I wish it were a grander dream.

I wish it had taken up the whole night.

But it was only a moment, a quick flash of a scene.

We were all in the Airstream trailer. He was sitting across from me in a fleece vest on a bench seat.

(That should have been my first clue. He couldn’t possibly have been on that seat.

But he was.)

What could I do? I just stared at him. His perfect beard was back! And he was glowing, just utterly glowing. Not unlike an angel, but more like a flesh-and-blood best friend who had just learned all the secrets of the world.

He stood up and it took no effort at all, no help from his husband, not even a little push off the armrest. His legs were sturdy, his cheeks flushed, his eyes bright and full of life.

His smile was wonderful. It made me hear his voice again, even though (in true Patrick form) he wasn’t talking.

In the dream, I didn’t know how special the moment was. It was just another moment, which I guess is what makes it so special now.

When Patrick got up, we all got up. It was clear it was time to go.

And, though we didn’t fixate on our friend, he was doing something to us — sending a gushing wave of love into our hearts. (It had to be him!)

I could tell we all felt it by the depth of our goodbyes. That was the gift: closeness.

We gave each other those extended chest-to-chest, cheek-to-cheek embraces, the long slow ones that signify, perhaps inaccurately but beautifully nonetheless, that everything will be alright.