The Widow’s Dream

It finally happened – the dream that all the widow books said would come.  The presence that others told me about that happens after a spouse dies.  It has been just over 2 months since Jim passed away.  As he was dying, I asked him to send me a sign letting me know he was alright and he delivered the next day.  I haven’t had that connection since.  Until the other night.  I don’t typically remember my dreams and I was so grateful that this one woke me, made me pause, and forced me to give thanks that Jim is well, hanging out with Jesus and doing things physically he hasn’t been able to do in years.  I focus on those things.  They are what make the sadness, pain, and more sadness bearable.

The dream wasn’t much, but the reminder was grand.  Jim was in a bed.  It was a recollection of the night he passed, except it wasn’t his bed and it wasn’t his bedroom.  Still, I knew he was dying and I was physically lying next to him in the bed.  Then the life passed out of him.  Again, a recollection of what was.  He was present in this space, although he was physically struggling and far off in a way too, and then he was not in his body anymore.  The body was only a shell of the essence of Jim.  That was so evident in real life.  My first experience with something so intimate as a life passing before my eyes and that same experience happened in the dream.

Then in the dream, there was the pause.  This was the recollection of reality too.  In real life I remember staring at Jim hard, trying to process what had happened even though I knew what had happened and then crying out “Lazarus, get up”  – I urged Jim to defy all odds and for his eyes to pop open and his body to revive itself.  For Jim to return.  This of course did not happen in real life, but I sat next to Jim’s body and his bed for quite some time, hoping that it would.

In my dream, this same scene played out, minus the words.  There was Jim’s body and my living presence looking at him and then making slow-motion movements walking around the room, trying to process what had happened.  In the dream, there was that pause.  The confusion.  And, then Jim sat up in the bed and then Jim stood up next to the bed.  I looked at him.  He looked at me.  We smiled at one another.  I knew.  He knew.  He was moving on.  He was about to walk out of that room.  Two things struck me: Jim smiled and Jim walked – two things that didn’t happen much, if at all, during his last months here.

And then in the dream, Jim walked.  He was still in the room when I woke up.  He was still smiling at me when my eyes opened into this reality.  I paused, reflecting on the gift just given to me.  I reflected on what I already knew, but what was graciously given to me in a dream: a reminder that Jim is well.  Jim is walking, smiling, and whole again.

And then, just in case I didn’t get it, after I got out of the bed and headed into the bathroom to get ready for the day, I paused at a bureau.  As I opened the doors, a photo fell off the top shelf and hit my feet.  It was a frame divided into 3 parts: one with Jim and our daughter, one photo with Jim and our son, and one photo with Jim and me.  Jim is there with each one of us and that in and of itself is worth celebrating.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Crystal Pennington on September 5, 2014 at 2:40 am

    What a blessing… a reassuring dream/reality knowing Jim is smiling and with you & your precious children.


  2. Posted by Kevin on September 5, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for recounting this, what a blessing to see him like that.


  3. Posted by Carol Dunham on September 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Very touching! I attended a memorial service for a friend who had just lost her husband recently. The minister said that for the Christian, we are dying and moving toward living, rather than living and moving toward dying. What a blessing to belong to Christ! Thanks for sharing and may God be with you and your family.


  4. Posted by Melinda Corbin on September 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm


    I’m so glad you had THE dream. There most likely will be more and they are sweet blessings every time. In what is a most trying time, I am happy for you to have experienced this.

    Take good care,


  5. I am so glad for you, Erica. I had a very similar dream about my father–he was his whole self in my dream. I don’t have these dreams about Adam; apparently I am still processing the fact that he’s no longer here, even though it’s been two years. But I do feel his presence around me all the time and if I forget he’s around he sends a song to remind me. It really is rather spooky, and I love it! Heal on, my sister.


  6. Posted by Julie Rohrer on September 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I typed this big thing and lost it….trying again….this time shirt version!

    I am thrilled that you already had this experience that we knew would happen. Jim is extraordinary and that’s why he came to see you so soon. Documenting these experiences are so valuable for you and the kids later on.

    Jim and that smile…..Jim and that smile!


  7. Awesome dream. Thank you for sharing this.


  8. Erica, that is great! you can be at peace knowing Jim is well, comfortable and happy. I have had several dreams similar in nature to yours. I asked God for a sign at the passing for my Grandfather, Grandmother, Mother etc and I got a sign every time. I am still sorry you are alone here but in time that will get better and total peace will be yours and your children s’. It is not bad to have someone who loves you so much close to God. Jim can be your direct communicator!!! That is a real “Hot Line” in heaven. Smile you are loved as are your children.


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