a dream that I had....

I find myself at the cemetery for my friend Erik's burial...everyone
is there, but I'm standing under a tree, away from where they all
stand, just dazing  listening to the sound of bagpipes far in the
distance (probably another funeral, I thought)  But then I'm
startled...this guy comes over to me and asks me why I'm all the way
over here. (At first I didn't, but then I recognized him from the
wake.  He had been standing there with Eriks mother, so I thought he
was family) I asked him if he was and he said he was a friend of the
family.  Then, I told him that up til then, I thought I was dreaming
because it seemed like nobody could see me and how I wished if it was
a dream.  He told me he knew exactly how I felt.  He introduced
himself as Richard, and I told him my name, but he said that Erik had
spoken to him of me and that he knew who I was.(I got the chills)  So
he kept me company and we watched as they buried him and his mother
and sisters started hysterically crying...and at this point the lump
in my thoat felt so big that it hurt, and I looked down to the ground.
 He put his hand on my shoulder, and I turned and gave him a hug (I
desperately needed one, it was too much to hold in) and he hugged me
back just as tight as I had and didn't let go til I did. (he kind of
reminded me of what a father would be like to hug and I felt unusual
confort from him...I don't normally go hugging people I don't know) My
eyes were closed tight and when I opened them, everyone was getting
into their cars and leaving.  So I told Richard that I wanted to walk
home (even tho its insanely far from where I live and it end up taking
me a few days, but I guess I wasn't thinkin') and he said he'd walk
with me.  So, we're walking, and he's telling me about some of the
things that Erik told him about me and he had me cracking up after a
while of an exchange of sillie stories, but next thing I know, we're
walking along the beach (Long Beach) and I guess we must've left our
shoes somewhere 'cause we were barefoot...oh well.(I thought) And I
feel the cool sand beneath my feet and I  can smell the ocean air...I
look up and the sky is as beautiful as ever.  The sun is setting and
the sky is painted with shades of orange, purples, pinks, bright
blues, and sun is shinning thru the scattered clouds...we stand and
watch the sky change colors in awe.  Then, for some strange reason, I
have this urge to cry...so I walk a couple of feet in front of him and
 go over by the water to cry a little.  And I guess he knew 'cause he
came over and handed me a tissue, and said something about blowing
buggers or something and I half laughed half cried.  And as he stood
by me and we talked about Erik's death and I told him how it makes me
feel and how I couldn't cry, the lump I felt in my thought, how it
shouldn't have been him it should've been me.....He listened and
conforted me by telling me how its going to be hard, but he'll always
be with me, he's in a better place now, and I shouldn't think such
things, because it'd be just as tragic....
And I turn to face him, and now he has tears running down his
cheeks...and all of the sudden a bright light shines on us from behind
me and he goes to shield his teary eyes and as he lifts his arm, his
suit sleve moves up a bit and I see the tatoo...It was the tatoo with
"God's Presents" and the globe thing towards the wrist.  I fell back
and landed sitting on the sand, and I looked at his face with this
bright light shinning on it as he held out his hand to help me up, and
once I got up I saw that it was him...and I started to say something
"shannon?" and he squeezed my hand and blinked one eye and smiled.

And that was it.  My two of my cats got in to my room and woke me up
while they ran across me.  I couldn't believe that it was a
dream...started crying, said a prayer for Erik and shannon, wrote it
down and tryed to go back to sleep, but I couldn't.  Even now as I
write it down for you to read, I can remember how the ocean felt, and
how real everything was.