I thought I was dead. Really.

Some of you know I was seriously ill in January, a combination of pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. I hesitate to write about this experience because it is so personal. But Mindful Midweek is a relationship I take seriously and I approach this with a sense of obligation. I hope this candid message will bring you peace of mind. And I’ll bet a few of you have experienced a similar revelation.

It is late in the evening of January 7th and I am drifting in and out of consciousness. I refuse to go to the hospital. I want to be around my stuff, feel my sheets, hear the dogs bark.

My eyes close and I’m walking on an abandoned dirt road. It’s dark and quiet. I see the flowing lights of a busy highway. I know I’ve been on it for a lifetime, but now this highway appears so distant, so inaccessible. At the moment, I don’t seem to care.

I have faith there is a comfortable lodge ahead, with a room I’ve already paid for. I just need to find it in all this darkness.

A wind pushes me forward. I’m not afraid, even as I feel the sting of ugly things I have done, the sorrows I have caused others, the self-indulgent acts, all the screwups and coverups. I don’t shy from the pain. It’s bearable but oh so real.

Then up ahead I see the glow from the lodge. The sting leaves and is replaced by soothing thoughts: my awkward acts of love, my flawed but earnest work stretched over a lifetime, my compassion for others who were hurting, my little daily adventures played for the joy of just being in the game. I think I am smiling as I walk toward the glow.

But now I hear the dogs bark again. I feel my sheets. I awake to see my stuff on the walls, on the dresser and scattered around the floor. I’m still home.

So why do I wish to share this dream with you? I figure, after the jagged life I’ve led, one with so many flawed moments, if I could feel the warmth and peacefulness of a room just ahead, things are really looking up for the rest of you.