Visitation: “I don’t know what sadness is anymore.”

January 27, 2020

Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way.” -Franz Kafka

Earth angel

Over the past two years or so, Carolyn has appeared several times in my dreams. In all cases, we were separated from each other, she living in a different city from me. I believe in all these dreams, the plan was to meet up again, but something kept popping up to keep us apart. Separation being analogous to death, at least in this dreamscape, I took these dreams as visitations. Then I experienced a true visitation.

The traveler

The narrative of the dream was a typical cockeyed anxiety dream of mine. I was taking a graduate level exam I was not prepared for. That it was being held at my old parochial school merely added to the cockeyed, as well as the anxiety components of the dream. My favorite late uncle, dressed in clerical black, arrived to escort me to the classroom where I’d take the exam. Then Carolyn appeared.

She was the proctor for the exam. She smiled confidently at me, suggesting she knew I’d do well in the test. I looked at her and said, “I’m so sad that you are not here anymore to experience more of the life you still had before you.” (I’ve said this very thing many times in my imagined and conscious conversations with her.) Carolyn smiled – beatifically –  back at me, and within that smile she told me, “I don’t know what sadness is anymore.”

The Bavarian

In all my imaginary conversations with her, I’d never imagined that as a response. It came straight from the dream, was totally original, and I awoke, tears streaming down my face, because I was certain I had just heard from her.

I will say that I do believe in an afterlife – actually afterlives – just not the silly, self-serving ones of organized religion. My real life conversations with her are based on my belief that our souls live on, and I’ve accepted that these conscious conversations must remain one-sided. (In the first few months following Carolyn’s death, I did believe she used  a fish-shaped windsock on our deck to communicate back with me, but that eventually ended.) At no time in any conversation with Carolyn did I ever imagine saying anything like what she said to me in this recent dream. And that is why I have no doubt that what I experienced in that dream was a true visitation. And since it left me with such a feeling of peace and serenity about her new life, I don’t believe she will visit me again in this way. She’s known how happy I’ve become again in my life with Carol, and I believe she just wanted to affirm that she’s continued to be happy too.

The goodbye (for now)

One more thing. I did not interpret her visitation in any way that she was waiting for me to rejoin her. I also believe in the idea of a “community of souls” that all the people we love in this life are a part. The relationships in this life are human representations of that community, but individually have no meaning once we’re reunited. Carolyn’s visit was to counsel me to continue to embrace my new life with Carol, and to live with as much happiness and without as much sadness as I possibly can.

And I will.

(NOTE: These are my personal thoughts and beliefs. I am not trying to start a new screwball Moonie religion or anything. Don’t send me money, and don’t ask for a piece of my clothing or a tooth or a fingernail as a relic. I intend to return fully to my sophomoric, arrested adolescence as soon as this is posted.)

(NOTE 2: If you do send money anyway, I’m not returning it.)


And now I’m glad I didn’t know

The way it all would end

The way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance

I could have missed the pain

But I’d of had to miss the dance

— Garth Brooks

(via Carol Madigan)

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