Thursday, March 29, 2012


I am greedy for dreams about Jonah.  Each night I fall asleep hoping for an impromptu midnight reunion with my dear child.  I long for a chance to play with him, and to see his face again.  I crave the false and momentary reality of a dream.

Some nights I try to manipulate my potential dreams.  I read once that you can control the content of your dreams by focusing intently on your desired subject as you drift off to sleep.  As a teenager, I remember focusing all of my brain power on Christian Slater (I know...a little embarrassing).  It didn't work then, and it doesn't seem to work now.  Jonah is the sole subject of my heart and mind each night as a lay in bed, and yet my dreams are missing him, as much as my arms. 

Just after Jonah died I had a handful of recurring dreams.  They were the kind of dreams that feel powerful and important when you wake up, but seem impossible to explain as the day progresses.  In each dream I was in a different location, doing random things, buying tortilla chips at the store, or swimming in Hawaii.  I was completely aware that Jonah was dead, his passing was an underlying truth of my strange reality.  In each dream a similar conversation emerged. A friend would approach me and express sympathy about Jonah's death.  Then I would say casually, "Oh, it's okay...he is not dead anymore.  I know we had a funeral, and buried him, but it has been three days, and he is here with me again.  He is okay."  I remember the joy I felt in this revelation as a pointed to a whole and perfect Jonah.  I remember feeling so glad that I could put my friend's mind at ease.  I remember feeling astonished by the message.  "He's alive, it has been three days."

I know dreams are weird.  I'm sure my poor overloaded mind was trying to process the trauma of losing Jonah.  I understand the psychology of it all, but these dreams still feel significant to me.  It feels as if the idea of resurrection is unquestionable to my subconscious mind, as if it is a given, and there is no alternative. Yet at the same time my fully conscious mind has unending questions.  Resurrection is an audacious claim.  Can I really believe that I will see Jonah again, in his beautiful body?  There is part of me that leans towards the safety of skepticism.  And part of me that just wants to understand.  Not in a theological sense, but in a practical sense.  I want to know how it works.

While my Freudian mind churns, I recognize that my soul is drawn to believe in a resurrection.  Today I was inspired by the angular daffodil leaves slicing upward through our rocky garden soil.  Six months ago, my friend Vanessa brought these bulbs to my home.  We buried them together, during some of my darkest hours, with a shared hope for brighter days.  And now they have emerged, as new life, full of beauty.  When I saw their color I remembered that all things testify of Christ.

I will always have questions, and I don't expect to attain a perfect understanding in this life.  But I trust the compass of my soul, and as winter fades to spring the message of the resurrection resonates within me.  My hope is renewed as the days get longer, and as light fills my home.

I will continue to ponder the beauty of my sweet Jonah, now gone six months, and two seasons.  I will continue to try to lure him into my dreams.  But even if we do not reunite in our twilight hours, I will hold fast to the idea that reunion will come.  It will follow the winter, just as surely as the spring.

                                           One of my favorite messages on the resurrection.


  1. I had some luck controlling my dreams as a teenager...I liked to dream of dancing with whichever cute boy had my fancy at the time. :o)

    When my grandpa died when I was five, I remember thinking that it wasn't really that sad, because he'd be alive again in three days. I remember I didn't tell anyone this, and just kind of watched and waited to see what happened. When it didn't happen, I didn't understand how this whole resurrection thing was supposed to work.


  2. I thought about you all day yesterday. Sometimes I feel like if I just go back to bed, time will stop moving or I will wake up and everything will be back to how it is supposed to be. I miss Jonah. I think about him all the time. I am sure he is lighting up heaven the way he could light up a room here but I can't help but want things to be different. Since I can't push a rewind button, I want to push the fast forward...

  3. This is a beautiful post!! Thanks for your inspiration!!!
    Melissa Robertson

  4. Julie, I was just praying about the resurrection the other day. I came across this scripture in Alma:40 starting in verse 1, Now my son (insert my Julie), here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead. Verse 3, nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know- that is concerning the resurrection. Verse 4, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead.
    I know that it is true and I just found this chapter so comforting. I love you... I miss Jonah every day!

  5. Watching "Tree of Life" this week I was reawakened yet again to the soul-filling sorrow of missing Jonah. My breath haults, my chest freezes, my heart swells painfully; it is dangerously deep. Then, with the miracle of the reality that Jonah lived, my breath continues.