My father passed away when I was 23 years old.  I was engaged at 26 and I remember going through the wedding planning process with a hollow heart.  I had this dull ache when I envisioned myself in my wedding gown, walking down the aisle without my father by my side.  To this day I still can’t get through a father/daughter dance at a wedding without tears welling in my eyes.  Every girl dreams of her wedding day, but every girl doesn’t imagine the day without her father present.  It was something that always made me sad, until two days before my wedding.

I remember the dream vividly:  I was in my parent’s kitchen of the house I grew up in and I was standing there in my wedding gown.  I remember seeing my father.  My dream was so vivid that I remember exactly what he was wearing:  a white and blue striped polo shirt with a tan Member’s Only jacket.  He was also wearing his Docker’s khakis and brown loafers.  I saw the expression on his face; it was one of incredible sadness.  We locked eyes and he put his arms out for me to come to him.  I walked over and he held me and cried and kept saying, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” over and over to me.  I remember waking up abruptly in a pool of sweat and I couldn’t catch my breath.  It was like his spirit went inside of mine to send me a message and I just remember sitting upright in bed trying to catch my breath.  I felt sad yet rejuvenated because it was so real and I was convinced at that moment that our loved ones who have passed truly do come back to us in our dreams to send us messages.

The dream I had of my father was comforting because I remember thinking that he was right there with me in spirit as I walked down the aisle.  It was the only dream I ever had of my father but it was enough for me to believe in how powerful our loved one’s spirits can be when they pass.

When my husband died I remember going to bed the first week and asking him to come to me in my dreams.  It never happened and I remember waking up with a feeling of sadness because he didn’t reach out to me.  This happened for a few months until I had my first dream which wasn’t what I was expecting.

I dreamt a few of our friends from high school ran out of a house (that I didn’t recognize) and told me that my husband was in the house.  As I ran in, I spotted him walking and he turned around and looked at me like he didn’t even know me.  He then turned his back to me and kept walking.  I remember trying to run after him but he would just keep walking without turning back.  I had this dream not once, not twice, but three times since he passed.  When I had the dream a third time I remember waking up and ripping the wedding rings off my finger and throwing them across the room.  I sat up in bed and sobbed and said, “As if it’s not bad enough to experience grief, you act like you don’t even know me.”  I had always thought that dreams were real; that our loved ones come to us through our dreams to communicate.  Why was he coming to me and ignoring me?  What did I do to deserve such treatment after all I’ve been through?  I had been so confused and sad because I felt like someone was trying to tell me something.

I spoke to my grief counselor about these dreams and she felt it was my subconscious telling me I felt like I’ve been abandoned.  I didn’t want to believe that it actually wasn’t him coming to me, so she tried to make me look at it as a good dream and not a bad one.  Maybe he was telling me to move on, or maybe he was trying to tell me that he knew I had the strength to get through the dark times.  I continued to ask him to come to me in my dream and explain in a way that I could feel more peace from.

Right before Thanksgiving I had another dream about him.  This time he and I were in a car.  He took my hand and just stared straight ahead.  Then he looked at me with an expression like we both knew he was going to die.  He then got out of the car and started walking away.  I took this as a sign that he IS here, he IS watching over me and he wants me to be happy.  Even though there were no words spoken, I knew what he was thinking by his expression.  The ironic part about this dream was that we would always joke about the fact that we could finish each other’s sentences or we knew exactly what the other was thinking based upon our expressions.  I woke up feeling fulfilled and at peace.

I still feel that dreams are messages from our deceased loved ones.  They may not be what we want to experience every time, but I do believe certain sprits are stronger than others and will be present in our lives for as long as we allow them.  I look forward to the next dream where I get to hold his hand again.  Even if it’s just for a moment and even if it’s only in my dream.  It gives me the comfort I need to move on and know that I’ll never be alone.  His spirit is too strong for that to happen, and I smile knowing that my dreams have been proof.