It is the middle of the night. I wake up. I’m curled in bed lying next to Rick, spooned against his back. It feels warm and comforting. My arm is draped over his side, cradling his middle. Suddenly, I remember that Rick died over a month ago, so this can’t be happening. It occurs to me that this is a visitation, a ghost, one of the signs that everyone keeps asking me about and of which I haven’t had even one. Stay cool, I think to myself. Don’t let on that you’re awake; if you do then this will stop. It feels so nice to have him back with me. I lay there, enjoying the feel of having him next to me. I can feel the solidity of his body, even the warmth that comes from it. I notice he seems a bit leaner, more muscular; the effects of his illness are gone.
He gets out of bed, and starts walking to the bathroom. I’m intrigued that a ghost needs to pee, but then I don’t have a lot of experience in dealing with spirits from the beyond. Somehow, we’ve flipped sides and are now facing the bedroom wall that contains the door to the bathroom. This will let me peek without it being obvious that I’m awake and aware of what is going on.
I open my eyes just a bit to look, and see that Rick is looking at me. It doesn’t look like him; it is someone younger, leaner, but I figure that’s just the way it is; when you die, you get to go back to your healthiest state. He’s smiling at me in a manner that doesn’t look friendly, but rather sinister. Then I realize that the being leering at me has brown eyes; Rick’s were blue. I realize that this isn’t he; but some malevolent spirit. I see that the wall behind him has been scraped clear to form a picture of a skull. It’s eerie and horrifying and I feel violated and deeply alone. At that point I wake up, with my heart pounding, feeling terrified. I turn on the lights and TV; no more sleep that night.
I had this dream about 5 weeks after Rick died. I’m not religious, and I don’t really believe in things like spirits and ghosts. Two weeks after he passed away, I had to clean out the house where he had lived and worked for the 20 years before we met. For a whole week I spent hours every day, alone, in that house, going through items and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. It occurred to me that if there was any chance of encountering his spirit, that would have been the place. It never happened. The week I had this dream I had gone grocery shopping. Walking down the coffee & tea aisle, I saw the brand of tea he drank every morning and starting tearing up. A few minutes later, after I’d gained most of my composure back, I ran into a couple we both knew. They gave me their condolences and a big hug and asked how I was doing. One of them said “I bet you see Rick everywhere; I bet you’re having lots of moments when you know he’s sending you messages”. I said no, not really and went on to finish my shopping; but that stuck with me. Was I missing something? Was it my fault for not being spiritual? Was there some lack in me that prevented my seeing these “signs” that people talk about?
I don’t know the answer. I still haven’t had any feelings or signs to make me stop and think; “yes, that was Rick”. However, I have had more than a few nicer, calmer, happier dreams where we talk about what happened, and where I get to spend time with him, and I haven’t had any more nightmares.