Not long after Nathan died, I had a dream.

It wasn’t just an ordinary dream.  It was more vivid than normal. In it, I was sitting someplace talking with Nathan.  He was clueless. He didn’t know he’d died. (That is something I am quite sure is true.  He never knew.) I was explaining, and he said, “You are shitting me.”

It was quintessential Nathan, exactly perfect.  Eleven years later, I can still see his dream-face, and hear his dream-voice.  It’s very easy for me to think of that dream-conversation as a real event.

I had this same dream, or similar ones, off and on for about a year. They became less frequent over time, and the vividness began to fade.

Since then, I’ve noticed that lots of people think that when you have a dream like this, it’s a sign that the dead person is visiting you, that they are coming to you in your dreams to tell you that they are okay or whatever.

Nathan was not visiting me.

Last night, I had a very short, sudden dream.

I distinctly heard a voice call to me sharply and urgently, “Sal—wake up!”  The voice was clear, just as clear as Nate’s was in those immediate post-death dreams. I knew exactly who it was. I woke up immediately and it all felt so real that I got up and went to check on the wood stove and make sure everything was okay. It was so real and so profound that I was awake for about an hour afterwards.

A common phenomenon among people who live together for a long time is that a surviving person will actually see glimpses of their departed spouse or partner sitting in their favorite chair or standing in the hallway or standing at the sink washing dishes.  They literally see this. They aren’t imagining it or making it up.  Or they hear the voice of their loved one, quite audibly, talking in the next room.

Their brains are creating those images and those sounds. Their brain is putting together the thing they expect to see or hear.  Brains are funny things, and memory is weird as hell.  This is just one of those weird things that it does.

So, did some dead person come to me in my dream and speak to me so clearly?

Uh, no.

The voice was Dave’s and he was sound asleep the whole time.