I’m back in the home we have lived in and built together, back in the kitchen that we loved cooking in together. The front door opens and suddenly there you are. You walk in from work and kiss me hello, softly, the way you did each evening. I can smell you, touch you and sense your familiarity. Everything is once again as it was, as it should be. There is no epic narrative, just you and me being you and me. It’s mundane, it’s sacred and familiar. It feels like slipping under a warm cosy blanket. All is right in the world until suddenly, I feel it being ripped away. I’m left cold.
I wake up.
I have become very used to experiencing the stark, cruel reality of waking up after having dreamt of the person you love that is no longer a part of your life. I have come to know the ache of opening my eyes and realising that I am back in a world where we will never be together again, where he didn’t want me anymore, where he wanted someone else.
In the early days, he invaded my thoughts throughout the day in such a profound way that he seeped into my dreams. My conscious and subconscious were doing a twisted dance all day and night. It was relentless.
I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and my brain was constantly tortured by several thoughts that churned around my mind.
- Why did this happen?
- Was I to blame?
- Why was I not enough?
- How am I going to go on?
- How can I get him back?
I’d like to call this collection of thoughts the spinning wheel. I struggled to think of anything else for months. If it didn’t form a part of the wheel, it didn’t seem important. I only wanted to deal with the wheel, I couldn’t seem to mentally deal with anything else. It’s now obvious why he would become such a constantly recurring figure in my dreams.
Sigmund Freud once wrote that, “dreams are wishes we have formed in our waking lives.” I can see that in the early days of my grief, this was completely the case. I was unleashing this intense inner wish that was piercing my subconscious and entering my dreams like a blazing hologram of my hopes and prayers, to have the person I loved back again.
Each time I woke up, I felt a rush of despair as the cold light of day hit me. This is the way things went on for months. I didn’t dream of him every single night but it happened often, I dreamt of him more nights than I didn’t. All I could do on waking was try to calm the sudden hurricane of shock and despair that would rip through my bedroom each morning.
Was this healthy? I’m not sure.
I’ve come to see that it has simply formed another part of my grieving for my marriage. That it was another way for the hurt, shock and sadness to find an outlet, it just so happened to overflow into my dreams.
A dream is a dream but it is an experience none the less. Maybe I needed those experiences once again, I don’t know. Those experiences were both blissful and brutal all at once but the mind has a unique way of navigating life’s blows.
As time has gone on the spinning wheel in my mind has slowed its pace a little, where it once spun relentlessly at break neck speed, it now leisurely turns. It still hasn’t come to a halt and each question continues to take its turn to occupy my mind. New things, however, have started to enter my life and mind that are not related to my husband which provide a welcome break from the wheel. This blog is one of them.
Bit by bit, I have dreamt less of him as the intensity of the shock has gradually lessened. I still dream of him from time to time and when it happens, it still has an impact on me on waking but I’m relieved it is not as intense as it was.
I will dream for the rest of my life, they are something I have no control over. They are uncensored and unlimited. I have no authority over who occupies my dreams.
I like to think of dreams as a hologram of our lives, our loves, our thoughts and memories and I am hoping and praying that in time, there will be new holograms projected; of new life, new love, new thoughts and new memories.