How To Bring A Loved One Back From The Dead.

When the person you love most dies, it doesn’t hurt. The word “hurt” implies that you feel something. The truth is, all you really feel is numb.

I had two years to prepare for the death of my father. The clock began ticking the day the phone rang in my homeroom class during my senior of high school.

It was a wall mounted rotary phone that could only be used to communicate with the administration office and my teacher answered, listened intently, then hung up.

“You need to go to the front office, there’s a call for you,” he said.

Arriving at the office, I picked up the phone and heard my mother’s voice. She began to give me the “facts” in her WASPy style, a style which I’ve heard come out of my own mouth too often in the ensuing years.

It’s a measured, concerned type of tone that attempts to convey the message, “yes, we have a situation here, but let’s take it step by step and not get ahead of ourselves.”

I hung in with her until the part about a brain tumor. Everything after that’s a blank.

During a presentation at his office, my father had frozen on a word. He couldn’t get it out. Then he had a seizure and fell to the floor.

He was rushed to the hospital and given a CAT scan, which found the source of the problem. One of those annoying cancerous tumors had decided it would call his brain home.

The following two years had moments of sorrow and pain, and surprisingly, joy as well. But still, nothing in those twenty-four months could prepare me for the day we lowered his casket into the ground.

In the twenty-five years since, I have thought about my father often. He was the greatest person I’d ever known.

At the time of his death, I loved him more than I loved anyone else in my life, and only with the birth of my children have I loved someone more. He was like me, but without the asshole part, possessing all my good traits and none of my flaws.

Eventually, I accepted the fact that he wouldn’t there with me for the important and special events in my life. Yet the only thing that I could never come to terms with was that he would never get to meet my children–or they him.

Then something amazing happened. Something I never would have expected. Something I never would have believed. I had a dream.

Once, at a party I was attending, I noticed a large group of people surrounding a lady who was clearly holding court. As I listened to the conversation, I realized that she was doing dream interpretations. Enthusiastic and hopeful believers were peppering her with all sorts of questions, trying to discover the hidden meaning in their dreams.

Questions about unicorns, and rainbows, and swimming with dolphins. I walked right into the middle of the circle and said to her with a straight face, “Last night, I had a dream I was in a pit of naked men, covered in honey. What do you think that means?”

Suffice to say, that’s generally how I feel about dream interpretation. But this dream was different. It was a powerful dream. A dream where you not only see, hear, and smell the people it in, but you feel them.

In this dream, I was at home with my wife. My daughter was playing in the yard. With her grandfather. My father. There he was, albeit somewhat older, doing his patented “I’ve got your nose” gag, and making her squeal with laughter.

I watched from inside the house as my wife went about making dinner. It did not strike me as unusual that my father was alive, well, and playing with his four-year-old granddaughter. I just felt a sense of calm, of peace, and of all things being right with the world.

Then in an instant, everything changed.

Suddenly, my daughter turned and ran into the street. A sense of fear and dread that only a parent can understand ran through me. I saw cars at the end of the street coming her way. I saw the joy of my life ending. I saw my reason for living gone.

Almost instantly, my father ran after her. I bolted out of the house, but he had a head start and was closer. She ran down the street and though he tried, he could not catch up with her.

I pushed my legs furiously, watching the cars that were closing in on her, and I knew time was running out. I passed up my father and came within a few feet of her. Just as I thought everything was lost, I made a mad lunge forward — stretching out as far as I could — and scooped her up into my arms and to safety.

I awoke to a stillness in my bedroom that clashed with the frenzied dream, and at first I was disoriented. Slowly, I began the process of coming back to reality – the part where you remind yourself that “it was only a dream.”

Then something inside made me stop. Something made me not only want to hold onto the dream, but to make it real. So, for the first and only time in my life, I chose the Orwellian concept of “doublethink” — choosing to not only believe something untrue is true, but actively forgetting the decision to do it — thus making it a reality.

I chose to believe that my father had visited and played with my daughter because the feelings in my dream were as real and valid as anything I’d ever felt in my life.

I also chose to understand that my father chasing after my daughter, and I passing him up and bringing her to safety, was a metaphor.

That the days when I watched him at his workbench, slowly and steadily bringing to life some project that my young mind couldn’t fathom, were, despite how much I longed for them to linger, gone forever.

That I had gone from being the admirer to the admired. From the protected to the protector. It was a message telling me that I had passed from being just a son, to being a father in my own right.

The dream also helped me understand that my children could “meet” my father every day, through me, from the parts of me that were from him.

It’s years later and I now have a two-year-old son. As I watch him play, and learn, and grow, I look forward to the day my father comes to visit him as well.

  • Hangsy

    2013 was the worst year of my life. In May i lost my best friend of 10 yrs over a freaky auto accident, the in November my mom’s twin sister passed away very strangely!! She came over to visit my mom and they went out with dad for lunch, all i heard on their way back she just stopped breathing! Then 2014 April my mom died, daaaaam i can never get through this, just two months before my June 2014 wedding!!!

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  • julie martinez

    I lost my husband almost a year ago and February 21 will make a year, and I still miss him like crazy and I still want him to come back,even though I have someone in my life and I love him very much but I still miss my husband,I cry and think about him all the time,I even dream about him,and I even ask myself that I just want to be with him again, I just want to know can he feel what I feel? Can he feel that I still love him and never stop loving him? Can he feel I want him back or see him again? Does he still love me too and is he watching over me and my kids??? I just want to dream about him and just talk to him and let him know how much I still love him and just hold him and see him again.

  • smita

    I have lost my father 8 months back and still I am not able to admit this. me and my mother are still suffering and we hope to meet him and talk to him again. I really miss him and my is endless without him. I dont wish for anything leaving my father.

    • Christ is real. Your loved ones see and hear you everyday. Talk to them. They may respond
      through noise, event (a butterfly lands and stays with you), dreams or many other methods. Do not despair. You will
      see them again.

  • Rena

    Hi, I was searching foe the subject , how to bring my dad to life and I happened to read your blog.

    My dad passed away 10 yrs ago and not a single day since I wish he was with me. I miss him so much. I really want to talk to him and touch and see him. He was the best dad ever.

    Since my dad left us, I constantly see him in my dreams. My mum never saw him in her dreams. Sometimes looked like , he was trying to tell me something,
    I feel so happy whenever I see him, it’s like regular for me to be dreaming about him. 2’yrs ago I lost my older brother as well and now I see my dad and my brother together . Sometimes they are happy and sometimes sad.

    Not sure meaning of all of this.

    I miss them so much.

  • Karah

    I lost my best friend 3 weeks ago he had a bad trip on lsd I would do anything to have him back it will be one month on Christmas

  • sandeep

    I lost my father due to cancer 2 years before and every moment I miss him and life is not same as before I wish he is reading this post and I am ready to give up everything in this world judt to see him once. miss you papa.

  • Tara

    Your post touched me immensely. I just lost my dad to cancer. I feel that a part of me died with him and all I want is to reunite with him. But I have a husband, a baby girl and my mom to live for for now. I hope someday I have that same revelation you had and be able to come to terms with his leaving us. I hope there really is something called a soul and an afterlife.

    • Steve

      I also lost my dear Dad to cancer just 6 months ago, I was very close to my Dad and never thought it would happen but suddenly he was gone, I agree that a part of me is lost and I am only just starting to find the strength to get my head back into my charity I founded and run, it does make you think what is the point in doing anything much but I need to now make sure mum is ok and I have a family of my own to look after as well, what it has brought home to me is that life is short so try to waste any of it, I to hope that there is an afterlife so I can see my Dad again, I cant believe that so many people in this world are walking around with this kind of hurt inside them, we must be resilient creatures!

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  • Darkcube_lord704

    If a loved one dies don’t worry when you die you will see them in the afterlife think this to yourself when someone dies 🙂

  • Jeff

    Since my Dad passed away in 1994 (age 72) I’ve had trouble dealing with it – because in hindsight I didn’t even try to take advantage of all of his knowledge & insight to life. One moment about two weeks before he passed, has and will continue to haunt me my entire life. In short, it was an opportunity to tell my Dad that his son loved him very much. Again, I knew I should, I wanted to, but again I didn’t say it. The words ” I love you,” I never uttered to my parents as an adult to that point.
    I got married in 2003. My only biological child, a daughter, was born in 2004. I also have an awesome daughter through my marriage to my wife. I’ve been really struggling since my Mother passed in 2012 (age 86). Although I have made it a point to always tell my wife and daughters how much I love them on a daily basis many times a day, about a year ago (2013) I realized that I had become very much UNLIKE my parents (ESPECIALLY my Dad) in how they treated people and how they lived their lives in general. Near as I can figure and for some reason this really ramped up after I got married. I do not know why this happened. When I realized this was happening I stated to make a conscious effort to be the person I was – like my parents. After reading this blog post I know now how important this is. I would like my daughters to know their Grandparents, especially their Grandpa – my Dad. I also want them to know me, or rather what I consider the real me is – the way I used to be – because that is how I want them to live their lives – like my parents did.
    Thank you very much from a 50yr old man with tears in his eyes.

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  • noir23

    upesalovetemple@gmail.com i just want to share with you all about my testimony i recently had a love spell cast on me by this man called Dr upesa which help me to return my lover back to me so i really want to thank this man and his gods for what he has done for me i will advice anyone in need of help to contact him upesalovetemple@gmail.com

  • Brandi

    Can anybody tell me if a dream can come true , or someone is trying to get ahold of you ..
    I’m 16 I lost my gram 6 years ago , me and her were so close , closer then her and my mom , I spent every day with her , helping her all that , one night she was rushed to the hospital .. I didn’t no what was going on , I had to stay in bed …. Few weeks later after I saw her and stuff in the hospital … She had past , I cried for about 2 months straight .. After a year or 2 I started to think about it even more that person I lost and I felt as if it’s my fault so I started self harming myself , I’m not proud of it …… But now after all my crying and wishing and all that for some reason , she came to me in a dream last night ….I woke up bawling my eyes out so much I wanted to scream right now it’s 5:26 am , Pittsburgh .. So people are sleeping right now … I just wanted to no if anybody new if dreams like this could come true , or if someone is trying to tell me something …

  • MAHI

    i have lost my dad last month … i have strong believe that i will meet him again once in my life ………………………….

    • My condolences, I know you will see him again.

  • a

    grt one..inspires the motivation to fight the loss suffered due to the absecense of that great person in our life..miss u papa ji

  • craig johnson

    Thanks for sharing, a great read. I too have the “my parent (mother in my case) will never know my kids” emotion from time to time as a watch them grow up. Some days it is a harder emotion to deal with than others, but your point that they can “meet” their grandparents through you is spot on. I see my son (3 yr.) starting to pick up on the little sayings and lessons that I learned from mom and it certainly helps me take comfort in her absence. I realize that in time these lessons will help build the foundation for his life (and my daughter’s) in the same way they did for me all of those years ago even though she is not here to give them. Keep up the great work Brian!

    • Thanks, appreciate it.

  • marine

    That’s beautiful ! I lost my husband 15 months ago and i see him all the time in my dreams. Even thought it hurts we will meet again . We are meant to be with the ones around us and when it’s are time i will be by his side till death do us part.

    • Thanks for the nice words and sorry for your loss.

  • ozzy

    wow very moving what you share with us… I’m 41 .. I lost my father when i was 16.. I relate to your feeling of numbness….like “this can’t be real….I just lost my father!” It takes years to assimilate the experience of loosing my father…and in all honesty i don’t thing I ever will……

    • Yeah, for me it was one of the things like, “what this is really happening to me?”

      Thanks for reading.

  • Jacqui Hawtrey

    Wow. Amazing writing. I really can relate after losing my Nan, my guardian angel. Goosebumps! Had an amazing dream which I like to think was astrotravelling where we held each other and I could smell her once again. My Nan was in the most beautiful place and at peace… “Live your life to the full Jacqui, we shall meet again.”

    • Yeah, it’s pretty cool when that happens.

      Thanks for reading.

  • DENNIS KENNEDY

    Brian, my eyes are filled with tears, I lost my Dad in 84 and my older brother in 95. I miss them quite often. My mom just had surgery for breast cancer and I keep telling my father and brother it would be nice if you guys would have stuck around and helped me with mom instead of checking out early. Just as my sobbing started, in to my room walks my youngest son who rubs my back and asks “what’s the matter dad? why are you crying? I look at him and see both my father and brother telling me it’s alright, what can we do to help your pain? So I guess they are still here and helping me to take care of mom in the form of a young strong handsome version with no bad habits and a heart as big as Texas. Thanks again for bring things in focus for me today Brian. It was something I needed to hear. Your blogs inspire me more than you can imagine.

  • Auntie Em at Auntie Em’s Guide

    Lovely, lovely! My mother died 12 years ago, and the feelings you describe are the ones I felt too.

    • Thanks so much. I’m glad you liked it and I appreciate you reading my blog.

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  • Lost my father at a young age, I can relate. Great post Brian !!

    • Thanks man, appreciate it.

  • Stories and metaphors … a gift of understanding, I think. All that love and the acceptance that it’s your turn now. So heavy a loss and it needs time to be understood, I think.

    Thank you. Your story is so bittersweet, so touching.

    My mother slipped away and there was no way of pulling her back. It was so strange that she was gone and that really I didn’t know where she was anymore. Yet everything looked the same, the same roads and trees and houses. As if my mother were still here.

    For me, it was a ladder dream with her stepping off in a soft blue silk bias cut dress, waving as she was lost behind some clouds and it was my turn to step up the ladder, no one left ahead of me.

    • I love the way you beautifully describe that Madeleine.

      The mind is a strange thing. In these cases I guess our sub-conscious is just trying to sooth our feeling of loss.

      Thanks for reading and for the great comment.

  • You see your dad to in dreams so real it seems he is there? I am not alone. Wonderful story

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  • Hi Brian! I just stumbled upon your blog (Your Mom never told me you have one!).
    I have just read this post and am still crying. Your honesty is breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time. I remember that same day you found out so well too. I was with Amy at Sowers when she was told. Some things you just never forget…(It was also the same day Jerry had his 1st heart attack).
    Your dad was such a great guy and fantastic soccer coach. He was so loved. Your dream sounds like such a gift from him. Your beautiful children have one heck of a Guardian Angel!

    • Brian Lund

      My mom likes to pretend I don’t have a blog… 🙂

      Thanks for the nice words Wendy, I really appreciate it.

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  • Mark

    Thanks for sharing. My dad passed away from cancer two moths before my first son was born 4 years ago. Every 3-4 months or so I have these same vivid dreams you describe and wake up wishing he were there like he is in the dreams. It saddens me greatly to know that he will never meet his grandsons but in a way it feels like he comes back in my dreams to check on me and let me know he is okay. Glad to know someone else has these same experiences.

    • bclund

      Really sorry for the loss of your father, that unfortunately is something I can truly relate to. Like I said in the post, I am not really religious or even spiritual but I’ll take those “visits” from my dad. Your son will always have a connection to his grandfather through his relationship with you and the parts of you that come from him.

      Thanks for reading buddy.

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  • thank you for sharing this – my father passed away in a similar circumstance and I wish every day that he could meet my 14 month old daughter.

    • Yes I know it’s tough, but like in the post, she can meet those parts of him which live on in you.

      Thanks for reading.

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  • Thanks very much for sharing a great, great realization and a true bit of wisdom.

    • Your welcome Aaron, glad you liked it.

      Thanks for reading.

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  • beauitiful.

    • Thanks Phil, appreciate it.

  • betty

    Thank you for sharing this, it made me teary. I miss my Mother every day.

    • betty & Dre: I cried writing it…..and I’m a guy! Lol.

      Thank for reading!

  • Dre

    I cried

  • Holy cow man. This was awesome. I think your father would be very proud.

    -DT

    • DT : Thanks, I hope he would be.

  • Zach

    Really great post, Thank you for sharing.