I dreamed last night that my mother was alive. It was Christmas in the dream and all of my family was gathered together at a house. In the dream my father was seeing someone else. I asked where mom was and was told she was in the woods behind the house with my oldest sister. It was very snowy in the dream so I never actually saw my mom. It’s been like that since she passed on December 11.
In the dream my family was separated into different parts of the house. My father was with his three biological children and with the woman he is seeing. There were loads of presents around. When I went into another room it was gloomy. Next thing I knew I was in the car driving home and my daughter had a doll with no clothes and some of it’s hair missing laying on her lap. I asked where she got it and she told me it was a gift from nanny and grandpa. I asked how she was doing and she tried to smile but it was weak. She said it was ok and showed me a different doll that someone else had given her and said she had been trying to find that one.
I was disconcerted and sad when I woke up from this dream. And there’s no big surprise that I had it. My mother is always missing now even in my dreams because I can’t feel her in my life anymore. And my family does feel a bit split. My father of the last 30 some years (no, he’s not my biological father, but the only one I’ve known) has been a bit absent since my mom died and his children who I was very close to for many years have been off living their lives quite separate from me and my other siblings for quite some time now. I don’t have any hard feelings toward them, we just started living separate lives at some point, the way some siblings do.
Technically last Christmas was the first without mom since she died right before. But it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. It was a numb time. It just passed by while my mother’s 5 children (including me) huddled together not really knowing what to do. The family got together that Christmas day – all of us – I think maybe for the last time. Now, my father will likely be with his daughters and the woman he is now dating. My daughter has talked about not coming home, but I think she will. There’s a new baby on the way that she’ll want to meet for one thing. And it’s the only time I see her in real life for another. It’s funny how a holiday coming can bring out stress like this. Holidays were often stressful when my daughter was growing up because I didn’t have the money to compete with her friend’s versions of Santa. But my parents always looked out for us. She never did without.
This will be the first year that I’ll be without my parents at Christmas. At 49 I know I’m pretty damn lucky to have had such a long run, but it saddens me still. Clearly, I’m not accepting “the new normal” – the catch phrase of the day when you lose someone important. And that lack of acceptance is infiltrating my dreams.
I was at the kidney clinic this morning having a check in with the nurse practitioner. I was expressing my frustration at the process of getting matched for a donor. It’s an extremely long process and done one potential candidate at a time. It’s frustrating because I believe it’s driven primarily by money. In Canada, of course, we have free health care, which is fantastic. I wouldn’t trade it. That said, you do have to wait on things. I’ve never really experienced the waiting like I am now. So my life goes on hold while we wait. While I expressed frustration I started to cry. And once the dam was open I couldn’t get it closed back up again. The nurse seemed alarmed that I started to cry and couldn’t get myself collected. That’s how things seem to be now. I can’t quite get there. Can’t quite get to a happy place; can’t quite get to a place of acceptance; can’t quite shake off the cobwebs; can’t quite jump out of the depression. I have my happy moments, they just don’t seem to stick. Life is always up and down, and I’m well aware that it’s not all sunshine and roses, nor is it intended to be. This year has been a bit much for me though. My new normal kind of sucks.
I start back to teaching yoga tonight. Maybe that will bring some of the good feelings back. Maybe that will be my reminder that life isn’t always hard and that when it is, it’s only temporary. A year in a life is just a blip after all. Maybe tonight I’ll have lovely dreams that don’t have we waking with sadness. Maybe I’ll embrace this new normal someday.