I can’t remember exactly what we were doing, but I know we were in Vegas. I hate Vegas, but my dad lived there for a while before I knew him and to my knowledge, he loved it.
My dad and I never traveled or went on adventures together. I mainly just got to spend the day with him every few weeks, months, or sometimes years — that is, until college, when I started going to see him a little more often. During this dream I remember we were sitting, just the two of us, talking, and it was great. I honestly can’t remember a time when just the two of us had a great conversation.
Anyways, I started talking to someone else who seemingly just appeared out of nowhere. I looked over at my dad. It was at that point I realized my dad wasn’t alive anymore. He died about 2 years ago and I have missed him dearly ever since. It still hadn’t dawned on me that I was dreaming. I remember he stood up, looked at me, smiled, and started walking away. I immediately ended my conversation with whoever, and chased after my dad as he was merely walking away. I remember feeling like I was so happy that he was back. I didn’t know how or why it was happening, but for a moment I was so thrilled to see him again. But then it was over. My dream world didn’t let me catch up to him.
I want so badly to have one more real conversation with my dad. I woke up immediately after the disappearing act, and within moments of consciousness I had a few tears slowly running down my face. I was visiting a new part of grief that hadn’t yet presented itself. The “new” last memory I have with my dad had just ended.
I had just experienced my final moment with him. He’s not at home, bedridden on hospice care trying to muster up words and sentences as I sit idly by, practically waiting for him to die. We were together, talking. He smiled. I didn’t feel sorry for him. He simply stood up, and walked away.
Since my dad died, my views on the world have changed a lot. I have more opinions and I am challenging my beliefs more often with the people I love. This is somehow one of the bigger regrets I have with my Father, even though it is beyond my control. We never explored conversations much deeper than surface level. And I could never get any more of my dad’s thoughts on life, death, love, or happiness.
So I got out of bed and started my day by asking my wife how she would feel if any of the people closest to her were taken away from her. It’s a sad and difficult question to ask yourself but it can be very revealing and eye opening. We started to ask this question regarding all of our closest relationships. Here are my takeaways:
- Tell my loved ones how I’m really feeling.
- Discuss my beliefs, be open to being challenged, and then also challenge others.
- Spend more time with the ones I love. Maybe that’s just a phone call.
- Have more compassion.
- Talk all night or day about anything.
- Hug more.
- Laugh more.
- I’m grateful that I have friends and family that have my back.