Friday, July 08, 2005

Dream manipulation

Well, I've mentioned my dreams here lately, and now at 10:30 when most people are knocking it off for the night, I'm gearing up for another seven hours of awakeness. Yesterday I had a conversation with my mom that led to a conversation with my best friend that led to a dream.

My mom and I talked about my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, which is coming up on the 13th. They're celebrating on the 16th, which happens to be a day my writing group has planned an overnight retreat. I told my mom I couldn't go. As we talked, I started to feel those first threads of guilt. Sixty years is a damn long time, and I can't be bothered to change my plans for an afternoon to celebrate this monumental achievement? My other grandparents, my deceased grandma and doing fine grandpa, took the whole family to Las Vegas and we celebrated their 60th two years ago. My mom reminded me that my other grandparents were less into ceremony and are actually quite fragile right now (they're in their early 90s). She said they wouldn't remember if I was there or not the next day. She told me to go on the writing retreat.

The guilt stayed, and turned into that large bubble feeling in my stomach. I started thinking about how I would feel if they died. How I would wish that I had gone. My mom again reminded me that I see my grandparents--all of them--more often that anyone my age (largely because most people my age don't have grandparents anymore, up until six months ago I had all four) and that I should feel no guilt. We hung up.

Then I started thinking about my other grandma, the one that died, and how she was in the hospital the week before she died and I was going to go visit her but it was one acts and I was so busy and too busy to drive an hour and a half to see her and bring her flowers.

And then it hit me. The big bright lightbulb that I've been dodging for six months...the guilt. I know guilt is a natural emotion when someone dies, so when I talked to my best friend on the phone that night, she knew what I was saying. I should have gone to visit her. It would have meant so much to her to have me visit in the hospital, to take time, an evening, out of my life to show her that I care. I didn't, and then she died. I know, in the scope of the world it's not that traumatic, but in the scope of my life I feel like it's the most heartless thing I could have done.
My best friend echoed my mom. My mom said "If you had known she was going to die, you would have visited." Which is true.

So then, more than twelve hours later, as I was finally drifting off to sleep at about 4:30 this morning, I dreamed. I dreamed about my grandma, at her house, and she was there twice, once in an alive body and once as a spirit body, but they were standing right next to eachother. She was how she looked when I was a little girl. I was so surprised to see her twice, and I ran up to the spirit grandma and threw myself into her arms and told her I missed her more than anything and I was crying and the thing of it is, I don't remember her saying anything back to me.

So, I manipulated that dream. If she had caused the dream she would have said something back to me. But in my head, she has nothing to say.

1 comment:

Vic Lana said...


Vic here from Zoe. I had a similar thing happen with my Nana. I called to see how she was doing, the hospital said "Fine," and then later that day I heard she died. I never forget that because maybe if I knew she was getting worse I could have seen her. Years later, it still bothers me but I've learned not to blame myself.

I'd like to put a link to your blog on mine. Let me know if that's okay.

Vic Lana