Sunday, February 17, 2013

A New Kind of Nightmare

Dear John,
I dreamed about you again last night. This time it was a nightmare with a variation. So I guess I have to give you credit for creativity. Oh, the heady excitement of a new kind of nightmare!
You were being discharged from a rehab unit of Methodist, and the time was current. And you were doing fine. We stayed a few days in Indy, ran around and shopped and had fun, then you were going to go straight back to work. It was nice, but I was troubled about something that I didn't mention to you for a few days. Then I finally sat down and talked to you about the fact that I was confused - it was obvious that you were here and fine, but I was sure that I had watched you die back in April. And I'd written all those blog posts about life as a widow. So I asked you which was real - were you dead or alive? I told you that I couldn't go on thinking of you as Schroedinger's cat. I needed to know.
And you said that you'd been wondering the same thing and had no idea. The doctors seemed to know but wouldn't tell us. I was left with the impression that you really were dead, but we had been given this time together as a gift. So it became hard to enjoy being together because we didn't know what or when the ending would be. Nasty dream.
Evidently I need to be more specific with you. I asked for an end to dreams about medical emergencies, and you gave me that. But I wanted us to do normal things, and spending our time trying to determine if you are alive or dead just isn't normal. I want to dream about you before all this happened, or you as you'd be if none of this had happened. And maybe that much suspension of reality isn't possible. So my mind has conflated the nursing nightmares I've had since the start of my career with my widow's nightmares. There are nights that I'm afraid to go to sleep - I wonder what awful nightmare events will come this time, and shadow me for days.
Well, it was better to see you up and around and feeling fine, than to be trying to rescue you from another medical cataclysm. So it was an improvement to that degree. But the dream has haunted me today. The lesson seems to be that it is best that between us there is a great gulf fixed - when we were together in the dream, it was wrong and unnatural. But I can talk to you and pray for you, and you can pray for me. And I will see you, not in my dreams, but in the Kingdom of Heaven. And that is better.
So sleep well tonight and pray for us who love you. And give my dreams a break tonight - come in peace this time!
Love you completely, love you forever,

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