Looking back I have to wonder if it was a dream or if it was real. Let's say it felt very real. I've been hugged by many people in my life, but not like that. It definitely had a sense of "forever" about it. And the fact it came from my dead father only made it more meaningful.
Dad took sick in 1999 and spent the rest of his life struggling to deal with his health issues; he died in February 2001. He was a usually stout, independent man who prided himself in taking care of others. When he was reduced to a mere shell of his former self, my heart went out to him, but to me he was still my faithful protector.
After he died, a bit of me died, too. I missed him so much. I had seen him nearly everyday and knew his time was running out. I hate to admit it but I wanted to run away from what was coming. It hurt so much. Then a few weeks after he passed away, I had the most vivid dream (?) I have ever had.
I was sitting at a table with two chairs in a white room with no windows, only a door. At first, I wondered why I was there. I didn't have a clue where I was. I wanted to leave, but all of a sudden the door opened and my Dad walked in, dressed in the clothes he was buried in. Time stood still for a moment. He walked over to the table and sat down. It was wonderful to see him again. He looked like his old self, not frail from his ordeal. He smiled at me and I felt happy. I said, "I wish I was with you." He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "No you don't."
No other words were spoken. He got up from the table. I knew he had to go. I walked around to him and he hugged me so hard I thought my ribs would break. It was the best feeling in the world. I didn't want to let go and when I did, I was lying in my bed.
I looked around the room, but he wasn't there. My body could still feel the squeeze from his arms. I thought about what he meant to me and that I was so glad he let me know what I meant to him.