Nightmares

I sit at my desk this morning, drinking my coffee, and going through my Sunday ritual: breakfast and coffee with PostSecret.  It’s especially poignant to me this morning because I woke from deep nightmares this morning, woke early, in fact, and now, I am here, 7:20 a.m. on a Sunday morning, trying to come to terms with them.

They were about my mother, of course.  Whenever I dream about her, she’s come back from the dead, and I have to tell her she doesn’t belong here.  That she’s messing up our mourning by coming back to life.  I don’t know what’s worse: having these awful dreams, or waking and remembering that she’s gone.  It’s like losing her, all over again.

This week on PostSecret, a card that has stayed with me for years was posted again.  It’s about putting animals to sleep, from a vet tech, who says to stay with your animals in the room.  They look for us when we’re gone.  I cried the first time I read that secret, and I felt that this morning, after such awful nightmares about mom, it was especially fitting to see it again.

I wasn’t with mom when she died.  I was in Indiana, and she was in New Orleans.  But I remember finding out about her death, putting my head between my knees and screaming at the floorboard of my friend’s car.  Dylan Thomas says, “After the first death, there is no other,” because we relive the first death, again and again.  We relive the pain of losing, of loss, of permanent loss, forever.

I am reliving my mom’s loss again and again.

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