It's funny sometimes how things tie together. Last Saturday night I had a dream that upset me so much I had a gloomy day Sunday because of it. Don't you hate those types of dreams? The ones that just don't let you go? It was about my dad. We were in Albuquerque and he was trying to tell me something. He would start the sentence just fine but when he got to the important part his words would all garble and mush. It kept happening and I started thinking, "Oh no! Dad's having a stroke!" then that weird twilighty part of sleep happened where I started waking up and weaving real world and dream together. So my first thought was I needed to call home and make sure Dad was okay because this dream had been so real, then the real real world crashed in and I remembered that Dad was gone.
Sunday night I dreamed about Dad again. But this time he was very quietly hanging around everyone but not saying anything. I would start to talk to him and someone else would come over and start talking to me instead so I never got to say anything to him. And no one else did as well. But he was smiling at everyone, just watching things go on. It was a more peaceful dream but I was still off on Monday because of it. Then I talked to my niece who said she had been having bad dreams as well. I told her I had dreamed of Dad two nights in a row and she said she had dreamed of Grandpa as well. That was interesting.
Then came Monday night. I told Brent as I was falling asleep, "Let's see what the night has in store for me this time." Not my Dad. Grandma Beulah. Beulah is my sister Ann's mother. She passed over ten years ago. But there she was, front and center of my dream. But unlike the two with my dad this had a whole different feel. We were all at my brother and sister's house getting ready for a party. Grandma Beulah was telling everyone where to set things up, what to cook, how to cook it and generally running the show. She was probably 15 years younger than she was when she died, though we were all our correct ages, and she was smiling and joking and having a fabulous time. I woke up on Tuesday thinking about Beulah, missing her but smiling. Just a whole different experience.
Now comes the weird part....
Yesterday I was talking to my mother. We were talking about how she was feeling. As many of you know she has some health issues that make her calcium levels in her blood skyrocket. When this happens she displays symptoms that mirror dementia. She normally has a monthly infusion that absorbs some of this excess and keeps her at an even keel. She hasn't had an appointment since December and won't have one until early February so everyone has been checking on her state to make sure she is fine. She told me she thought she was doing okay but it was hard to tell since she is still grieving for dad and adjusting to life without him there. She said it's tricky to know if she feels different because her health is off or if she feels different because she is different. She said she still thinks to herself, "Oh I need to tell Marshall about that!" and then thinks..."Oh no, I don't. He already knows."
Then she told me that she sort of felt a hole, like Dad left this week. She said she had felt him around the house up until this past weekend. She had been dreaming of him quite a lot and this past Sunday(?!) night she dreamed that he was standing on one side of the mountain with two women and a man and she was on the other. She would call to him and he wouldn't pay her a lick of attention. But he was laughing and smiling and talking with the people he was with. She said when she woke up she felt like he was gone.
When my dad died we had him cremated. When mom dies we will do the same. Then we are mixing their ashes and spreading them on the east side of the mountain. She lives on the west side of the mountain right now. Two of my older sisters and an older brother died before dad did.
What do I think this all means? In my dream Saturday Dad was trying to tell me something, I don't know what, I couldn't understand him. Then Sunday he was just watching all of us, smiling, taking it in but not interacting. My niece got a visit as well, maybe other family members too. Then Mom dreamed that he was already on the other side of the mountain and was with Marsha, Marcia and Mark. Monday I dreamed about Beulah, who was younger, refreshed, happy and healthy. Dad's gone. I don't get talk to him anymore or he to me, but he will still be around checking in, watching us all, time passes, it gets better. That's what I think those dreams meant.
And yes, it could all have been just a giant coincidence that we three dreamed of Dad at the same time. That I dreamed he was watching us but not interacting and that Mom dreamed he was moving on with their other children. It could have been. It could all have just been in our heads. But then again, maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was Dad letting us know he was letting go and it was time for us to do the same. To move to the next phase of our lives. The one thing I don't have that the rest of my family does is a firm belief in what happens next. My family believes in a physical heaven and hell. That there is an afterlife and they firmly believe they will all be reunited in heaven once they die. I don't know. I have a theory as to what comes next but the only way to know for sure is to die, and I'm not there yet. But even with such a different belief system working at our core, my mother and I both dreamed of Dad. Of a moving on for him. Of a peace for him. So coincidence or not, I am talking comfort from that. I would tell my Dad about this, but as my mother says, he already knows.
And he would want a better punchline....