Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dreaming of Mom and Dad...

My dad passed away in May of 2002 and shortly after he died I began dreaming about him. My dreams of him seemed and felt SO REAL. So real I could practically feel him hugging me...and I heard his voice very clearly. And I continue to dream about him every so often. I love the fact that I dream about my dad because I believe that's my way of seeing him and staying connected to him even though he's gone.

Meanwhile, I've only had a couple of dreams about my mom and none of them were particularly vivid. In reasoning with myself I attribute this lack of illusory visions to the fact that her death is so recent and raw and fresh. I feel that perhaps before I can see her again I need to do a lot more healing. Perhaps on some spiritual level I am still very broken.

Finally a few nights ago I had a dream about her, but it wasn't particularly pleasant. We were shopping and enjoying ourselves. Then once we were done looking around the stores I saw her become as she was in her Alzheimer's state...very confused, tired and not making sense at all.

I woke up and was so disappointed that I dreamt of her like that. I want so badly to dream of her in a refreshed and renewed state...the way I believe she truly is now. All through the next day I wallowed in this letdown. I kept asking myself, "Why can't I dream of her the way I truly believe her to be now??? Why does she have to still be under the influence of her disease in my dreams?? These types of dreams didn't happen with Dad. When I saw him in my dreams he was smiling, happy and so glad to see us again." There was even a part of me that thought maybe she doesn't want to see me or connect with me. My mom always had a quiet and somewhat shy personality...maybe she won't come to me at all. Plain and simple...I felt sad.

The days passed and I allowed myself to stew on my feelings. Then something dawned on me...perhaps her appearing in my dream in her Alzheimer's state was her way of telling me that I still have lots of grieving to deal with first.

Here's my thought process...

My mom was declining for 2-3 years before she passed. And during those years I, along with my siblings, took care of her. I was overwhelmed, stressed and completely consumed with worry. And as she progressed through her disease the stress levels grew more intense and the worry deepened.


In my typical fashion I never let myself feel the pain of what we were all going through. I just went from one segment of my life to the next.

I'd get up in the morning...get everyone moving and take the kids to school. I'd work all day, get the kids...scramble through dinner...help someone with homework or some other school project...take someone to practice...to their games or whatever.

Once I tied up all of those loose ends with my own daily home life I'd go over to my moms and take care of her. There was no down time. There was no time for mourning her decline. There was no time to even think about what I was going through. There was no time to cry and mourn and face the fact that this ugly disease was going to be my mom's demise.

So now that she's gone I finally have time. Yet some days I don't know where to begin. I guess I just have to soak up and absorb everything we've been through. I need to cry about how bad she had gotten. I need to feel the pain of losing her so slowly and in such a horrible manner. I need to grieve the whole process of her decline, not just her death.

So now I see that I needn't worry. My mom IS coming to me in my dreams. I believe that her appearing in this most recent dream is...perhaps...her way of telling me that I have to grieve what I've put off for the past few years. Hopefully after I muddle my way through this painful experience my mom will be able to get through to me as she is now.

I'm sure that many of you think I'm nuts! And I don't blame you. My sisters roll their eyes at me all the time. BUT...I think they like to hear these dreams because it's their chance to hear about Mom and Dad again.

I also believe that we all get through life in our own way. My dreams have always been vivid and colorful and clear. I believe they help me figure out my life...my path. My dreams help me through the good times as well as the bad.

Hopefully sometime soon I'll be able to share a dream of my mom with you and I hope to be able to tell you how beautiful and vibrant she was. I hope to see her as she was before she was kidnapped by this heinous disease.

Lots of work to do today so I better get going.

More sharing on the way...until then,

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