I wish you would stop. I wish you would stop haunting me. I wish you would just allow me a few hours each night to be in a place of peace and quiet. I wish you would bring me sweet dreams of comfort, glimpses of heaven and things that would grant me solace. Instead you bring me visions of terror, darkness and fear. You leave me gasping for air in the middle of the night. You leave me afraid in my own bed. You leave me pondering the reflections of your meaning on my life.
I remember your nightmare, just five days before I learned Jake’s heart had stopped beating. I haven’t shared this dream of yours with many because it still leaves me shaking to my core when I relive you. But I will, because maybe then I can put you behind me.
It went like this:
Bret in the drivers seat, myself in the passengers seat of my little black sedan. We were driving down a main busy street but we were the only car in sight. It was turning into night but it was calm and beautiful. Then things began to change, quickly. The trees were on fire and soon completely engulfed in flames. I could feel the heat on my face through the car and I began to panic. I held my belly but it was flat. I still felt the need to protect my baby even though I didn’t know where he was. Then the wind got strong, so strong. So strong that I wrapped my arms around Bret’s waist as I felt the wind would pull me right out of the car. Everything was catching on fire. The rain then came pounding down like boulders on the windshield, lightning everywhere. Bret could no longer see in front of him and began to panic as well. Panic beyond anything I have ever seen in him. It was so loud. I couldn’t hear myself think but began to direct Bret. “Go Left…LEFT!” He couldn’t process left from right and the car was swerving all over the road. We came upon a bridge and I was sure we would drive right off the side of it. I asked him if I should take the wheel. Ne response. Tears. Panic. Fear. Loss of Control.
Then we approached the top of the bridge and everything just calmed. No fire, no wind, no rain. The sun was now rising and the bottom of the bridge was completely flooded. So flooded that you could barely see the rails that separated the lake on the right from the road on the left. There was no noise. Just calm, nothing. Bret looked at me for direction and I thought…go right. Just go right. Go into the lake. Just go there. I was at peace with this thought in my dream. Of it ending that way. Our car and our lives just ending in the lake. I was tired of fighting the storm. But instead I said aloud, “Go left.”
And then I woke up.
Gasping for air.
Holding my belly, with my son inside.
I couldn’t sleep. Bret was in Afghanistan. I was alone and petrified of this dream. It stayed with me. It still stays with me. Maybe as a reminder that no matter how hard it gets, we must stay left. We must stay on the road and not give up.
Last night another dream came. Dreams of me drowning. Dreams of me almost dying and Bret pulling me from deep waters and resuscitating me. Truth, in my dream I was OK with dying. I didn’t even fight. That’s how sad it is to lose your child. That’s how much you long to be with them.
These dreams of yours….dreams of storms, dreams of being surrounded by snakes, dreams of having legs as heavy as cement, dreams of drowning, dreams of being under attack….are beyond exhausting.
And then I realize that it’s exactly how I feel. I can’t escape my grief, not even in my dreams. They also remind me that evil is at work. Evil is always at work, especially in the most vulnerable. Evil creeps into my mind when I am asleep and works hard to scare me.
But then I wake up and I know God is there. I know he is at work as well and he is much more powerful than evil, than any nightmare of this life.
I think it is him whispering in my ear while I am sleeping….”Go Left” because he knows I need that reminder. The reminder to not give up, to not give my entire existence to this sorrow. A reminder to..