When Dreams Become Reality

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I was unprepared  when my mother phoned me and told  me that my child hood  friend Donna just passed away.  My first reaction was that my mother had gotten it all  wrong.  But as  she read  the obituary I realized that it was  true.

The obituary, however,  did not reveal  the circumstances  of Donna’s  death.  I couldn’t  rest that  night, so I  wrote a letter  to Donna’s  mother, telling her how  sorry I was and asking  if she could tell me how Donna died. While I wrote, I cried. I wept into the night.

In the early morning hours  I fell  asleep at last,  and I  dreamed of Donna,  It was like no dream I had ever had;  it  had a  different, ineffable quality. There was a  heavy, palpable, gray  mist  surrounding  the  dreamscape, and Donna’s  image rose from the  midst of it.

She was  sitting  in a  wheelchair. I paid no attention  to the incongruity of seeing an  able-bodied person in a wheelchair. ” I knew my mother  was wrong. I knew you were  still here with us, ” I cried with  sheer joy,  running toward her.

She  spoke to me, though her lips never moved.” No, ” she  said and help up a  hand so that I would  come on  closer. “I’m only here to tell you that there’s  no reason  for you to  grieve. If I had lived, this is  what I would  be.” I realized that her arms  and legs were atrophied and that she looked  nothing  like she had in life,  full of expressive beauty. Instead,  she slumped  in her chair, inert. ” If I had lived, I would never have been the same,” she said.

“But you’re here”, I argued.

“Yes,” Donna assured  me,  “but only to help you understand that this was meant to be- that I have done what it  was I  needed to do. And  now I have moved on.  It was time   and my body was broken.”  With these last words Donna’s  image faded.

I awoke feeling drained, but somehow healed. Weeks later, I received a response from Donna’s Mother.  She reported that an  aneurysm in Donna’s brain  had ruptured while giving birth  to her daughter. Prior  to the birth, no one had known about the  aneurysm, including Donna.

Then the words in the letter echoed what  Donna had said  in my dream: ” If Donna had lived, she would  have never been the same. I put the letter  down in awe. The dream had been   a prophetic  preamble to the letter. I knew that Donna  had  survived,  but in  a different world, While I had always   believed that our  consciousness survives death,  the dream  confirmed it for me. That was  Donna’s  gift to me.

She did not visit my dreams again  until years later. I had  suffered from asthma for many years, but in  1993 I  experienced such  bad attacks  that I felt  they could  become  fatal.  When they intensified,  I felt physically and emotionally as though I might die.

The feeling was so strong that I began   scribbling  letters of love and  affection  to my family, tucking  them away in my  nightstand. My intuition warned me that  something ominous was about to happen.

At the height of my illness,  Donna visited  my dreams  again.  The same unmistakable  feeling followed her sudden  entrance. It was  almost like having a  television program   interrupted for an important announcement.

She  stepped  forward and came  right to the point. “What do you want?” She asked , as though I had called  her away from something   important. “You are  grieving again.”

” I feel death  all around me,” I told her.

“Yes, there is death  around you, ” Donna confirmed.  “Does it have  to be?” I lamented. “When will it happen?” ” In July,” she told me.” But it’s almost July,” I cried.

” There will be a  death in July,” She reiterated.

I had  the impression that she had given me foresight to  steady and ground me,  just as  her appearance in my dream had helped me come to terms with her untimely death.  But it  was not my own death that she  heralded. On a  Sunday morning in July,  we received word that our twenty-four-year-old nephew, Ed, had died in an car accident.

I began to realize that my dream conveyed something more than prophecy; it communicated a deep  spiritual message, confirming that all things in  life go according to a divine  plan.

How could  there be  foreknowledge without some form   of predestination in the cosmos?  How could  I be  informed of  something that hadn’t  happened yet if no plan existed?

I felt enlightened and transformed, the same way someone  who has  had a  near-death experience might  feel. I  sensed in the deepest part of me the presence of a  wondrous force that gave my life purpose and traveled with me  as I made choices.

The  grandest gift of the discovery was  that I could  draw on that knowledge to find  comfort and  healing during times of turmoil and tragedy.

At last, I learned to pay attention to dreams, to appreciate  their truth and wisdom. I found that dreams can guide us, help us find solutions, clarify choices, enhance our relationships,  avoid and survive tragedy, and generally stay in  tune with   the people and events  in our lives.

 

Lynn Jeffcott

Bettendorf, lowa

April 1999

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