Last night I dreamed again about Zach. I understand dreams to be stories created in my unconscious mind. This happens to be my world-view and it works for me. In my dreams, Zach is quite vivid. I feel close to him. Through these stories my dreams tell, his tone of voice and mannerisms are how I remember him. Apparently, I needed to tell myself a happy story.
Zach and I were in a busy town, I don't know where. It was some kind of festival. We were talking and chatting. Zach was happy and talking a mile a minute. He was about ten or eleven, I suppose. He was asking me questions about church and different religions. He made a joke suitable for a ten year old, although I can't remember it now. He was interested in participating in the confirmation class. He wanted me to buy a fancy pencil and have the name of my congregation engraved on it, First Presbyterian of Elizabethton. It was a happy day together.
This could be a wish-fulfillment dream. But the difference between this dream and others I have had that include Zach is that I woke up happy. I didn't cling to him or anything or cry. As I thought about it throughout the day and even as the dream faded, I felt the possibility that I may be able one day to see pictures of him and tell stories about him and have it not be so painful. It isn't that I won't experience pain, but this dream was a green shoot of hope that one day I may integrate his life into my memory and that he will be present with me and that feeling will include joy as well as sorrow.