There is a difference between dreaming about someone and someone coming to you in a dream. If it ever happened to you, you know what I mean.
Three years ago, this Shabbat, my father left this world and took the fierce love he had for me with him. For those of you who have experienced loss, the first year is not easy. For months I threw myself back into my work, but there was a longing in my heart.
And then it happened.
On Erev Yom Kippur of that year, my father came to me in a dream. It was not a normal dream; it was completely real and vivid. In my dream, I was in Toronto looking for my childhood home and couldn’t find it. Someone saw that I was lost and after I told them my address, they explained that a mall was built in front of it. If I just went through the mall, I would find it.
I followed their directions, and soon I was there, standing in my parent’s bedroom. Suddenly my father emerged from the closet. He was the father of my youth– young, healthy, strong, and vibrant. He was smiling and, without saying a word, walked right over to me and hugged me.
At that second, I woke up, filled from head to toe with comfort. I cried with gratitude. My father had come to show me that he was okay– more than okay.
And suddenly, so was I.
Friday night, I will light a yartzeit candle, sponsor a day of learning Torah at our son’s yeshiva and speak about my father and what he taught us about love, commitment, and responsibility.
May his memory be for a blessing.