The other night, I dreamed I was at Mass; Mass had just ended, and people were milling about and visiting. My daughter was with me, and we sat down to visit with Connie, an old friend of ours. I also saw my now-deceased friend Pam and her two girls (at a younger age), and went over to say hi to them. Pam looked better than I’d ever seen her, as if she had lost a lot of weight and grow in intellect (she was slightly retarded in this life). The girls were as I remember them from about age 7-8 (they are now around the same age as my 22-year-old daughter).
|My mom, as I most like to remember her;
not the best quality photo, but you get the idea.
I went back to Connie and my daughter. Then, all of a sudden, my mom showed up. She had come to surprise me (Ha! I'll say, since she's been dead for 24 years!). She was radiant, healthy, smiling...my mom at her best. I hugged her, and introduced her to Connie.
I forgot about the dream till the next morning when I was praying Lauds. I can't remember what triggered the memory...it was something in the psalms, I think. Anyway, it really hit me then that I had dreamed about my mom. She doesn't tend to show up in my dreams, and this was so real I could remember little details, like how it felt to hug her. In fact, thinking about it made me shed a few tears, because it was so wonderful to see her. I wondered if she was in Heaven, and I said a prayer to her for my daughter, her namesake.
But then I reminded myself that my mom was not Catholic. I didn’t become Catholic till some years after my mom died, and I didn't come to the knowledge about the necessity of the Church for salvation till a few years ago; but after I became Catholic, I knew about purgatory, and so always prayed for my mom as if she were in purgatory, awaiting her move to Heaven. In recent years, I have often wondered if she could possibly be in Heaven. I know that she could be, if it was God's will. I know she expressed a heartfelt belief in God before she died. I know I want her there! And I know I have prayed countless prayers for the repose of her soul. I guess that's as much as I can know. I keep praying for her, even though it looks like she couldn't really be in Heaven.
So, it was a bittersweet awakening from that dream. But the very next day, when I was napping, I heard a rap at the window. It was probably a bird, which happens frequently, but the sound permeated my dream as a knock, and in the dream, I somehow knew it was my mom. “Mom?” I called out. “Mom, what do you need?” That was it. I woke up enough to realize it was a dream, and dozed off again.
Thinking about it later, I wondered if perhaps my mom’s soul was in fact going to enter Heaven. I wondered if perhaps she was there in the dream as an impetus for me to have a Mass offered for her. And so I have done just that. The Mass is to be said today, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. Will you add a prayer for the repose of her soul? Her name is Ruth Collins.
I dreamed about her again yesterday. That dream is fuzzier in my memory, but she was there.
This experience has given me hope! It is very saddening to think that your non-Catholic loved ones might not be in Heaven. These dreams, and the sense of my mom really being there, reminded me that God does have the final say in terms of souls entering His Presence in Heaven. There is always hope.
In addition, it was a nice consolation, somehow, to have my mom seem so close. We were very close when she was alive, and I was at her side during her illness (cancer), and at the moment of her death. I can’t say that I miss her, really; at least, I haven’t missed her in years, because her absence has just become a fact of life. I suppose the dreams have made me miss her again, a little bit. Mostly, I just want her to be in Heaven!
Sometimes I wish my mom were alive still; other times, I think I have become her. Ha!
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.