The Driving Dream

By Keith's Sister, Cindy

 

I was visiting my friend in D.C. in July, a few months after Keith had died. I had been thinking about him a lot during this trip, and feeling sad. But the long drive back from a beach in Delaware was especially difficult, as it gave me a long stretch of uninterrupted time to think about his death.

That night, exhausted from the long day, I fell asleep quickly and deeply. I had a dream that I was in the back seat of a car again, on a long trip again. Just as before, I was crying and crying, and feeling inconsolably sad. I was thinking about Keith, and thinking how he was gone forever. I was looking out the car window, at all the birds and the fields and the buildings and the cars, and all I could think was how Keith would never see any of this again, how it was all over for him now. And how it was all over for me too, how I would never have him as a brother again, and I would never be able to have a beer and talk to him about this trip.

As I thought these things, I felt a deep emptiness opening up inside of me, like a vacuum. I was going over and over all the same things that I'd been thinking about since my parent's phone call telling me Keith was dead. I wondered how this unbelievable thing could possibly be true. I wondered why Keith would ever think to kill himself, after seeming so happy in life. And I wondered where Keith was now, that is, if he even existed in any form anymore. I kept crying and crying and felt like I couldn't stop myself from crying.

Just then I realized that Keith was sitting in front of me and driving. He must have heard me crying and, without turning around, he reached his right hand back through the two front seats. As if by instinct, I immediately reached out and locked my fingers with his. Our hands fit together perfectly with only our fingers touching: curled and locked together.

As soon as I touched his hand, the most amazing change happened. I was immediately overcome by a feeling of peace as deep as my recent feelings of despair. All my questions and all my sorrows were completely washed away.

The dream continued on for awhile after this, with nothing else happening. Keith just continued to drive and the two of us continued to hold hands in silence (Keith never even turned around to look at me). But this experience of infinite peace, more intense than anything I've ever felt in waking life, continued to hold me completely. I felt a profound comfort and I had no other thoughts.

When I woke up, I wished that I could hold onto that sensation forever. Of course I couldn't. But I like to try and remember, so I wrote down this dream.