On February 2 last year, my only brother died of ALS. On February 3 this year, I dreamt that he, my sister, and I were young children again, cleaning the kitchen in my parents’ home as we waited for them to return from vacation.

As we cleaned, I looked out the window and saw my brother, looking as healthy as he did before his diagnosis, driving down the driveway.

Even in the dream, I knew that he was dead and that the disease had robbed him of the ability to drive long before he died. I knew, and yet I was filled with the certitude that he was again alive.

I rushed out the front door, shouting, “It’s Brian!”

But when I got to the driveway, there was no car. No Brian.

I fell to my knees, sobbing, heartstruck. That feeling . . . you know that feeling if you’ve ever lost a loved one.

My mother emerged from the house behind me, placed her hand on my left shoulder, and said, “It’s like that sometimes.”

I woke and lay in the darkness, newly griefstricken.


This week my mother’s doctor told her she could die at any moment because her aortic valve has become so narrow. She is scheduled for heart surgery on February 23.

What do you think?