Although I experienced loss (my parents) at a young age, I really didn't know anyone close to me that would die until much later. My first experience was at age 17 when a high school friend died in a car accident. Prior to that it was my pets that came and went that taught me about the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. Now that I am older, however, deaths of both human and animals that I know (friends and colleagues) and love (close friends, family, and beloved pets) is happening more and more frequently.
When I have lost someone I realize that they are gone for good; they've left the planet and no longer exist in bodily form. It really affects me as I know it does anyone who experiences loss. Just like wishing I could go back in time to when my girls were babes in my arms, I often wish there was a time machine so I could go back and reconnect with lost loved ones.
When that show Quantum Leap was on, I so wanted it to be true that we had the ability to time travel. But I realize that we all do have the ability, just not in the way that Hollywood or H.G. Wells have portrayed it. My time machine (and yours) is in our head. It's called dreaming.
I received a text this morning from a friend who said she had a dream about her long-lost beloved pet, a Pomeranian she adored that crushed her when she'd died. It reminded me of the dreams I have with my grandmother, the woman who was my mother-substitute; yes – when I awake I realize it was just a dream, but for a time I was really with her. We talked, did things together, and shared space together just like we did when she was alive.
I have never had a dream about my mom and dad because I was so young when they died that I have no memories. But I have vivid dreams of so many others that have come and gone in my life. I am so grateful to have those stored memories so I can revisit Nancy, the friend who died at age 17; Maya, the terrier that gave me so much cuddling joy; and Elizabeth Montgomery, who I never met in person but who made an impact in my young life (I wanted her to be my mom!).
Yes, time travel is possible, when we are asleep everyone we love is alive!