grief post – please skip if you’re not in the mood; I would.
Lucy holds this football for Charlie Brown, and he knows every time that she’s going to pull it away and he’ll fall flat on his back, but he still runs at it. Every time.
Last night I dreamed that there had been an elaborate kidnapping and that S. was really alive, and that he came back. Even my subconscious found this improbable—the conversations my brain manufactured within itself were, “but it’s been seven months, why didn’t I hear anything?”; sub. hasn’t absorbed that it’s been nine and a half months, and invented a quite ingenious scheme whereby he’d been kidnapped by Chinese organized crime and held for ransom (“but why didn’t I even hear about a ransom?”) and, oh! his company was dealing with the negotiations! and nobody could say anything because they’d kill him otherwise. So his co-worker N. was in the dream, apologetic but relieved that he’d been released at last. By the Chinese kidnappers. Uh-huh.
So I was involved with practicalities, we were at a few events all mixed up together, some sort of gigantic Christmastime picnic and a theatre evening where half the audience also was performing – not an anxiety thing, there, more familiar. There was the odd detail that S. looked kind of grayish, in fact very much like he did at his wake. And he wasn’t talking much. I had a slightly resentful conversation with him, “I was almost ready to stop wearing my wedding ring, you know;” good thing I didn’t; of course I still love you, dear.
“Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds/Or bends with the remover to remove.” That feels like a desperate trap to me sometimes, like now. I’m still locked inside this love, and I can’t seem to get out, and I don’t want to, really, but maybe I’d like to at least leave the cage for a while now and then. How the hell do I get out, anyway?
I thought in the dream, okay, all those people I wrote thank you’s to are going to have to be told, where’s my phone list—and random people were in the dream and I told them, thank you, but it’s okay now, he’s not dead after all, he’s back; kidnapped and held incommunicado for months in China; yeah, weird, huh. Faintly embarrassed about what to do with memorials. Told a few neighbors, and Monique (who wandered by), and started to think about how to tell the kids. Told the grief support center, hey not grieving! He’s really alive! Yeah, similar to that story one of the other kids made up to cope with his dad’s death—but this is real! He really WAS kidnapped!
And then I woke up, certain that I had a whole list of things to do and a marriage to resume.
But he really did die. I checked. The warmth left his body; his eyes were still green, but not lit up any more.
So it’s going in waves, where I build up some strength and then get knocked over again. I know the knocking down is coming when I start to feel pretty good, but it still surprises me.