Four years, 3 months, and 2 days ago my mom died of pancreatic cancer. Since she died, I have grieved, I have healed, I have accepted my mom’s death, and I continue to move forward with my life without my mom. This afternoon I completely unraveled. I cried over a mistake I made. Not a big mistake. Really it was something stupid.
But then my tears turned to sobs of loss and pain, and through my gasps I called out to my mom.
“Why did you have to leave me?”
“I miss you so much.”
“Life would be better for everyone if you were still here.”
Words of raw emotion.
As I’ve written before, I rarely dream of my mom, and most of the time I do not remember any of my dreams in great detail. Since my mom died, I have probably had less than a dozen dreams about her, some of which I’ve blogged about, but others I have kept to myself. My favorite type of dream is where my mom just appears and walks with me. We are together again.
Over the past year, I have had a different type of dream that involves my mom, but she is not in the dream itself. I can remember two of these dreams. In the first dream, I was with a group of people all dressed in suits and dark clothing – “funeral wear”. I remember seeing my dad and brother and friends of my parents. We were walking and just kept walking. We walked together as a group on roads that I’ve traveled on hundreds of times, and we were walking for my mom. In the dream, I knew she was dead. The second dream happened last week. In this dream, family and friends were seated at a long picnic table. We were outside, people were moving around, talking, finding their seats. It was a sunny day. Again, we were gathered together because of my mom. And again, I knew in the dream that she was dead.
These dreams are disturbing. I awake feeling sad and empty, feelings that stay with me throughout the day. I believe I’ve had more of these types of dreams than I have actually remembered, and I am now wondering what they mean. Why am I having dreams about my mom, but she is really not a part of them? These dreams are more of a reminder that my mom is dead, something I do not need to be reminded of. But in these dreams our family and my mom’s friends are gathering together because of her, for her, and I don’t understand why.
My “meltdown” this afternoon probably was the result of a combination of stress and missing my mom. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about my latest dream and wondering what it means. Why are we gathering together for my mom? The obvious answer is that we are coming together to remember my mom with love. But I know that’s not the answer or the reason for these dreams. Nothing is ever that simple with me.
The next time I dream about my mom, I hope to see her in the dream. I love you, Mom.