“Tis strange, – but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!”
~ George Gordon Byron, Don Juan
*Please note that I have changed the names below to protect the privacy of those involved.
I dreamt the oddest dream the other night. It was one of those dreams so rich in detail – the sounds, the smells, the textures and emotions – that it might have been real. Me, transposed into some other reality through the mechanism of my dream.
I sat beside Ben in a big white American-style utility. We were in heavy traffic in an unfamiliar city, my husband behind the wheel and me looking all around at the buildings and the many lanes that were converging on a five-ways. As we began to merge I saw a vehicle towing a closed in trailer cut across the lanes to reach an exit on the other side of the road. A semi was bearing down upon them. I knew there wasn’t enough time. The truck hit the car and trailer, pushing them along and into other traffic.
Ben began to take evasive action as time slowed down. I was aware of every detail. There seemed an abundance of time and yet so little to be done. The crunching, grinding sound was sickening. I was sure that we would become part of the unfolding accident. Sure we would be badly injured or killed. My heart raced at the truly chaotic and terrifying scene.
Suddenly it was over. Our car was safely stopped. The truck and other cars were stopped. Debris was everywhere. People came running from all directions. I flung open my door, assaulted by the smell of burning brakes, rubber, metal and fuel. On the asphalt ahead of us was a small boy. His shirt and jacket were shredded, and he had an open wound in his chest. He was crying out for his mother, over and over. Mum, mum, mum.
I dropped down beside him, picked him up and cradled him in my arms, frantically looking around for some help. His blood was soaking my shirt. I pressed my fingers into the wound, trying to staunch the flow, and the boy looked up at me.
‘Am I dying?’ he asked. ‘It hurts.’
His voice didn’t sound like a child’s. He spoke with the voice of a man.
I somehow knew the truth, that yes, he was dying. I nodded yes.
‘I’m frightened,’ he said. He started to cry. ‘I knew I shouldn’t have taken my bike out today.’
I’m still dreaming, I thought to myself. I’m not really here.
Beyond us I saw a badly damaged motorbike on the ground. I looked down again and it was no longer a little boy, but a man whose head and chest were on my lap as I cradled him in my arms.
‘Mum,’ the man said. He squeezed my hand hard. ‘Thanks for coming. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ve screwed everything up.’
‘I’m not your mother,’ I managed to say.
‘I know,’ he said. ‘My mother is already passed. My name is Andy. Andy Little.’ Bubbles of blood were coming out of his mouth.
I held Andy’s hand and stroked his hair. I whispered to him to not be afraid. That it would all be okay.
A woman in white walked towards us through the smoke and debris. ‘I’ll take him now,’ she said. I looked down and Andy’s eyes had glazed. The woman was gone. Andy was dead.
I woke up crying.
The dream stayed with me, and I couldn’t let it go. It affected me so strongly that I vomited. My head ached all day and I felt exhausted and disoriented. I offered up prayers for Andy, and held space for him in my meditations.
Finally, days later, I decided to google the name. Andy Little had been killed in a multiple vehicle accident at around the time of my dream, in a city on the other side of the world. He had been riding a motorbike. His photo matched the face of the man from my dream.
He had no next of kin.
I still feel so sad. I can’t explain it. Was it a dream? Was I there? What does it all mean? I do know that Andy is with his mum now, and for him, everything will be okay.
This life of mine is so strange at times. I hope that in some way, energetically, I was there and was able to offer Andy comfort as he passed. To think that gives me a measure of comfort too.