Finally had "the dream"

One of the things I've learned in my group for survivors of suicide is that it's common for survivors to have dreams of their loved ones where they see them happy and whole again. For survivors, it's a way to somehow feel like they connected with their loved one from the other side, and got the information that their loved one was okay. The evening that we talked about this in depth I cried (heck, I cry most of those evenings) because I hadn't had one of those dreams, and because I felt like maybe it was because I still had quite a bit of anger at him for choosing to leave like that. And because I wanted to know that he was okay.

I had a dream tonight, that was very vivid for how early I had it. I was hanging out, unpleasantly but it couldn't be avoided, with his friends who had shunned and blamed me during the separation and after his suicide. And I saw some photos of some gathering that they'd had afterwards where they had set out things that reminded them of him that happened to have been things that they'd taken from the house after he'd died. I was a little peeved to see the actual photos of all of the stuff, because there was a lot of it, things that I'd forgotten about. Things that they'd helped themselves to and not asked or let me know they'd taken (this part is true). And it was very uncomfortable because, far as I know, they all still hate and blame me. I ran into one of them at the grocery today, and she made a little wave and complimented my new short hair cut. As if she were an old friend. Very, very weird. So dreaming of hanging out with them was strange and not something I'd dreamt about before. I realized that I was sitting at a table with some of his old friends from Reed, one of whom was getting married, and suddenly I realize he's sitting beside me, except no one else can see him. He's trying to join in on the conversation, making jokes, but I'm the only one who can hear him. And when I look at him, I see three of him, from different ages, sitting beside me, all of them happy and laughing and making jokes. He was yelling "Pop corducts!" and I finally said out loud to everyone, "he's trying to say 'pop corducts'. He's saying 'pop corducts'." I was laughing and crying at the same time because I was so happy to see him, many of him at different ages, happy. And also because what the hell is pop corducts? It was totally something random, slightly techie and obscure that he would make a joke out of. He was waaaayyyy funnier than I am. Everyone got quiet, because they either had no idea what I was talking about, or because it's just unacceptable to that crowd that I could still have any connection to him.

But I had the dream. I saw him. He was sitting beside me and he was *happy*. He was happy. I heard his voice, making jokes and laughing, and he looked right at me, like, See? I'm okay. This is how it is. I'm healed from every hurt from every age. It's okay. I'm okay.


chris and annie said...

Hi Liz, I just wanted to say that I follow your blog loosely, (when I do sit down to reading blogs that is, yours is one I read, you are a wonderful descriptive writer.) I am still so sorry about your loss of your husband and children's father. It is still a tragedy. I just wanted to say that I am glad you had a dream where he was happy..that can sometimes make a subtle but very consequential difference. I have a friend who died from a drug overdose, and no one was able to say goodbye to him, and I have had many dreams about him alive. I always awake strangely comforted but sad at the same time, as though I missed something. Anyways, stupid comparison I know, not even REMOTELY what you dealt with, but thought I'd share nonetheless.
Bless you this holiday season Liz...lots of love to you, Annie

Liz said...

Hi Annie,
That was all very kind of you to say. I'm sorry it took me a bit to respond - I'm testing the waters for becoming a professional writer, and your compliments hit home at a time that I'm wrestling with doubt and distraction. So I got quiet instead of reaching back and saying thank you. I'm sorry for your loss of your friend. The comparison isn't stupid. Loss is painful. It's impossible to say whose pain is greater in the face of any loss, although there are plenty of people who would venture to try anyway. I wouldn't dare. Happy holidays to you, too, and thank you for reading and chiming in.