Dream of the dead, a vision of my mother.
When my mother passed in 2005 I had a dream of her, very vivid, to this day I remember it and feel it. It wasn't a memory and it wasn't connected to the world in any way. It was brief, just a vision. She didn't speak. There was nobody else in it, and it feels as if I was called to where she was, not that she came to me. The entire experience is wrapped up in her face, the look on her face, what was communicated in the expression, and the setting.

The setting was an endless hallway or passage, concrete. It was understood that it was underground. There was light from an unknown source so I could see the endlessness in both directions. She was standing against the wall looking at me, standing in front of her. Her facial expression was dire, one of knowledge she could not impart to me aside from her facial expression, but that was of the utmost importance and relevance; the look told me that she knew what was coming, for me, the rest of my family, for the world; it told me she knew where she was, and it was not where she wanted to be, and not where she wanted me to be.

I didn't think about it for a long time, but in my return to the faith, I've started thinking of the dead, wondering when they ended up, praying for them. I have to admit it is hard to believe the dead in my family went straight to heaven, but it seems reasonable to believe my mom made it to Purgatory. It seems reasonable that a version of purgatory could well be an endless concrete passage, alone, with nothing to do but atone for why you're there, and wait.

I don't know why I would've been shown such a thing then, when it only starts to have meaning now, almost 15 years later. I don't know if it was nothing more than a grieving son's unconscious mind. But it was within 24 hours of her death, and the message, if there was one, was not comforting, but rather it was foreboding. What happened to my father and brother since then would fit that silent prediction (both are also dead and definitely not in heaven, at best).

I've started to wonder if I saw my mother in Purgatory, and if the face I saw was a face that knew what she couldn't have known the day before, or ever before, and couldn't tell me; a face that knew that I, too, would also know what she knew, some day, both on Earth in life, and in eternity. A face that wished she'd had faith in the world, because it's true, all of it.

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I think it foolhardy to put too much stock in dreams or visions, except to respond to them in a Catholic manner.

Pray for your family. Have Masses offered. Try to live a life so you can avoid purgatory. That's what you can do, and that's the only thing you can do. 

When we see things extraordinary it should do nothing else but push us towards doing what a Catholic is meant to do as part of his normal spiritual life. If God wants more, he will ask, and clearly so.

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