A few years after September 11th I had a vivid dream. I was in an office trying to use the phone. I was hesitantly dialing a very familiar phone number. I was nervous and afraid of what I might discover in making this call. The phone rang three times and then a male voice answered. I knew this voice. I stalled and finally said, “Pete?? You’re at work?” He stuttered. He then quietly said, “I’m so sorry, buddy. I didn’t know how to tell you. But yes, I’m still alive.”
I woke up in a different apartment than the one we shared, my heart pounding and completely disoriented in my new reality. His voice was so clear – he said he was still alive. How could we all not know this all this time? Why didn’t he come back to us? What did we do to deserve that?
This dream may have occurred around the time Pete’s remains were finally found, another atypical feature of this particular sudden loss – not immediately having a body. I understood my dream was “normal” under the circumstances. I was processing a loss that made no sense, an interruption of life that was mysterious and cunning. I was trying to add sense to a confounding equation – He must be somewhere. He can’t be nowhere.
He was truly lost. All of our people, when they are taken so abruptly and cruelly, are lost in a strange, unfamiliar space. And it is our instinct to find them. It is why our rational and intellectual selves take a back seat to our emotional core. We beg everyone to search. We insistently post pictures that read – MISSING. We pray for them to show up at our door. We even imagine running into them in a crowded subway one day where we will hear them say, “Hey Buddy! I’ve been looking for you…”
This is a time to be patient with ourselves. There is no rush to accept something that has not caught up to our hearts yet. The psyche goes into automatic drive in order to cope with a foreign reality. These situations that have “no words” create a hole in our lives with many unanswered questions. They leave gaps that may never be filled. But they also plant seeds that will grow...
As you seek answers in your dreams, as you hear the voice of the person that you can no longer touch, remember that in this search for what has been lost, you will find yourself. You will discover that you are not only your pain, but you are the strength of the pieces they have left behind. And you are not alone. We will rise above all of this together. #Manchester