There was a time when I had a recurring dream about an ex-boyfriend. Nothing erotic, mind you. In those dreams we would be somewhere together, the location was always changing but there we were, talking. For hours! This was very satisfying because it was something we didn't do, which I always wanted to do. After a dream like that I would wake up feeling fantastic.
Last night, the dream was about my dad, and the house where I grew up. My dad died five years ago, and the house was smashed by a tree two or three years ago. Talk about never being able to go home again.
The worst thing about losing someone you love is that the whole world doesn't stop with you. Jobs still need hours put into them, kids need your attention, bills need to be paid, etc. Everything else happens while you feel as though nothing can ever be accomplished again. Your job? Who cares! Your kid? Well, yes you take care of them as best you can. Bills? Who needs lights and heat when your life was just ripped apart and will never be the same and you can't hardly breathe much less get up, go to work, and write checks to the electric company! Those acts seems so meaningless in the face of human loss.
It's been five years. It's gotten a little easier, day by day, to resume normal activities and deal with the hurt from the loss(es) - my brother died the year previous to my dad's passing - and move forward so it doesn't hurt quite so acutely. Eventually, the hurt is not the first thing to knock you down when you wake up in the morning, but it's still there. It becomes manageable.
And then, one night my stupid brain goes off to LaLa Land then I have to feel as though it happened last week, and I can't even go out for coffee because I can't stop crying (yet) because now I'm thinking about my dad, brother AND grandfather. I think about how I'll never see them again, my husband will never meet them, and my daughter will never know them like I knew them and all of that is really, really hard to swallow.
The attitude I have about death, normally, is that it's not an ending. It's a beginning for another life, whatever that may be. These two successive nights of dreams have challenged my ability to be hopeful about the idea, and instead has sharpened the feeling of loss. Memories are a double-edged sword. On one side is this precious gift that can never be taken away by falling trees or blood cancers. On the other, they are sharp reminders of what was - and will never be again.
I've been okay with that for the last few years, but I'm not okay with that right now. I'm ready to have those dreams of unrequited love where Brad Pitt and my old boyfriend both reject me YET AGAIN, they don't even want to talk to me. Then, they walk off together into the sunset. That would be much more preferable to any other kind of dream, thank you very much.