For those of you who, like me, have lost a parent you’re extremely close to, you’ll understand that dreaming about them is part of the grieving process. (Or so I read in a book once.)
When Mum died seven years ago, I dreamt about her every night. Even when I didn’t want to. Particularly if I didn’t want to. Even when, just for once, I wanted to forget and dream peacefully. Instead, I’d often wake up crying as the realisation of her death would hit me over and over again every morning as consciousness took hold of me.
Grieving has been a long and very difficult process for me. It had to go on the back burner for a long time as I was also having to deal with a tough relationship at home at the time and ironically, the one person I needed to turn to, had died.
I still think about Mum on and off during the day if I see someone who reminds me of her or if I see a mother and daughter having tea and cake in a cafe like we used to. Smells, favourite shops, clothes I know she’d like, music she loved … all reminders.
But I don’t dream about her much anymore and to me, that’s a good sign. To me, it feels like after seven years my sub-conscious has finally understood she’s gone.
Except …. last night I had to make an extremely difficult and upsetting phonecall which, when you’re single, is always doubly hard because you don’t have any support. No one to put their arm around you afterwards to tell you everything’s going to be OK. I text my best friend afterwards which is a bit like having a mini virtual hug.
But it’s not the same.
I went to bed and ate the now cold toast I’d made for dinner. I watched something so banal on TV I can’t even remember what it was called and finally drifted off to sleep. But strangely enough, I dreamt about Mum last night. I was home in the house I grew up in, the house my dad built, and it was snowing lightly. Mum was making a roast dinner, the dinner that always brought the family together on a Sunday, except she seemed to be making just about every dish possible, every dish she’s ever cooked, she was feeding the 5,000 oh, and she was cooking outside in the driveway on mini bonfires.
And that was the part of my dream that probably made most sense!
I woke up this morning, lying at right angles to my pillows with three out of four pillows on the floor, my head hanging over the edge of the bed and one of my two quilts smothering me.
Suffice to say, sleep had been a little restless. But I just found it strange that even though I hadn’t been particularly thinking of Mum, she came to me in my dreams last night to give me a reminder that she’s still there. That she’ll always be there. Whenever I need her. Just for a few hours, even though I wasn’t conscious, I was transported back home and we were all together again.
My dreams are always strange but last night was weird and comforting – the best combination.