(This was written in November 2008 after I woke up from a vivid dream that spoke quite loudly to me)
I had a dream last night. I walked over to my neighbor’s house to share with her an experience that I had the night before her husband passed away. As I arrived, she welcomed me into her home so we could talk. I attempted to share the details of the experience with her, but I lacked the ability to clearly convey my experience to her. When trying to talk, I made noises that occasionally projected themselves as words or phrases with some relevance to what I was trying to say. I knew what I wanted to say, but realized difficulty expressing the message. My neighbor responded with, what I perceived to be, a slight understanding masked with copious confusion. Here ends the dream.
The significance of the dream
What is the significance of this dream? Yes, I had an experience, a very peaceful experience the night before her husband passed away. When I learned about his passing, I realized that my experience was more meaningful than I originally thought. Ever since I connected the husband’s passing to my experience, I have been meaning to put the analysis into writing and share the story with my neighbor. However, I have procrastinated the writing of this experience, and I have not yet shared the story with my neighbor. Because I had not written anything yet, I had considered simply sharing the story with my neighbor prior to processing the experience through writing. I believe that this dream was a message to me that I need to write down my story so I am better prepared to share the experience with her. Writing down the details will ensure that the message is clearly conveyed.
The experience behind the dream
I am now adhering to the message of this dream to write a description of the experience and how I believe it to be connected to the passing away of my neighbor.
The back yard was dark, dimly lit by the moonlight. I was hanging ghost decorations on the chain link fence for the kids’ Halloween party on Friday. I had hung ghosts on the south fence and proceeded to hang ghosts on the north fence. The north fence runs east-west to separate our yard from my neighbor’s yard. When I was about halfway done hanging ghosts on the north fence, I dropped a ghost. As I bent over to pick it up, my awareness of the surrounding environment heightened. The meaningless thoughts that had clouded my mind began to evaporate. I reminded myself to be still, to simply be aware. I gazed north, beyond the chain link fence, into my neighbor’s back yard. As I stared into the yard, I saw/heard/felt a Presence that I am unable to accurately describe with words, although I will try. I was surrounded by an intense sense of serenity…comfort…peace. I felt the gentle touch of comfort, heard the stillness of serenity, and as I peered into the backyard, I saw the beautiful image of peace. Fear did not exist, nor did any form. Although the Presence was not of form, it was intensely realized by the senses of touch, sight, and sound. For the moment, everything was perfect. I was grateful for the opportunity to live such a beautiful moment. I knew the Holy Spirit was near. As my mind began to allow the residence of thought, I remember thinking that nothing could scare me at this moment. I was completely safe. I did not see a ghost that night, nor have I ever seen a ghost, but I remember thinking that even if I saw one I would feel no fear. I remember thinking that if I had been a child in this moment, that my mind would have allowed fear to block the beauty of what I had just witnessed. Following the beauty of the experience, I finished hanging ghosts on the fence and continued to decorate other areas for the party. I went to bed with a special thank you to God for allowing me to experience a special moment of grace that evening.
The next day, I woke up and went to work just like I would any other day. I decided to go home for lunch that day, and on my way home, I was passed on 6th street by a police car with lights flashing. As I turned on 16th Avenue, a fire truck was racing toward me before taking a turn on 10th Street. I turned on 10th Street toward our house and saw the fire truck stop across the street from our next-door neighbor’s house. The police car was already there, and an ambulance also pulled up in front of the house. I watched the firemen and ambulance personnel race into the house. Curious as to what was happening, I stood inside my front door to see if anyone would be taken out of the house. Minutes later, I watched the ambulance personnel and firemen leave the house. They walked slowly without anyone in their care. They entered their vehicles and drove away with far less urgency than they displayed as they arrived. The police officer was still there. I did not know what had happened. As time for my lunch break began to expire, I walked toward my car and saw my neighbor’s daughter-in-law outside. She appeared sad and had tears in her eyes. I asked what had happened. Her soft spoken words said that her father-in-law had passed away. I expressed condolences, offered to help in any way that I could, and returned to work.
When I returned home from work for the day, I saw my neighbor outside. I approached her, gave her a hug, and again expressed my sorrow for her loss. She provided me with more details about what had happened. She said that the previous night, her husband said that he must’ve eaten a bad hamburger because he didn’t feel too well. She said that he stayed downstairs to watch TV and she went upstairs to go to bed. The next day she found his dead body downstairs at about 11:00 am. He died of a heart attack sometime between the time she found him and the time she talked to him the previous night.
As I heard her words, I began to see the connection between my experience the previous night and her husband’s death. The Holy Spirit was near that night, not necessarily to comfort me, but to ensure a safe journey home for my neighbor. I was simply still enough to witness His Presence.
Now that I have documented this experience, I feel better prepared to share it with my neighbor.
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