When I was much younger, my mother loved everything to do with dreams. Today I am in so much pain. I need to quickly share that. My heart is aching in a way it hasn't in so many years. I don't know the last time I felt it this profoundly, but it's here, and it's crushing my heart at this very moment.
I think I try to hide the fact that they're dead from myself, sometimes. Because when I remember, it hurts. When I remember how good it felt to love them while they were alive, it nearly kills me.
Let's try again.
My mother had this book, this dream interpretation book. We would sit for hours and pick apart the dreams I had. She did this with other people too, but for the two of us it was a daily ritual. That book became so ragged from over use. From flipping through the pages, trying to decipher the puzzle of our dreams. The covers were nearly falling off the last time I saw it. There was a hole in one of the pages. Coffee stains from her coffee cup after she had used it as a coaster countless times. It sat on the side table near her chair in the living room, always. We sat together, her in her chair, a pillow in her lap, and me sitting on the floor, indian style, eating up her words.
When they started dieing, I started having dreams of each one of them. I wrote about this in my book. The tone was different depending on who I dreamt of. Over time those dreams have kind of stopped. These days I actually don't dream all that often, or at least I don't remember that I do. When I do dream, I get upset. I don't want to dream. Dreaming hurts.
I dreamt of Teresa last night. I woke up with fresh pain, a pain so deep I wanted to cry and never stop crying. I wanted to dig my nails into the earth and rip something open as I yell into the heavens "WHY DO I HAVE TO CARRY THIS WITH ME IN THIS LIFE???"
I can't remember the details of my dream, only that I was trying to save or help Teresa. She was alive, but she was dieing, again. I always have to relive her death in my dreams, like it's never going to stop. She's always going to keep dieing no matter how hard I try, and I know that if I don't stop her from dieing, she's just going to come back... and die again. She was a child, but she wasn't. Her mental health was vulnerable, and unstable, but she was sweet and fun. I wanted so badly to be with her, to take care of her, to love her and show her that she was loved. Teresa, you needed to know you were loved. Did you ever know that?!
In my dream, she needed me. I felt like I was abandoning her, but why would I do that?! I don't just leave people... do I? Oh shit... I might.
I woke up with fresh sorrow in my heart, and a desperate need to see her, hug her, and hear her voice.
That's the cruelty of death.
And so today I wanted the hours to tick by. I wanted to lose myself in my wine glass, and then for time to stand still so I could sit in the moment of being lost in my tipsy brain, a brain that forgets the pain I'm in, and travels around to other less important things. What control do I have? I can't bring her or anyone else back. I can't hear their voices. Maybe Mom's because it's etched into my arm, but do I even have a recording of Teresa's voice? Does it exist anywhere? What would happen if I heard it after... 15 years now? Wow. It's her laugh. I can almost hear her laugh if I think about it really hard. Her almost too quiet chuckle, the way she crinkled her eyes shut. Shit.
I think I remember enough about Mom's dream book to know why I dreamed that dream, but it doesn't take the pain away. I'm just worried now that it's going to keep happening. I don't want it to keep happening. How do you stop yourself from dreaming?