“Methought I heard a voice cry, 'Sleep no more!”

A couple weeks ago I wrote about a dream in which I experienced my eminent death from a nuclear explosion. The dream was so realistic that I questioned if the experience was an accurate portrayal of how I might react to a similar experience in real life.

Last night I had a dream that someone poisoned my cat, Owen. I knew that he was dying, and as I took him in my arms, I wished and hoped that when he died, he would somehow be reunited with his best friend, Jack, who we lost last summer. Despite my lack of faith in a higher being and my belief that death leads only to oblivion, I was ferocious in my wish that he and Jack would find each other once again, and this brought tears streaming down my face, both in my dream as well as the real world.

Seeing the panic in his eyes, I told Owen that he would see Jack soon, and that the two of them would play once again, even though I doubted this with every fiber of my being. But as I said it, I felt Owen relaxed in my arms. He calmed, breathed easily, and passed away without as much as a tussle.

Is this the essence of religion? A wish? A hope? A less-than-truthful assurance of a future to someone facing the dark?

No wonder I hate to sleep. Dreams like this suck the life out of me.