Had a rough dream about Mom yesterday afternoon. This is why I do not take naps normally. Dreams are always scarier, more visceral. Something about grabbing that time to rest — it just throws me off.
I dreamed that Mom was healthy and fine, and in the dream my sisters and I were remembering that time with her when she was so sick we thought she might die. We were so happy in the dream, knowing she didn’t die, laughing that we’d thought she might. Then, at the very end of the dream, I’m outside smoking (!) in front of the library, and I remember her death. I remember specifics about her dying. It’s so awful that I wake myself up, and then I lie there. What a horrible dream. I’ve repeatedly dreamed ever since I was very small that someone I love dies, and it’s always a great relief to lie there in bed and slowly make the connections, No, I talked to her yesterday and she’s going to Target today, that was just a dream. But I couldn’t do that. Instead, I had to walk myself through the memories of her dying because the dream of her being alive was so fucking real. That was pleasant.
I had a seventeen-minute long CPR call the other day. It was that long because they lived so far out in the country. It was the first thing she said when she called, "We’re so far away! They’ll never make it in time." So this elderly farm wife did CPR on her husband for seventeen minutes, and while I coached her through every minute, I heard the grief set in. I never have to hear that. Normally I only hear the fear. No one, no outside party should hear that private grief that happens moments after death. The call, the woman’s love for her husband, and the way she worked on him even though we both knew it wouldn’t help (she would not give UP! I’ve never heard anything stronger), affected me more than any other call I’ve ever had. I went outside to cry. Within three minutes I walked back in, back in control (mostly). I apologized to my coworkers for failing the dispatcher code of no crying.
A coworker said, "No, I think you passed the human code, that’s all." That helped.
And that call, I think, is what’s brought up some extra grief about Mom. Extra slice! Another helping! Great! Just when I thought I was pulling it together.
The world gives you a set time to grieve. A friend of ours told my sister that we’d get about a month, and then the world would assume we were pretty much done with it. I’m not done. I’m better, and I’m happy again, and I can sing and write and live without constant pain, but I’m still so sad over here, in this pocket of myself. I can almost point to to where the pocket of sad is, deep in my chest, the core of my body.
It was funny — I woke from that dream, and I found a message on my cell phone. My sisters were having a funky day, and were headed for a Friday happy hour. So I got to meet them there in a little dive bar in Oakland. We don’t know why it was such a crappy day, particularly. But it was, and it was good to be with them. We’re lucky to have each other.
Today, I’m going to write. And maybe cook something for my work week. And clean the house. And go to Costco for Roomba 4.0 (the latest one just died — must exchange again). And somewhere in there, I just want to sit and knit and laugh with Lala. It’s good. It’s rough sometimes, but it’s good.
(That’s Bethany’s new tattoo up top, a New Zealand Tui bird gracing it. We’re not bugging Christy yet to join our ranks, but if she wanted to THAT WOULD BE OKAY. No pressure, though.)
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