My childhood friend Christi was killed by a drunk driver at 19 years old. I was 20. I have written about her, our relationship, and the many significant (and less significant) moments concerning how I have processed her death and my loss. I have published almost none. However, I’ve got journals full of thoughts, cries, prayers, dreams, wishes, and imaginings that will never see the light of day.
I made an off-handed remark on a Facebook status update that mentioned Christi. It was a sincere, random thought — very much like what goes through my head all the time. But the comments my Facebook friends made were really surprising. I guess I’ve become progressively isolated from anyone who shared the first-hand experience of that loss with me since the day of her funeral.
I’m not able to put into words my reactions to the comments I recieved. That isolated part of me is touched that others share my continued sense of loss. But there are also thousands of things that I wish I could share with those who sparked my memories.
Since her death, I have regularly dreamt of Christi sitting down with me to chat. Usually, we’re having a Sprite-Cookies & Cream float, but the older I get, the more “normal” the drinks get. For a long time, we met over coffee. Then tea. Then, there were no beverages. In my last Christi dream, we were seated at a table, but it was the intense conversation I remember and not the environment. In these dreams, we catch up on life.
I’ve always sort of known that dreaming of my dearest childhood friend was a way of coping with the loss. But I’ve also always felt a very strong conviction that those dreams were not just for me. I fully believe that every one of her visits were supportive, helpful, and strategic blessings. To be blunt: Girlfriend is still there for me when I need her, even beyond death.