Lost and Found: Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

November 1, 2023

Today marks the one year anniversary of a good friend's passing. And I have been thinking of him even though our friendship ended many years ago.

We said goodbye apparently for good in 1984 when he was making plans to leave the area and I was making plans to marry someone else.

Naturally, a great deal has happened in the intervening years.  So it's not surprising, or in anyway indicative of my feelings, that it had been a long time since I'd thought of those days at all.

But three weeks ago I had a dream.  And my friend Tim was the leading character.  He was young and handsome in the dream and taller than I remembered.  There was a remarkable brightness about him.  And I know that kind of brightness.

He looked different but I recognized his energy.  Sensing it as if I was standing next him, stepping back in time to re-experience the soul vibration of a person I once loved.

In the dream, we met by chance.  I was living alone in a big sunny apartment and he was working at a nearby market.  We bumped into each other at his work and he asked if he could see me. Later on, standing in my dream apartment he told me he'd wanted to contact me before but that he was afraid that doing so would stir up old half-forgotten feelings. 

And then he explained what he had felt so very long ago and the hows and whys of what he did, and didn't, do.  The information was new  but surprisingly coherent, fitting in neatly with events I had wondered about but not fully understood at the time.  Seeing our history in this new light changed things.  I no longer felt responsible.  My old remorse lifted. 

After we had finished talking, we set out together on a wide boardwalk with long strings of golden lights on either side.  There was some kind of festival happening around us and I was happy in a way I'd almost forgotten.  I told him that he was right about the emotion.  "I can feel it," I said. "Can you?"

He didn't answer or if he did, I don't remember.  There was a knowing that our time was ending and that he had brought me back to where I was supposed to be.  When I woke up and considered the brilliance and the clarity of the dream, I knew that he had passed. 

I pulled my laptop into bed and found the obituary online.  Tim's picture (left) showed the same beautiful smile I'd loved so long ago.  I saw that he had died in a hospice at the age of 53.  I was sad that I didn't know but I was happy to think that he'd made it through okay.

Thank you for remembering me, as I remember you.


This post is adapted from my upcoming book The Spirit Dream. ©2024 Barbara Graver Wilder. All rights reserved.

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