What do you do when dreams bring to light some of your thoughts and questions from your subconscious?
Since my late husband died, I have had several confronting, poignant dreams that have prompted me to face truths and emotions.
One particularly unsettling dream occurred several times.
This is what happened.
My recurring dream
My late husband, Mick, walks in the front door.
Back into my life now.
Into my life that I have structured without him.
He died from brain cancer five years ago. At the time my son was four years old. My daughter was three.
How is it possible for him to return?
Every day since he died, I have been sifting through the remnants of our life together before his diagnosis.
Examining what is still relevant and what is not.
Deciding what to keep, what our children and I still need, what no longer serves its purpose.
Sifting. Examining. Deciding.
Every day since then, I have poured love into our children.
Every day since then, my heart has cracked at least once when I feel or see our children’s bewilderment, grief and loss. When I realise that I can’t be both a father and mother to them. That all I can do is is my best, each day to support and love them. To make their lives as secure and full of love as possible.
There has been many a time when I have wished that Mick was here to share in a moment of proud parenting or delighted parenting or patient parenting or discipline. Wishing that Mick was here to be another advocate for our children. That he could inspire them and challenge them.
Or that I could say to him “Here are your children. Look after them. I’m taking a break.”
Every day since then, I have grieved and I have been slowly reconnecting with my essence and what I love about life.
Braiding loss together with love.
So in my dreams, when Mick walks back in the front door, I have been incredulous.
My mind has filled with many questions trying to understand why he has returned and where he has been:
- Were three and half years on the brain cancer rollercoaster together nothing but a ruse? They were so painful. Excruciating. Heart wrenching. For him, for me, for everyone we love.
- Has he actually been in hiding somewhere perhaps? Maybe travelling and exploring the world? Loving others?
- If it was all a ruse and he has been elsewhere, then why and how?
- He was a man of deep loyalty and love. How could he leave me and our young children, and our parents and friends floundering in a sea of grief and loss?
- Is he entitled to return and claim his place as a living father to our children? He can’t! He was a wonderful incredible man but for five years my children have been wrestling with concepts of life and death and love. We have been visiting the cemetery, remembering him through stories and photos. How could our children process his return? It would all be too much to ask them to process!
- What will he think of the changes I have made to our home? What will he think of my new partner?
- Will I have to return to ways of being, working and living before he got sick?
I love and treasure my life now.
In the light of day
I wake up unsettled and perplexed.
Surprised by the scenario, my disbelief, my anger, the shades of guilt.
Understanding that there will always be a part of me that is shocked, at times angry.
Acknowledging that my time as a carer and then young widow has been full of effort and pain. Remembering Self Compassion.
Wondering if it would have helped if Mick and I had been able to have a conversation saying goodbye.
When Mick was first diagnosed he would not entertain the thought of dying and leaving the kids and I.
By the time Mick reached his last few weeks of life he was unable to converse. It was too late.
I know deep in my heart that Mick would support every single step that I have taken since he died.
That he would want me to continue to evolve and embrace life.
That he would want nothing more than for my children and I to live a life full of fun and love.
I turn to this quote.
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Rainer Maria Wilke.