I don’t have many dreams about Irina. In general, I fall asleep with difficulty and sleep poorly. When I wake up, I have a feeling that I did see her, but I can’t remember the dream. In all this time, I have had only a couple of vivid dreams that I remembered.
The first one was exactly two weeks after the attack.
I was waiting for her, and she wasn’t coming, and when she finally came, I scolded her for not telling me she would be gone. I was at Vika’s, she said.
You could call, I said.
I’m sorry, Mom, she said.
Are you staying now? I asked.
I have to leave again, she said. I just stopped by so you wouldn’t worry.
Then in another two weeks, I had another dream of her, but a less vivid one. I remember her voice, I remember talking to her, but I couldn’t see her face — only her legs.
She was seated in the armchair, with her legs stretched across the coffee table. Look what a good job I did shaving my legs, she said. I brushed her leg — true, it was smooth, but then I saw a cut and a Band-Aid. Not that good, I said; you cut yourself.
I only had one dream of Simona, thirty days after the explosion. She was exactly the way she had been alive, except she was wearing a green sweater.
Someone rang the doorbell. For some reason, in the dream, my intercom had a small TV screen; I looked and I saw Simona downstairs. It’s me, she said, please open the door, just don’t tell anybody.
And then I woke up.
A couple of days before the attack Alena said she had had a dream that her friend Catrin and she fell into a pit filled with mud. It was sticky, and it took them a long time to get out, and “I got out and Catrin didn’t,” she said. “Watch out,” I told her, “and tell Catrin to be careful, too.” And there you have it: one survived, and the other one didn’t.
At first, I had nightmares all the time: blood, bodies, torn limbs. But lately I don’t have any dreams. And Diaz never shows up in my dreams.
I have dreams sometimes. At first, I dreamed that Arabs were killing my girlfriend. Now I dream of things that took place before. How we used to go for walks, study at school — Yevgenia comes to me in my dreams.
After the attack, when I was in Thoracic Surgery, my biggest dream was that I would get out in a week, and Simona and I would just hug, because of what we had gone through. I didn’t know Simona had died — they wouldn’t tell me.
It will not happen, unfortunately. But I dream of her. In my dreams, she is always joyful.
I had a dream where we were celebrating a birthday in a disco — again in a disco! Or in another dream, she left on a faraway trip, and we were about to meet, but she said she had to go back to that place. I often have a dream where I do something good, and then it turns out badly. For example, I would be on a swing, laughing — and then suddenly I would fall down and get hurt.
I dreamed of Irina after the funeral.
I dreamed I cooked her an early breakfast before school. And she said, her eyes big with surprise: Mom, you know I’m not hungry!
Another dream was, I was looking for Irina in an office building with many rooms and hallways. I was dressed hastily, just a raincoat; and I felt I’m going to pieces. I looked in the mirror: my hair stood on end. I should stop, I thought, or I’d lose my mind. But I kept on running till I ran into an old man all dressed in white. Did you see my daughter Irina? I asked. I can’t find her. He didn’t say anything, just kept staring at me. And then I woke up.
When I ask her, she shows up in my dreams. I never dream of her as an adult, I always see her as a little girl that I take care of. All this time I realize she is alive, and I rejoice. And then I wake up and realize that it’s not so.
My daughters made fun of me and called me a witch because I saw prophetic dreams. Before something happens, I would see it in a dream.
I didn’t see a dream about Yulia specifically, but I saw a prophetic dream before the attack. It’s just that her name wasn’t in it.
In my dream, my house was full of Ashkenazi rabbis in black hats and long black coats. We have come to take her, they said.
It was a mere few days before the tragedy.
The night we came home from the funeral we went to bed very late, about two at night. Before that, we stayed awake for a long time, almost three days. Even when I went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep for a long time, because every time I closed my eyes I would see her face.
Although I want to see her very much, she does not come to me in my dreams after the tragedy. Religious people say the reason I don’t see her is that I kissed her after she died. I don’t know if it’s true or not . . .
Sveta (Yulia’s sister):
I had one dream. We were all sitting at home, and suddenly Yulia showed up as if nothing had happened. But you died, I said. No, she said, it wasn’t me, it was someone else. It’s just what you thought. And we started laughing, because she always laughed. I showed her a little corner Mom and Dad had created in her memory, with her picture and a lit candle . . . And she kept laughing . . . I felt very sick after that dream.
I dream of Mariana sometimes. But never as an adult. I always see her as a child, the way she was before we came to Israel. I never see her the way she was here.
I never see Alesha in my dreams. I don’t know why. We miss him so much, and I would like to see him at least in a dream.
I heard that if we don’t see him in our dreams, it means we did everything right, and he doesn’t want to bother us. I would like so much to see him, to hear him tell us how he is doing there.
At first, I didn’t see Sergei in my dreams. But I kept asking him, and then I saw him — both little and grown-up, both alive and in the coffin — and I talked to him. Here’s one dream I remembered well:
I knew he was dead, but he came back to me and stayed to live with me. I was glad, of course, but I said, Serezha, you’ll have to leave anyway. You can’t stay here long. Yes I can, he said, I’ll stay with you. I’m not going anywhere. It’s good living with you.
And recently I saw a dream, a strange one; I thought afterwards I was going to die soon.
He was in a coffin, in a black suit, and we were about to bury him. Suddenly he stood up and smiled his usual smile. Everybody was scared, and I was the only one who was happy. I went up to him, I hugged him — I was so happy he was alive, that it had been a mistake! Then some friends of his came by and told me that it was a joke, that they had staged an experiment. That they wanted to see how long a person could stay dead. And Sergei knew about it and consented to be the subject. I cried and slapped him. How could you do this to me! The things I said to him . . . And that was the end of the dream.
Catrin’s mother, Ludi Castaneda, visits my daughter all the time. The other day she told me of her dream: Catrin had come home crying, her clothes torn . . . In the dream, Catrin said, You keep fussing over Alena and you’re ignoring me . . . People were horrified by that dream, and so were we.
I never had dreams of her while in the old apartment, but now, after we moved, I do. I saw her as if she were still alive, and in a good mood. I saw her coming to meet me with a little puppy in her hands. She smiled and handed me the puppy.
And then I woke up. And I never saw her in my dreams again.
Last time I was at the cemetery, I spoke to Liana for a long time and asked her to come into Petya’s dreams — he suffers so much.
I saw her several times. It started after I began reading all those books.
The first one was all gray, she was wearing a gray sweater we got in Moscow. Her face was half-turned so that I couldn’t see it. She said through her tears, Mama, I love you so much, so much!
The second one was dark again; I didn’t see her face again. She stood with her back to me, repeating, Mama, you don’t know anything, you don’t know anything.
In my mind, I always see her. But not in my dreams. The moment I see her in my mind, I get all choked up wherever I am.
Lenochka came to me in my dream, and I asked her, Lenochka, what are you doing there?
We dance here, she said.
And what did they do to the man who blew you up? I asked.
He’s here, too, she said.
I was frightened: He’s in Heaven?
He’s in the pit, Grandma, she said; right below us.
At first, I saw the girls in my dreams. They were joyful, smiling . . . Lena was asleep all the time. In life, she was a sleepyhead, too. She would sleep in the daytime, and then go out at night. And Yulia told me not to worry: We’re fine, Mom.
I saw Jan in my dreams only once. I thought of him so much, but I didn’t see him, and I was surprised: all my thoughts were about him alone.
In the dream, he took me to his room. As if he had an apartment I had never seen. And we communicated not with words, but with gestures: he had a small pillow, and he would fold back its corners.
It can’t be, I said, you don’t exist.
How do I prove to you it’s me? he said.
If it’s you, I said, toss up the pillow.
He did, and it fell down on the bed. Then I believed, and I entered his room. He was kneeling in front of his bed, fixing the cover, and he had some kind of hat on his head. I walked in slowly, but he turned to face me, I ran away and woke up.
When I told people about this dream, they said he had asked me to come with him, and I refused, and so I won’t see him in my dreams again.
For a long time, whenever I would close my eyes while awake, I would see this flash and hear a ringing in my ears.
I had several dreams of Ilya.
Once he was showing me the pictures where I was in a wedding dress, like we had already gotten married, and everything was fine, and suddenly he began crying. Then I felt pain in my chest, and I woke up. Usually I don’t remember dreams, but this one I did.
In another dream, I asked him to stay with me. He said he couldn’t. Then I asked him to take me with him. He said he couldn’t because he loved me. This was quite recently. In the dream, he was exactly the way he had been alive.
I had a dream of the explosion. The flash. Bodies going up in the air. Blood. Half my apartment in blood. Me fighting my mother at the window. It was a very tall building. I broke the window and fell out. I rolled down a high slope and ended up in the bushes. My hands were cut, blood coming out of my veins . . . And I could see Mom up there. Serves you right, I said to myself, so I’ll die!
Another time, quite recently, I saw Irina Osadchaya in my dream. For some reason, she was bald. She was wearing her favorite white shirt, a Diskman in her hand, a headset, and glasses on her forehead. I could see a wide part on her head, but no hair. What happened to your hair? I asked. It doesn’t matter, she said.
I believe that when people die, their souls stay here. When they need something, when they want to tell you something, or just to talk to you, they come to your dreams. You just have to understand what they want.
I had dreams about Dolphinarium. But the ending was different: I did not get away, and got killed instead. I woke up in fear. I was scared of my dreams; they were really terrifying.
I had only one dream of Ilya. I force myself to sleep. Before I fall asleep — if you can call it sleep — I ask that I see him in my dream. But I don’t.
The ony time I did, I saw him come home.
Where have you been for so long, son? I asked. Why didn’t you call? I thought you were dead, I was told you were dead, they already filled out the forms. He looked at me in a somewhat hurt way, and he left.
I never saw Masha in my dreams. When I go to bed, I think of her, I see her in my mind, hoping I’ll see her in my dreams, but I never do.
I didn’t see Anya in my dreams for a long time. Then there was a dream that I remembered very vividly. After I woke up, I was in a very good mood. Now it helps me because I know that my daughter is alive in the next world.
I was in a large apartment, which was my home. Anya was in my arms right away. I was so happy to see her, to hug her, to be with her. She was very light and she was all smiles. I realized that her soul had come into a body and was now smiling in such a carefree way.
Anya, tell me, I said, are you all right over there?
Yes, she said, better than here.
Is Mariana with you, too?
Yes she is.
And Yulia and Lena, too?
Yes, Mama, we’re all together here.
And so I realized that all the killed children are in Heaven with God. And I felt that they’re well, they’re all together, and they feel light and joyful.
Wait, I said, don’t leave, Grandma wanted to see you, too.
And then I saw her grandma, my mother, enter the apartment with balloons of all colors and all sizes.
Then Anya asked me in a little girl’s voice to buy her a dollhouse that we had seen in Khabarovsk: cardboard-made, with pull-out floors, and crayons inside.
She drew so well. And then she was gone.
When I woke up, my heart was so light! I believed that our children’s souls are alive, that they’re well, and they can see us. Spiritual books say that your body is the leaves that fall from the tree, but your soul is the tree, and it is always alive.