories are priceless. 

I'm also thankful I've been able to keep all the text messages we shared as he was going through cancer. Being able to re-read those has helped me on days when I've missed him terribly. 

There are also photographs and videos to help ease the pain. I look through them when I need to "see" him again. 

We're only here on this earth for a brief moment and then we vanish like a vapor, the Bible says. 

Whether my dream was a gift from God, as a last goodbye, or whether it was my mind imagining a random scenario, I'll never know until I get to heaven, but I like to think it's the former. 

God is a good God. He knows our needs and He wants to bless us. I'm so glad He loves us so. And if He can use a dream to speak to His prophets of old, I think He just might choose to allow someone like me to dream a little dream of her beloved brother. 

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