These past couple of days I have been dealing with a grief I thought I had mostly recovered from some time ago. A few years back I lost a friend, suddenly and tragically. Her death, in a lot of ways, made me come undone.
This friend of mine, she was love incarnate. She always told me she loved me. Sometimes she would kiss me.
I always found the kisses awkward to deal with. And I never told her I loved her too. And then one day, she was gone.
Death is so final. The finality, when unexpected, is brutal. I began to question myself. I began to find that I had nothing inside. It was like my heart withered and died.
I felt a cold inside that was unlike any cold I have felt in the exterior world.
Recently, I have felt this cold again. And I have missed my friend. But things are different now.
I have had whole new wings built onto the crumbling mansion that had been my heart. I have one friend in particular who can dispel the shadows with a laugh or a smile. I have things in my life that matter enough to roll out of bed for.
And I have the memory of a dream.
About six months after my friend died, I dreamed I stood before the throne of God.
Surrounding us was a vast multicolored sea that was as still as glass. I would say it was glass, because in the dream we all (including God and his throne) stood on it…but we all knew it was not really glass.
God sat on a throne surrounded by a group of people I took to be a group of his friends.
I came before him on the sea and knelt on both knees. I tried to speak, but could only scream in pain and hatred, “Why don’t you kill me? I have nothing inside!”
At this, I fell dead, or rather, consumed, to the floor of the sea.
I heard God’s voice softly say, “Now get up.”
I said, “I can’t. I am dead inside.”
God laughed and said, “Of course you are. That is why you need to get up and live.”
At that, I took every last inch of strength I had left and stood with tears streaming down my face.
And then I woke up to find these tears really running down my face.
I have only ever shared this dream with a few close friends. But it has been on my mind so much lately, I felt like I should share it.
I have always made the philosophical argument that the one thing stronger than hope is nothingness. But as I have reflected on this dream, I stand (no pun intended) corrected.
The only thing thing stronger than hope is the love that reaches out past death, past nothingness, and calls us to live.