I’ve heard many theories on where dreams come from. I have heard that it’s a way for your loved ones who have passed away to speak to you again, almost like a port hole to the other side. I have also heard that it’s an accumulation of the many things you think about during the day that causes you to dream about them at night. I know in other cultures, dreams are said to have deep meaning. I don’t know what I believe. I know I look forward to my dreams, especially the ones with Nash. I haven’t had many, but the ones I have had are always amazing. The hardest thing about losing Nash in the way that I did was that I wasn’t able to say goodbye, to console him, to smile at him and see him smile back at me. If all that ever happens in my dreams is to see him smile again, it’s worth staying in bed forever in the hopes that I will even have just one more special moment with him.
I don’t feel Nash around me, and I never feel my dad. It’s hard to lose two people you are so connected to and not feel them around. I always thought if someone that close to you dies, you would naturally feel them in some way. How can they just be gone? When others talk about feeling their loved ones around them, I either think they are being less then truthful or I get completely jealous. I wish I did feel their presence, because I know it would give me a great deal of comfort.
I have had dreams about my dad before, but nothing specific. I usually wake up thinking I’ve dreamt of him, but I can’t remember the details. It’s strange when you lose a parent at the age of 24 like I did, the things I think of most are the things he is missing out on. He never saw me graduate from college, never saw me get married, and never saw me have children. I think about all the things I took for granted, like every other person in their twenties. It’s a time in life where you are experiencing everything for the fist time. I was just figuring out who I was. I was selfish at that age. I didn’t think about losing a parent. I was concentrated on me and my world. When he died, I was dating the kind of boy your parents pray is just a phase. I couldn’t decide on a major in college. I was the only one of my siblings not married, the only one without children, and at the time, I prided myself on it. I think of how close we would be now that I am an adult. He would love to see all that I have accomplished. I married a man any parent would be proud to call their son-in-law. I graduated from college and have a respectable job. I’m close to my family now, more than I have ever been. I can go out with my dad’s brothers and sister – my aunt and uncles, and just talk to them like I’m talking to a friend. I grew up to be an avid Detroit Tigers fan like he was. I talk to my grandma (his mom) a couple times a week. That’s one thing I know he would love more then anything. I know with 100% certainty that I grew into a woman he would be very proud of, as opposed to the confused, selfish, no-direction-20-something I was when he died. In some ways, it makes me smile to think of how proud he would be; on the other hand, it’s bitter sweet to not see his reaction to it all.
So, back to what’s in a dream. I had a dream last night that moved me unlike any other dream I have ever had. Thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes, instantly. When I told Todd about it, I cried the whole time as I explained it to him. It had its weirdness like most dreams, but at the heart of it, was just what I needed and I wasn’t even aware I did. The weird part is that I was at a grocery store, in the middle of my old high school gym. I was on one side of the conveyer belt and my dad and another man, I didn’t know, were on the other side across from me. I was in the scrubs I had on when Nash died. The man I didn’t know asked me how I was doing. It felt like the day Nash died. My tears would not stop as I explained my sorrow. I felt overwhelmed with grief. You know that lump you get in your throat when you are trying to suppress crying? I had that, but was balling at the same time. I couldn’t describe in enough detail just how much pain I was in. The man tried to stop me several times by saying it’s time I move on for our next baby’s sake, but every time he went to say this, my Dad would hold a hand up to silence him as he looked at me to keep going. I forgot how much I missed talking to him – to see his facial expressions as I told him something. He furrowed his eyebrows as I was talking, holding back tears himself, but trying to listen to me and understand. I can not explain how vivid it was, his mannerisms, his gestures. I had forgotten these small things that made him the man I remember. I just kept going and going. My Dad was the one I went to when I had a problem. Even if he didn’t have the answer, it was of some relief to just get it off my chest. As I finished talking to him, I walked out the back door by the gym, the door I used to leave school through. I looked back at him, still crying and physically depressed and solemn; he stood in the door with that same look. In that whole dream, he never said one thing to me, not one word. He just looked at me and watched me walk out to my car. When I woke up, I was surprised my face wasn’t covered in tears, that’s how real it felt. The thing I loved most, was remembering how much it helped me to talk to him – to see his facial expressions that I had almost forgotten. I know many people will say, “That was your Dad and he was telling you he is here for you.” I don’t know about all of that. Since Nash died, my views on those kind of things have changed. What I do know, is that for whatever reason, I got to have a conversation with my Dad again. I got to feel the acceptance from the person I loved most. I got to tell him just how sad I am and to be understood. It was amazing. Wether it was him from the other side, or just a bunch of things I had been randomly thinking about lately……it felt good. It felt good to say, “Dad, I’m barely hanging on. I’m finding it hard to even breathe. I miss my little boy and I don’t know how to go on. I feel empty and sick. I’m constantly in the kind of pain that only depression can put you in, and I don’t know how to pull myself out of it.” It felt good to have him look at me and feel my pain and let me know it was okay, with just a simple look. To see him empathize with all I was going through brought me so much comfort. I don’t speak to God or my dad when I pray at night. I used to but now I only talk to Nash. I usually end the prayer with, “Wherever you are buddy, if you can hear me, I hope you know Momma loves and misses you.” Seeing my dad in my dream like that…..it almost felt like he was trying to give me a message. That if I can’t talk to him anymore, he will just find another way to be there. Like I said I don’t know what it meant, what I do know is that it helped, and for that I’m grateful.