I was dreaming about my mother, the last REM sleep before morning. I often have vivid, saturated, full-color dreams right before I wake up. In my dream my mother and I were sitting across from each other, holding hands and talking. I have no recollection of the words we were saying, just the feeling of pure love. It seemed to last for hours and seconds simultaneously. I have no idea how long my dream was in real time, but I could literally feel myself waking up from dream state to daily life and I felt this urgency to hang onto her. She gave me a strong, full body hug and then poof! She dissipated, like feathery smoke. I opened my eyes and grief hit full force, first thing in the morning.
My friends ask me how I’m doing. 99% of the time I’m just fine, doing my thing and generally feeling grateful for my abundant blessings. However, that 1% comes on like a tsunami and it stops me, out of nowhere, and I crumple for two minutes or five minutes as loss washes through and over me.
After I recover, I write about it. It’s the only way I truly know how to release the sensitivities I was born with. Physically writing the words helps me process. It allows me to stop, feel, think, make sense of and then let go.
Many people stuff their emotions or simply ignore their discontent. Others go for a run or walk to clear their heads. Many of us make art, which I do as well, but the process is always a longer, slower one than when I write.
What I’m learning is that grief is wide and deep. Of all the human emotions, it’s the most demanding. I have no idea which “stage of grief” I’m actually in. I honestly do not care because I need to face them all. What I do know for sure this morning is that I would give anything to go back to bed, recreate that REM state and “see” her again. Unfortunately, as the minutes tick by she’s further and further away from me, exactly like Jan 14th when Hospice called to tell me she died. Yes, I know she’s always in my heart. But you have to understand, just a few hours ago I was touching her.
But I am awake. It’s Saturday and I have a full schedule with my daughter. A birthday party, “family” dinner with my best friend and all our kids. I take a deep breath because my life calls.