"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A ghost from the past

My freshman year in Troy, I met Chuck. His warm personality and impeccable taste in music drew me in immediately. He had a contagious smile and a sense of humor that was out of this world. We were friends from the very start.

As the school year drew to a close, we both found ourselves free from past relationships and we tried our luck at dating. We spent all of our free time together – cooking, laughing, partying and just enjoying ourselves. But the chemistry was never there. Don’t get me wrong – we adored each other. But we lacked the spark that is essential for a lasting relationship. By the end of summer, we decided we were better off as friends, so we ended things with no hard feelings. He met my next boyfriend and I became close friends with his girlfriend. We still talked several times a week and remained very close.

As time went on, I began seeing a different side of Chuck. As happy as he seemed on the outside, he had his demons. He started dabbling in different drugs – always calling me for counsel when he started feeling guilty about it. He drank a lot, and often made bad decisions as a result.

In July of 2005, I got a frantic phone call from his then girlfriend. Chuck got behind the wheel after way too many drinks. He had a horrible wreck that took months of recovery. He had to have reconstructive surgery on part of his face. He needed braces to correct the damage his steering wheel had done to his mouth. It was bad.

I just knew that the wreck would serve as a wake up call – that he’d settle down some and surrender his keys when he wanted to drink. I was wrong.

On February 12, 2006, I got another phone call. This time it was from Kevin (my then boyfriend and most recent ex.). He worked for the Sheriff’s department and had been called to work a wreck at two that morning. When he got there and ran the tag, he immediately called me. It was Chuck. Kevin didn’t know his status, but told me he’d call me back as soon as he did. Instead of a call, I got a knock at my door. I opened it slowly, vainly hoping for good news – but instead, Kevin looked at me with sad eyes and shook his head. I fell to pieces.

I walked through the next few weeks in a daze. I went through so many different emotions. First, I was angry. I couldn’t help it. I was so mad that he’d do something so selfish and stupid – especially after his close call less than a year before. Then there was the overwhelming sadness of losing such a close friend. It seemed so unreal – so that’s when the denial started. I refused to acknowledge it for awhile – which of course just made it that much harder when I finally had to face the fact that I’d never see him again.

But then life resumed. It had to, you know? You get busy with your life and don’t have time to dwell on being sad. Over the past three and a half years, I’ve thought about him a lot. I stop by his grave and talk to him every time I pass by the cemetery, which isn’t that often anymore. I still think about him, but not like I did back then.

That’s why last night’s dream hit me like a ton of bricks. Out of nowhere, he was there – so real and just as vivid as life. I woke up so confused. Here’s what I remember:

I was lost – I know that much. I was wandering around the woods and came upon a group of girls sitting around a fire. There with them was Chuck. I can’t explain it, but I knew he was a ghost and that I was the only one who could see him. No one seemed to see me either, though. Chuck looked up at me and smiled. “I’m lost. I need you,” I said. He just nodded, stood up and walked over to me. He never spoke – but he put his arms around me. It felt so real. I could smell him – feel his embrace. He pulled away and looked at me, and although he still didn’t say anything, I knew what he meant. His look said, “Let’s go.”

He led me by the hand through the woods. At some point, we were swimming. I kept getting pulled under, struggling to keep going. He got behind me and pushed me through the water. The next thing I remember, he was standing on the shore, pulling me out. I was sobbing and he just looked at me with knowing eyes and gave me a sad smile. I leaned into him, put my head on his chest and just as he put his arms around me – I woke up.

What is that about? It was so random, yet it seemed so significant. I’ve been in a funk all day – I just can’t shake that strange feeling I woke up with this morning.

I don’t always put a lot of stock into dream interpretation, but if any of you would like to take a shot, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


~Thought's By Dena~ said...

I truly believe that when someone passes they are still with us in one way or another...and with how you have been feeling lately maybe this is just his way of letting you know he is still with you and that you will get thru all of this and during those times when you are struggling...he will be that angel to see you thru it

Savannah Reed said...

That is a crazy dream Heather. I wish we could understand dreams. Understand how the work and why we dreams crazy dreams like that. If someone studied and offered a class, I would take it. I had several dreams about Grandpa coming back after his death. I didn't understand it. I wish I knew how to help you.

septembermom said...

I think he is sending his comfort to you through your dreams. That is a very vivid dream that you were meant to remember. I wish I knew more about dream interpretation to help you with this one.

f1trey said...

wow...what a way to land on someones blog......funny I blogged about losing mine ina car wreck too ....peace

RileyScott said...

Maybe your mind is trying to help you through a tough time.

Dani said...

I believe in visions.

I know it may sound crazy to some, but I believe in the afterlife and that people who are gone can find ways to tell us they are ok. They are still aware of us- waiting for us to join them.

I believe he was telling you he's still around, in his own way. That you can get through hard things in life. That he's there.

It's fantastic that you could have such a vivid dream. I agree with septembermom that it's a dream you were meant to remember.

Whatever the meaning behind it, I hope the dream brought you some form of comfort or closure. It sounds like you two had a very unique and special relationship. A relationship, in my opinion and belief, that you still have.

Missy said...

WOW! This is a powerful dream! I am not very good at deciphering dreams!

McGillicutty said...

You have gone through a lot in the last few years and maybe this is how he's trying to tell you it's all ok.
Not that I know that for sure it's just a guess. I had a vivid dream about my grandmother once years after her death and it totally soothed my soul. I believe there's a purpose to this dream and I'd bet it's to make you realize that you're not lost and he's watching over you. Be strong, move on and feel loved.

Judge Fudge said...

Yo, I'm going to let you finish your blog post...But Beyonce had one of the best dreams of all TIME! ONE OF THE BEST DREAMS OF ALL TIME!

Sorry. As usual, I have no insight to offer, so I thought I'd at least try to make you laugh after such a serious dream!

Diane said...

I'm gonna say that you've been through a lot lately and feeling overwhelmed by life. I don't know if you've felt lost, but if you have, it'd be understandable. Maybe he was just letting you know you're going to be OK... ?

Dunno, darlin'... that's my best guess :) XO

Blog Stalker said...

WOW! There could be so many interpretations but it needs to be what it means to you that matters. What is going on in your life right now is where you should look. And who is in your life. Just a thought. Thanks for sharing

Have a great day!

Jenners said...

When my grandmother died, she visited me that very same night in a dream and gave me a coded message that didn't make sense at the time ... but then a few days later at her funeral, I told my aunt about it and she knew exactly what it was about. It was cool and weird and comforting.

With my dad's recent death, I've been thinking about this a lot. My brother had a dream about our dad recently. He told him he was mad at first but now he is OK. We all believe it was my dad trying to comfort us. I truly believe you might have had this type of dream. He may be feeling lost and came to someone who cared for him deeply. Take it as a compliment.

pmartin3z said...

What a touching story Heather... My heart just sunk when you wrote about your boyfriend sharing to you that your closest friend had just passed away. I couldn't imagine what feelings were going through your body,mind and soul, but you survived it and that shows a lot of stregnth. In regards to your dream, I try not to go too deep because sometimes your dreams are meant to be there for you and only you. You had him on your mind these past couple of days and Chuck met you in the only place where he can, and that was in your dreams.

A. Jayme said...

Hi Heather! Call me crazy (some people in the fam do, ya know) BUT I believe we have people in the afterlife around us all the time! You have to be open to it, but there are often telltale signs, and I don't believe they are just coincidences! I know, without a doubt, that I have angels and often times I dream about these people. It is very comforting to know they have those strong attachments. Chuck was obviously a very endeared person in your life and he knows you still care. Be open to him, he may be one of your angels too! I love ya!

Southern Dialogue said...

It sounds like your friend knows you very well...still. I think he can tell that you've been thinking about him and carrying this "burden" so he felt compelled to console you. Being your friend, he would know exactly how to let you know he's OK...just a simple hug and a good "push in the right direction..." Great post!

scarlethue said...

Wow, powerful dream. I hate that feeling too, that can't-shake-it feeling.

I've always thought those we lose can come back and visit us, visit our subconscious. It's probably wishful thinking, but what do I know, right?

Have you felt lost lately? Or confused about something? Or maybe it's a role-reversal thing, where he's trying to tell you he was the lost one, but you've helped him find his way, even though he's gone now. Or maybe you ate some bad chicken. Who knows! :)

سحس said...

Nice blog

Kim said...

When I was at university I went to a Jungian therapist for almost five years. She used dream analysis a lot. One of the big archetypes in Jungian dream analysis is water. Water represents the subconscious. If I had to take a stab at this, it means that Chuck is helping you get through your grief about the breakup - timing isn't always bang on but something in your mind might be ready to leave the sadness behind. Chuck was a friend you trusted and who you think about in a spiritual sense now. I believe he was pushing you to the other side of grief.

Lacey said...

I haven't read what everyone else has written, but water usually means emotion. I've also heard that everyone in your dreams that isn't specifically someone you know (like the girls around the fire) is supposed to portray another side of yourself.

That's such a sad story about your friend. Just... woah.