Monday, September 20, 2010

Dreaming of Barbara

We were lying on beach towels on the warm sand, Barbara and I. The surf was rolling gently in. Her arm was around my neck and we were laughing and talking in a sisterly way about some magazine we were looking at together.

And then I remembered she was dead.

“Oh, please, please don’t fade away this time!” I said. “I am so very much enjoying this illusion!”

But of course, as soon as I recognized it as illusion, my mind could no longer sustain it, and she disappeared, leaving me alone on the beach. I never did recognize the beach as illusion.

* * *

Barbara was above me, floating near the ceiling. I said, “What does it feel like? I mean, do you feel dead, as in DEAD dead?” I never noticed the absurdity of the question.

“Oh, no,” she replied. “Not at all. It’s not like annihilation. It’s more like sleeping, but we are still aware of God and of ourselves. And sometimes we wake up, like now. (It isn’t all illusion.)”

“And what do you do when you wake up?”

“We see what God has done.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be standing with the angel choirs or feasting at the heavenly wedding banquet or something?”

“We’re waiting for all of YOU!” She smiled and lifted her eyebrow in that characteristic expression of hers that meant, “You see?” or, in this case, “How could we be so discourteous as to begin before all the guests have arrived?”

It was that expression that made me cry, the expression she had from babyhood, and the crying that woke me up.

P.S.) Orthodox Christians don’t derive our theology from dreams. St. Peter once did, but he was a great saint and the circumstances were extraordinary.


margaret said...

I have similar dreams about my mother sometimes.

GretchenJoanna said...

Oh, my, that is sweet and hard.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

How bitter-sweet.......... sending hugs to you.

DebD said...

I wonder why it is that you realize she is dead in your dreams. Is it always that way or just sometimes? Somehow that seems significant to me.