Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another Dream

I just woke up, sobbing.  I haven't done that in a while.   I dreamt about him.  He was back and he was reading.  He was barefoot.   He acted and spoke the way I remember.   In my dream he was reading on the couch.  He looked up with a kind of dazed expression, with his mouth slightly opened, to pretend to be annoyed.   He was reading something for school.  I was so glad he was back in school, but he just seemed annoyed by it.

It seemed as though the first part of his book was blank and he was starting in the middle, like in the middle of the semester.  I tried to talk to him about it, but he didn't want to talk about it.   It was as though he didn't want to let me be too close as if it was too much work to make me understand.  He was reading about the Civil War.  I thought it was kind of strange to be starting so late, in the middle of the semester, but I didn't care since he was with us.   I realized I needed to hug him, so I wouldn't lose him again.  I ran over and hugged him from behind and sobbed to him,

"Zach I love you.  I didn't get to tell you that I loved you before."  

He said,

"Yes, you did."  

The way he said it was so real.  I can just hear his voice, the tone, the inflection.  It was the voice he used when he thought we were bugging him or wanting him to do something he didn't want to do.   He said,

"Yes, you told me.  You told me all the time."   

I insisted.  I held him harder.

"No, I didn't tell you enough.  I need to keep telling you."  

I thought if I could keep telling him and keep hugging him he wouldn't go.   Then I woke up.

I feel like I am back in July and he just left.    As I write this, I feel that pain in my chest that I felt for weeks (or was it months?) after he died.   I sobbed when I woke.   The dream was so real.  He was so close.  It is so wrenching, yet it was so good to recall his mannerisms and his voice through the dream.


  1. "Yes, you told me. You told me all the time." Beautiful.

  2. Even though your dream caused you such grief and continued heartache, I do so love that he reassured you he was confident of your love for him. What a mysterious and wondrous gift in the midst of your pain. I hope at least it was, or will be, of some comfort.

  3. Dear John –

    If this were my dream, I would be curious about the blank pages in the book Zach was reading. Curious that he started in the middle of a blank book about the civil war. If this were my dream, perhaps I know that there is so much I can never know about Zach’s earlier, private life. The life that he lived outside of my interaction with him. In my dream, I wonder if his life was a “civil war” in which he knew I loved him, but was not able to make me understand that he knew that I loved him? It was just too difficult for him to make me understand. As though there is no need to understand. My love for him is a given – unconditional. What’s to understand? In my version of the dream, it seems strange to be bringing this up now in the middle of the semester – six months after his death. I want to hold onto him and not let him go, but the voice he used was the one he used when “we were bugging him about something he didn’t want to do.” In my version of the dream, he knows I love him, and he did come back to tell me – but he’s impatient. “Just get it,” he is telling me. “I know you love me. Just get it. . . .” and maybe he’s saying, “it’s not your fault.”

  4. It's just not fair, is it? Some things are just wrong and can't be made right. But that was a wonderful conversation you had with Zach.