A Visit From A Dead Friend
The title may shock you, but he would have loved it.
“I love you and I miss you so much.” I said.
He spoke, his voice soft like a whisper, “I love you too.”
I could feel his hands on my back and his back in my hands. So real was the warmth of his neck against my cheek.
Outside there was a large crowd. George stood atop some sort of scaffolding. The people were climbing to reach him. Everyone was dressed in white, not a “hurt your eyes kind of white” but a soft, warm, cream color white, the kind of color easy to look at. Everything seemed to glow with light. So many were there to see him. I couldn’t tell if we had come to him or he had come to us. It didn’t matter. We were all together after too long apart.
Then I woke up.
I sat up in the bed and looked around. I was a little shocked and disappointed to find it was only a dream.
I went to the kitchen to brew some coffee. As happens sometimes, our fancy coffee maker malfunctioned. Hot coffee and grounds poured out all over the counter top. As I cleaned up the mess, my mind, still reeling from the intensity of my dream, I wondered aloud, “Well, George, what did you think of Lady Gaga’s performance at the Super Bowl yesterday?” Out of habit, I then reached for my phone to check Facebook. Not that George’s reaction to the Super Bowl Half Time Show would be there but I figured the rest of the world might have had something to say about it overnight and I was curious.
I logged in and right off the bat Facebook did as Facebook does these days and brought up a memory. To my amazement it was a photo of George together with our family. It was taken when he blessed our marriage on the occasion of our 10th wedding anniversary.
Just then I received a text from my sister, Jane. It was a video link to a new Reba Macintyre song called, Back to God. No kidding, I thought.
As I listened I wondered, “George, what do you think about the state of our world right now… about all the strange stuff going on? And by the way, could you please do something about it?” In my heart all he really said, as he touched his fingers to his brow and shook his head was; “Wow. Just wow.”
I talked with my sister Jane for a while when another sister beeped in. I merged the calls hoping she had good news to report about her seemingly never ending job hunt. After months and months of prayers without ceasing we were so happy to hear, “I got the job.” I thought to myself, I wonder if George had anything to do with this? I knew I had asked for his help. Maybe everything was finally going to fall in to place. Maybe he really was interceding for us.
I hung up the phone and said, “George, if you had anything to do with this, thanks.”
Then, suddenly, it hit me. What day is it? Answering my own question by looking at the calendar, It’s February 6th, 2017. I wondered, when did George die? I had to Google his obituary to confirm. In fact, it was today. Three years ago today, February 6th, 2014. Unbelievable. Wow. Just wow.
My dream felt like deep grief. I felt it in my gut. I didn’t realize I carried so much. At first I thought, maybe I should blog about this. On second thought, maybe it’s too sad a topic. Then a third thought came to me, it’s okay to grieve. I have been reminded that grief doesn’t end it just changes. It ebbs and flows with life. I was deeply consoled by the opportunity to see and feel the presence of my dear friend. I am so thankful and inspired to continue this walk of faith toward eternity.
Dear God, Thank you for the opportunity to see my friend and to feel him present.
Dear Fr. George,
Thank you for being there for all of us. You see things from the other side now. If you can, please continue to intercede for us and ask God to show us the way to go.
I felt you laugh when I came up with the title for this story. You continue to bring joy even in death.
Thanks and I love you.
Below you will find the YouTube video for; White Collar Blues. It's a little song I wrote for Fr. George for the 25th Anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood. It features the fantastic harmonica stylings of Greg McManus and the enthusiasm of a great crowd at Ilahee Hills Country Club.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2/6/2017 07:42:49 pm
Oh my, Julie your blog has touched me in so many wonderful ways. Thank you. God bless you.
2/6/2017 10:00:00 pm
Thanks mom. I love you so.
2/6/2017 09:04:10 pm
As always Julie, your words are inspiring and touching. I'm so happy you had this memory and moment today. I will tell you, I always take something away from your blog, writing and songs that make a difference in my life and helps through tough days...thank you for that!
2/6/2017 09:59:19 pm
Bless you, Dawn. I love you.
2/6/2017 11:45:21 pm
He was the best, and I loved him, too, for his goodness and realness. He officiated at so many of the special occasions of my family, including the marriage of my daughter, Rory, and also niece Katy Burrell and Megan Burrell, and the funeral of my brother, Bill Burrell, and the memorial for my brother, Brent. He was always there for us. He baptized my grandson, Harrison, and it was one of his very last official celebrations as a priest. How I miss him, as do we all.
2/8/2017 05:54:54 am
Wow, Shelley. So many powerful moments. George had a way of making it ALL good. Bless you and your entire family.
2/7/2017 05:29:35 pm
You both were there on a very social day I will hold dear to my heart until infinity. ⛪️👨👩👧👦
2/8/2017 05:57:19 am
That was an awesome day... made extra special by a great human and a wonderful priest. Congratulations again!
2/8/2017 06:31:29 am
Julie you're one of my visions of joyful living. Such blessings in my life astound me and yes, bring me to my knees. Thanks be for you. I love you.
2/8/2017 01:05:09 pm
Julie I have chills up and down my entire body! This was such a gift from God and your sweet Fr. George! Loved it! What a blessing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Love ya girly!!!!
2/9/2017 06:52:29 am
Beautifully written! There are no coincidences, only Godincidences. Yes, Fr. George is with you in spirit.
2/9/2017 07:30:29 am
I loved it Julie! Fr. George is always in my heart and prayers. He is so missed!
P. Arturo Francisco Herrera González
2/9/2017 07:39:19 am
Gracias a Dios por tener al padre George entre nosotros un buen tiempo y ahora en la eternidad. Animo querida comunidad, iglesia y familia, tenemos un pastor que nos cuida desde el cielo. P. Pancho
2/9/2017 07:42:22 am
God is in the all of the small details of life and so much comfort to know we will all be together again..your a gift Julie..
2/9/2017 09:46:53 am
Dreams like that fill me with hope. Thanks for sharing. Love and blessings. Kathy
2/9/2017 10:29:48 am
Thank you, Julie, for the joy of seeing Fr. George again. I still miss him, too. He touched all of us in so many ways.
2/9/2017 10:56:23 am
This is the first of, I'm sure many to follow, of your blogs that I have read and wow- you have such a gift! I have a Fr George very near and dear to my heart - he married us (twice - we renewed our vows) and baptized both my children and they have received all sacraments from him as well... what a blessing in my life! thanks for waking me up to all of this! You're the best!
2/9/2017 12:41:09 pm
Julie you and George are such a blessing to all of us You bring bak so many good memories of George. I always appreciate your wonderful spiritual thoughts. Thanks you so much for sharing.
2/10/2017 04:56:56 pm
Good stuff Sis! It was good to hear the white collar blues again too.
2/10/2017 06:27:29 pm
Hi Julie, I've been sad a lot lately. This post lifted my spirits and pointed me in the right direction. You're cool like that.
2/12/2017 11:33:31 am
Thanks for sharing Julie! It was nice to go down memory lane. He was such an amazing man and he is truly missed! If you talk to him again, tell him we all miss him!!! :)
I did not know this man, but listening to this and hearing about him had the same result here that it must have had on people around him in that it left me with a warm glow of love as it lit the room with a light that even now shines so brightly as well as in a life, and in so doing brings faith to my heart in bringing home to me and reminding me of the love of Jesus for us all.
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