The Return of Aaron

Last night Aaron Marrs was alive again.

Aaron was a really good friend of mine who worked at Gotee Records with me in Nashville. He was an aspiring filmmaker who had traveled to Alaska to make a documentary on deep-sea crab fishermen. He then joined the crew for a season to earn money to finance the making of his film. It was nearly three years ago when his ship was lost at sea and Aaron went down with it. I blogged about his death in my old blog and when I look back on that entry now, it seems uncharacteristically short. One of those cases where there’s so much to say you don’t even make the attempt because you know you won’t be able to capture it all, no doubt.

Since his death I’ve only had one other dream about him. It was December 2006 when that dream came to me and I blogged about it as well. In that dream Aaron was encouraging me to pursue my dreams and goals (i.e., comedy). The dream left me inspired and motivated for the new year.

Last night I dreamt of Aaron again only this time the message wasn’t nearly as clear. In the dream I was a new employee at a big corporation and was being given the orientation tour. Jerusha, a friend who also worked at Gotee and was very close to Aaron as well, was also there as a new hire. As the group of hirees walked through the halls I told Jerusha about our other friends at Gotee and how a lot of them are all working together again at a new record label (which, in real life, is true).

Then, at the end of the hall, I saw Aaron. He was talking with someone else and my heart began to race. I approached him and he smiled at me and said, “Hey.”

Aaron looked a little different. He was always a heavyset guy and the last time I saw him he had a thick bushy fisherman’s beard (nothing like the clean-shaven Aaron that appears in the beginning of my Golgotha video). In my dream he was about 50 pounds lighter and looked healthy. He even seemed a bit taller and he had a full head of hair (something that would surely make Aaron laugh).

I wanted to touch his hand and see if he was real or if I was just imagining the whole thing. I went back and forth with whether or not I should and finally couldn’t help myself. I reached out and touched one of his hands really quickly; he pulled away, laughing. “Hey, hey,” he said, “That’s a little weird.”

I laughed too but it didn’t make me any less incredulous. “What are you doing here? I thought you were dead.”

At this point Aaron smiled again and his eyes got watery. “I told my parents, they know. But no one else does.”

The first person I thought of was Brad, another close friend of Aaron’s. Brad had to know. Brad would have told me if he knew. And if he didn’t know, he should.

“I won’t tell anyone,” I said, betraying Brad in my dream.

And then I woke up and the dream was gone. I tried desperately to fall back asleep to somehow jump back in, but to no avail.

So what does it all mean? I don’t know. The message, if there even is one, wasn’t nearly as clear this time around.

I thought it odd that I dreamt about him again almost exactly a year after my first dream that had such a positive impact on me. I hadn’t thought of Aaron in a while, so it was odd that he would come to me in my sleep.

Maybe the fact that in my dream Aaron looked better was a sign of how we often hero-ize people in their passing. With Aaron, though, I don’t think that was the case. He really was a good guy.

I told Sarah about the dream and she asked if I thought Aaron was trying to contact me. I don’t think so; I don’t think it works like that. I have nothing to back up my claim but I think once you’re in heaven, you don’t really come back to hang out here and pass on messages (sorry, John Edward). But that’s not to say that God couldn’t use my memory of Aaron to encourage me or impart wisdom.

Or, of course, it could have just been a dream. Something I ate. Like Scrooge talking to the ghost of Jacob Marley, “there’s more of gravy than of grave about you.”

So there you have it. My dream last night that made me feel warm and fuzzy when I woke up but then mostly puzzled shortly after. I don’t know what it means and won’t pretend like I do. Your hints and suggestions are welcome, as always.

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3 comments

  1. Ed, You are right. Aaron was a great guy. And when I have dreams like that I consider it a gift. How blessed we are that we can have an experience with someone that has passed that is so real we can feel them, smell them everything. God is such an amazing God that He allows us to feel the presence of, through dreams, those who are no longer on earth with us.

  2. I find dreams so fascinating. When in college i read a lot on the subject in relation to symbolism in different cultures, and one of the thinkers I really enjoyed was Carl Jung. My mom has had a similar dream to yours, a few years after my brother died. He appeared healthier and happier – had a glow about him, and when my Mom exclaimed with joy “what have you been up to?” he replied with a beatific smile: “growing more divine!” She woke up with such a sense of joy and peace. I second Andrea’s thought on the amazing blessings of God.

    My hint/suggestion – take the dream in its completeness, don’t focus on particular, small aspects, because they won’t make logical sense on their own. A dream is a huge metaphor for what we are experiencing in life, and can be God’s way of showing us things that He wants us to know. IE: big new corporation may have to do with you being in a new place, meeting new people. Connecting with old friends may be a way of coping with that. And Aaron’s presence may just be God’s way of reminding you that He is with you in this new situation – (“yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil…”) and will bring you through it, even unto eternal life.

  3. I think once someone like Aaron has entered your life, he never truly ever goes away. I remember, it could be days or weeks or months between us spending time together and Aaron had a way of making me feel like we hadn’t miss one day. That’s just him. The time between our visit and our next visit might be awhile longer than usual, but the result is still the same.

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