>I made a wonderful discovery this morning: I still dream of her!
I was beginning to worry; I hadn’t seen her in a while – a few months maybe.
For the first two years, I dreamed of her two or three times a week. In the dreams, my depth of understanding varied. Sometimes I had no idea she was dead and acted totally naturally: fighting with her, hating her guts, pitying her, dancing around a thrift store with her and laughing.
Sometimes, I was breathless with fear. “Something bad happened to you,” I said in one. But I forgot what, until her boyfriend entered the room.
In others, I was amazed that she was back from the dead – almost as much as I would be in real life. What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead!
One time I even said, “We have to call the medical community! This is huge!”
Then I recited her Social Security Number when she asked for it, and I knew it in my dream because in real life I’d filled it out again and again and again.
In that same dream, I said I was sorry that death sucked so much; she’d said no one in the afterlife would talk to her. I said I was sorry and then I sobbed into her shoulder, “It’s been so hard on me, you have no idea.”
I suspect this last part had nothing to do with her death, at all.
This morning, I dreamed I’d had a baby. A boy. And I was welcoming my friends and family to a park to meet him. She arrived, a little rotund and greying, with these outlandish turquoise spectacles and colorful outfit. I called her “Grandma” and hugged her, and noticed that it felt all wrong. Her being dead, for one. But mostly because I never saw this happening – not when she was alive. And it makes me wonder, at what point was it too late? At what point could the course of her life have led her instead to a park to celebrate her first grandchild?
I could spend the day making a list of moments – and those are just the ones I was there for. It’s not exactly the If Only I’d… trip. It’s more an aching wish to see how all her alternate universes have played out.
My favorite dream – and this was pretty early on – a spider had stolen her simple gold necklace, which she hadn’t worn since I was a child, and had spun it into a web high in the rafters of a barn. I said, “I’ll get it down for you,” but she didn’t seem to care either way. And after struggling to get up there and realizing the danger, I decided to just let it be. That it was more beautiful that way.