Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


For several nights a week I have been sleeping in Zach's bed in Zach's old room.  Over the past couple of weeks I have had some dreams.


I am in a funeral home.  It is an old funeral home in Gray, Tennesssee.  In real life I had been there for another funeral a few weeks ago.   In my dream, Zach is in the coffin.   Suddenly he sits up.   He starts looking around with jerky motions like in those zombie movies.   The funeral director is kind of wild-eyed and wild-haired, like the scientist in Back to the Future.  He is holding Zach and says, "Don't worry.  They do this all the time."  

Zach is trying to speak and he looks angry.  He finally says:  "My parents didn't understand my pain."

Then he starts mumbling all kinds of things that don't make any sense.  I realize there is there is nothing there for me and I leave.


In another dream, Zach isn't in it, but I know somehow it is about Zach.  With me is a little girl.  She wants to climb Rapunzel's hair.  But it is more like a hair rope.   The story is really Jack and the Beanstalk.   I tell her it isn't a good idea.  But she starts climbing and I reluctantly climb with her.  I know that if we start this we won't come back because everything is moving up too fast.   Different worlds appear to us.  She enters one and finds herself older, but in the same abusive relationship.   I realize the worlds are the same even as we may be different people in them.


Zach is a baby or maybe one or one and a half.  I am tickling him and saying, "Funny boy, funny boy."  He is laughing that gutteral, "Heh, heh, heh," he used to do.  I feel his body.  His stomach.  The soft skin on his shoulders.  We are happy.  Then I see he needs his diaper changed.   It is filled with tar black poop.   His sister knows where the "Wet Ones" are and I start to clean him up.   I have to clean him up on a white carpet.  It is a big job but I think I finally do it.


This morning I dreamt I was holding him on my lap.  He is about 9 or 10.  I can feel his muscular calves.   He is wearing those red shorts with the black stripe.  I was holding him around  his waist and pleading with him, "Don't leave us Zachy.  Don't leave us.  Please don't leave us."

I wake up crying.


Rob said...

John, your honesty moves me greatly. I have been praying for you since I heard the news, and continue to lift you up in prayer. Just trying to be a brother in Christ in times of struggle, but wish i could do more for you and your family. Love in Christ,
Rob McClelland

brooke r. said...

John - Please know that I'm still here, listening.

Tony and Mike said...

We love you John, Bev and Katy.

Andrew Armstrong said...

I know the pain i felt when i lost my father and I remember when I was at the lowest point just sobbing that i felt a presence and then through the tears i saw these two large arms close around me hugging me and they have never let go. I know that there are no words that anyone can say to make this time any easier, but we all love zach and miss him terribly. but we will all hold him in our hearts as we hold you, bevy, and katy. i look forward to the day i can make the trip over to squish you all in person. we love you! letting our children go is the hardest thing a parent ever as to do. i would never have had the strength if it was not for all of the days and times we all spent together. i learned from the best parents ever in how to deal with letting your children go. i love you and bevy always and forever katy too!

Andrew Armstrong said...

this is tammy not andrew. andrew is the one with a google account

Sea Raven, D.Min. said...

John --

These dreams are a precious record. I hope you are writing them in a special book. Jeremy Taylor -- my personal dreamwork guru -- says all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness. I know this to be true.

Robin said...

Oh, GOD, those dreams. I wonder if they are from some universal archetypal dreamland. I have had the coffin one, and I have had the never-let-go one. Once in awhile I have a good one, but mostly they are terribly dark and unsettling.

Jim Szeyller said...

John, you and I are on opposite sides of the theological spectrum but we are both parents of children we dearly love. My heart beaks for you in your loss. I continue to lift you and your family up in my prayers