In the end, only three things in life matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go. ~Buddha
It is now nearly 8 months since you left. For every day I get further from the last time I saw you, touched you, and hugged you … I celebrate getting one day closer to seeing you again. 2036 is the year, Mutty. For some reason, my whole life, I have always been drawn to that year … I believe I know why now.
I dream of you.
Not often enough. And never about conversations. Sometimes they are dreams where I am still trying to get you well … sometimes it’s arguing about the care team and how you used to tell me that I shouldn’t piss off the care team or why you can’t “fire” them. But this last one … I moved you out.
Am I finally at the next step of letting you go?
You have always come to me in dreams that are clinical. A hospital setting. A doctor’s office. A wheelchair in a hallway. In those I am always trying to talk to you and reason with you, and hug you, and converse. Most often though, you are still sick … and for the most part silent. Ugh… the mind of a mother.
But this dream Heather, this dream was different. You were in a room, and there were caretakers, but not a hospital. In my mind it felt like a long term care place. I was moving your stuff to you. Cleaning out your room, which has not physically changed since your funeral and Jamie cleaning it. One of my 2016 goals is to clean out your room. Its too painful to go in there, still. It’s too much for my heart. It’s still too wrecking.
Your room may just end up looking like Miss Havisham’s.
I kept trying to talk with you and each time I did, someone would interfere. At one point I even told them “Just because she is dead, doesn’t mean the quality of care should diminish.”
Then I woke up … and I sobbed. In my dream … I was letting you go. In my heart, I never can. I never will.
Sometimes, I think that dreams are temperature gages. Our dreams let us know where we are at with our coping skills and defenses. I still think about you every day… and sometimes every second. I still talk to you. I say “Good-night Mutty. I love you!”, just as I say “Good morning, hunny!” and I imagine I hear the groan from your cave … and it still makes me smile … I can even imagine your answers in conversations.
I am reading a book, called Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child by Ellen Mitchell, about parents and siblings who have lost their children, and one parent says this: “I don’t believe I will ever see my son again. If there is a heaven, it’s full of souls, and how would we recognize a soul?” I want to tell her that she will know, because as mothers we know our kids. We know the smell of them. The feel of them. The knowing of their presence … I could be blind and if one of my kids were to walk into a room, I would feel their souls I know them that well. Of course we will see them again … for me, I still visit with you every day. I speak to you every day. I think of you in the car. I think of you before bed. I think of you when I am going to an event. I talk about you to strangers who don’t know you are dead. On rare occasion I will hold your urn and hug you.
The memories they come a little more easily and sometimes with not so many tears. And dad and I talk about the gamut of emotions we have been through. In November, I literally fought for my life. Every breath I took was intentional. Every physical movement, a mountain. We entertained the idea of suicide because of the level of pain and the feelings of failure and the profound sense of loss. But we promise each other, we promise never to act. But entertaining the idea was a place we both visited. It’s not depression … it is the most extreme form of grief imaginable and for me, I don’t want to cover it up or numb it out because sooner or later, I will need to feel it to heal it.
But the only way out is in. Into the feelings. Into the pain. Into the hurt. Into the loneliness. There is no other way … You gotta feel it all to heal it, pass through it and get to the other side. ~ Dina Strada
We both believe that to heal it, we have to feel it. I think we are in site of the shores of the other side … and it has profoundly changed both of us. We no longer feel comfortable with anyone but each other and those in this family and our closest of friends. We feel as though we no longer socially fit in. It has scoured the shallow relationships from us, I believe, fencing them off into a separate compartment. Not to shun them, but to protect ourselves. Never to shun.
It seems we have risen to place of understanding that only other parents who have walked this path can comprehend.
I don’t have to tell you Mutty, the fact we can talk honestly and openly about it with one another is so huge. So very, very huge. To be so heart wrenchingly honest and bear the grief openly is something our society does not embrace. They would rather not dance so close to the flames. and luckily for them … it’s still a choice.
Well Mutty, my day is calling.
I love you, Mutty. So much, I love you.