Mariana is a young lady who I feel is an important part of our family. She came to America with very little command of the English language, so I volunteered to tutor her throughout most of her grade school years. To help ensure her success, I also encouraged her to come to our house after school so she could finish her homework under my tutelage and interact with my five kids, socially. It didn’t take very long for all six to become a close pack of friends scavenging my pantry and playing in the back yard. They all grew up together with Mariana taking on the role of another sister.
Eventually, my oldest kids entered high school, Mariana became a middle schooler and my youngest ones remained in elementary school. Naturally, the kids drifted apart a bit and stopped spending so much time together. Nevertheless, the underlying bond of fondness was there, and we all often reminisced about the wonderful times we spent with her.
Erik was particularly fond of Mariana, perhaps because they were the closest in age. When he finally got his own wheels, he was eager to take her out from time to time. Even when she had a boyfriend, Erik wanted to “hang out” with her. He enjoyed her companionship so much.
Mariana was particularly devastated by Erik’s death. She wished, as so many of us did, that she had spent more time with him. RIght after his passing, Erik expressed concern for her through the medium, Vicky Warren. While channeling him, Vicky said, “Erik is concerned about a young girl with a name that sounds like Maria, but it’s a longer name, a Latin name. He plans on visiting her in her dreams to provide much needed comfort.”
I hesitated to relay this information to Mariana, because I wasn’t sure how open she’d be considering her religious upbringing. What if she found this information disturbing? What if it did more harm than good?
Before I could make up my mind about how to handle this message, Mariana called me. She sounded excited as she recounted Erik’s first visit to her. I asked her to email the experience to me. Here is a description in her own words:
“I have to tell you about a dream I had this morning. I had to wake up really early this morning to go finish a test during 1st period because I have late arrival. My alarm went off at 6:50am but of course, I turned it off and went back to sleep for about 25 minutes. In those 25 minutes, I had a dream about him!! I don’t really remember all of it but I remember I was walking in my room and I saw the blinds moving like opening and shutting really fast and I was scared. Then I received a call from you and you told me he was on the phone. I could hear his voice through the phone and we were talking. I don’t remember what he was saying but I just remember I was crying because I was so happy to hear his voice. So then I remember telling him I wanted to keep talking to him more but I had to go get ready to go finish a test at school and that I needed him there with me and didn’t want to leave him and he said in a calm voice “I’m always there with you”… and I felt so comfortable and so safe. Like I could feel him around me. I don’t really know how to explain what I felt but after that I woke up and actually started getting ready for school. Isn’t that weird? I wish I could remember every single detail but I’m really bad at remembering dreams. It felt SO real that throughout the day, he kept popping into my head randomly like he was actually with me during the whole school day, and I kept thinking I had actually talked to him.”
Dreams are the most common ways our departed loved ones communicate with the living. I suppose it’s easier for them to engage us when our consciousness leaves our body during sleep and is not cluttered with the constant barrage of thoughts that busy the unquiet mind. Again, what’s different about these visitation dreams is that they are more tangible. They feel real. They provide comfort. My hope is that I will eventually be able to invite such visits from Erik while I’m awake and that other grieving parents, family and friends will strive to do the same.
My mind is my own worse enemy. It’s made this last week a particularly dark one. Thoughts of missing, of loving, of what once was and what will never be are instruments of torture. They are the bamboo splinters thrust slowly and deeply under my nails. They are the eagle that picks away at Prometheus’s liver while he is bound in chains to a rock. I, too, feel like a modern day Prometheus. The wound is deep and painful and the chains of grief are enslaving. Hopefully, time will provide the key to the lock binding those chains. With any luck, I can, like Prometheus, turn this tragedy into a gift. As he gave mankind the gift of fire, I pray that I can give the bereaved comfort and hope.