I love sunflowers. My first apartment’s living room was covered with them from the window valance to the throw blanket on my couch. I even used Sunflowers purfume when it was in vogue.
It was six years ago last week, a lone sunflower randomly grew in my backyard exactly the day after my good friend Mike died from complications from his leukemia. I didn’t plant it and we had no idea where it came from.
Of course I had my suspicions. It was Mike who had randomly sent me a virtual bouquet of sunflowers one day around 1996. So was it just coincidence? Who knows.
Fast forwarding….I’ve never shared this with anyone but about a month after his funeral, I had a disturbingly vivid dream about him.
I dreamt that my friends and I went on a big camping trip via a big bus. Upon getting home, my parents were there to pick me up. When I got off the bus, I was very upset because Mike with me acting as if everything was ordinary. I must have been the only one who could see him because no one else thought it odd that he was with us either.
I wispered to my parents that I was afraid that Mike did not know that he was dead. Kind of like a Sixth Sense situation if you will. I went on to say to my parents that he shouldn’t be here. Why is he here? I didn’t realize that Mike had heard me.
Suddenly I’m in a basement space. It was probably the one at my parents’ house. It was a finished basement where me and my high school friends spent many a fun night. However, in this dream, it was just me, Mike and another friend of mine. Mike had this peaceful, all-knowing smile on his face. It was that shit-eating grin that my friends and I know so well. I knew right then that he was aware of his sitauation and that he was going to leave.
I begged him not to leave. I cried and begged. He just smiled that grin of his and asked me if I liked my sunflower. Yeah, THAT one. He put his arms around me and gave me a big hug. He was saying good-bye, the one that I never got. I could feel him as if he was really there. I held on tight but I woke up. I was sitting up in my bed with my arms outstretched.
There is some school of thought amongst mediums that the dead visit loved ones in their dreams. Take it for what you will, but I like to think that he really did visit me. And I got my good-bye.
Yeah, it’s been six years but often it doesn’t seem like it. We felt his absence at every subsequent wedding or reunion gathering that we had since. We miss him. I miss him.
This past week it seemed like I ran into sunflowers everywhere, whether it was decor in a restuarant, bouquets of them being sold at farmer’s markets, or planted in someone’s garden. I like to think that he is telling me that he is okay and is thinking of me.
Thank God for the sunflowers.