Friday, January 15, 2010

Heaven Help Me

I need some advice, my ohhh so wise blog friends.

Over a year ago, the lovely and very talented Jayne wrote a post about a visit she received from her grandfather in dream, which I followed up on my old blog with a similar story about a dream-time visit friend of mine. The caveat to these two stories was that the visitor was dead.

I cannot speak directly to Jayne's experience, but in mine, it was as if my dearly departed friend really and truly came to deliver a message. He told me that it was time for him to go, and assured me that he was going to be alright. I awoke feeling better about him and his death. Not good, of course, but measurably less horrible. It was as if he knew I needed to hear it from him, and he came to tell me these comfort me.

Now it has happened again.

My friend that passed away last May from ovarian cancer visited me a few nights ago. I was aware that she was dead, and as she turned to leave me, I asked her, "Is it beautiful where you are?"

She gave me a glowing, healthy smile and said with absolute wonder and conviction, "Oh yes. It really is." Then she was gone. It was beautiful and peaceful and very comforting to me.

Some would say I am crazy. Some would say my subconscious was manufacturing answers to a situation so lacking in them. Some would say it meant absolutely nothing. All of those people could be right, of course.

As all of you know, I struggle with religious ideology. I am very mired down in logic and reason, and as such I have a difficult time with faith. I believe something, but it is difficult to define. My experiences with organized religions have been deeply unsatisfying, and I cannot see past the greed for both power and money that seems ever-present in the business of religion, or the overwhelming hypocrisy that exists in many of these organizations*.

But all of that aside, I do believe, I really and truly do believe, that both D and A really visited me from where ever it is that they have gone. I believe they deliberately came to me to share a message, and that their purpose was to give me some measure of peace.

I believe. Not an easy thing for me to say, but with all that I am, I do believe.

Now here is my dilemma. A left behind a husband, E. I was as close to E as I was to A at one time. I truly and deeply care about E. He is a good man, and he is struggling mightily with A's death. He is hurting. He is angry. He is lost. Knowing this, should I share this dream with him?

While I found her visit to be of tremendous comfort, I don't know that he would. The very last thing I want to do is cause him more pain. Another person I know who lost his wife last year said that the worst thing people can do for him is to bring his wife, and thus his loss, up in every conversation. He is struggling for a sense of normalcy in all of this. He wants to get through the day without all of the sharp reminders of what he has lost being thrust at him from unsuspecting friends and family. It hurts him to talk about her. What if E is feeling the same way? I don't want to rub salt into his wounds.

But then I think of A. She came to me for a reason. Maybe she wanted me to tell E about this. Maybe I have a duty of some sort to do this for her. Maybe it would help him rather than hurt him.

What do you all think? I value your advice, and I really need to know.

*I know not all good religious people are hypocrites. In fact, those of you I know through this blog do not fit that mold at all. But it has been my experience that in a church setting, the good religious folk are quiet in their faith. Those who are pushing, and talking and taking charge tend to be the very worst examples of faith the church has to offer. That is simply my experience, and hopefully, not a universal phenomenon.


  1. Well, I for one don't think you are crazy. I believe in what my uncle calls "visitations" but for me most times they are songs. (My late friend J and I went to a ton of concerts together.)

    I don't have any advice, but a question: You asked your late friend A a question--do you think you'd be able to ask _her_ if you should share the experience with E? I don't think it would be her intention to have you stand around guessing about what her visit meant. (Just putting it out there.)

  2. Hmmm... I don't think I would have thought of Kate's suggestion. Of course from a Communion of Saints persepctive, it makes perfect sense!

    I tend to be more of a nervous person, so for something like this, I would hesitate. If E was meant to know, would A have been sent to him? I think if you saw A, it's more likely that you were the one who needed it at that moment, where nothing else would do. If you're called upon to reassure E about A, it may be by telling him about your visit, or it may be something more roundabout - a conversation about the times you all had together... so much relies on a small word in the right moment, it's not always about the Big Reveal like on TV.

    Many years ago, after my Dad passed away, something similar happened with me maybe four or five weeks later. It never felt like something that I should advertise. Your own experience may be different. All I know is that it didn't seem like something I should run out and tell the rest of my family. I'm not sure that they even know, though my wife does, and certain of our closest friends. The circumstances had to be proper for it to be something needful to share.

    It's a tough spot. Honestly I never considered telling my family. Had someone said that it would be a comfort to them, I would have to puzzle it out, and I don't know what I would do, or how. I'm a great source of advice, right? :) Bottom line, I don't think you should go out of your way to bring it up, but if the conversation takes you there, then trust your heart to disclose what you think is gentlest and most healing.

  3. Great advice guys! I think I will sit on it for a bit, and see if A comes 'round again and/or it seems like a good time to bring it to E. I hope I will know when the situation presents itself.

    You guys are fantastic! And thanks for not thinking I am completely gonzo. ;)