Dearest Readers,

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will remember my friend Leanne. She was killed by cancer just a few short months ago. I think of her often, acknowledge her in little ways, say prayers in her name and even speak directly to her. It allĀ  helps.

LastĀ  night she appeared in my dreams. Have you ever had a dream about someone who is dead? It takes a moment to register first that the person is alive before your very eyes and second that he/she really did die in waking life. The sensation is almost impossible to describe.

When Leanne and I met in the dream we were in a classroom surrounded by our high school chums. Not surprising. This is where she and I spent most of our time together. All of a sudden, there she was.

“You’re alive!” I said.

“Yeah,” she said, “I know. It’s pretty amazing.”

She looked amazing. Like she did when we were teenagers: healthy, vibrant, glamorous. In fact, Leanne still had all of these qualities when she was living with cancer. She was as gorgeous as ever.

But in the dream there was something different about her. Despite her radiant beauty there was a stiffness and a puffiness in her face. I have seen bodies that have been embalmed. Her jaw looked somewhat like this.

I’m sorry if that’s morbid. But the unnaturalness in her face kept reminding my conscious self that I was dreaming. Something was not right.

And yet the reunion was celebratory. Leanne was alive! Alive. Incredible. And so real. When I awoke I couldn’t believe it. I got to see her, to speak with her, to be near her again.

Did it really happen? Did she visit me? Can the spirit of a person come to another person through a dream?

Once a friend of mine gave me a card that said, “I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” The quote is by Chuang Tzu, an ancient Chinese Philosopher who may or may not have existed.

The quote, according to Burton Watson, an “accomplished translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry”, references “the Transformation of Things.”

I found this quote when I Googled “the transformation of things”:

“[The butterfly dream] shows that, although in ordinary appearance there are differences between things, in delusions or in dreams one thing can also be another. The transformation of things proves that the differences among things are not absolute.”

In my dreams Leanne is alive. In waking life she is not. The difference between these two truths is not absolute. “Absolute” means “final”.

Leanne’s death was final. And yet not. Wait a minute, am I a butterfly?

Inspiring Message of the Day: Life has so many puzzles and riddles. I cannot solve them all. But I can embrace them. I can embrace the Mystery and be held by its Great Power.