PLEASE NOTE: ALL OF MY CHILDREN ARE FINE. However, this post contains material that some people might be painful for people who are sensitive to the subject of losing a child. So, in other words, everyone. But some VERY UNDERSTANDABLY more than others. If absolutely no one reads this because of that, I completely understand and I will have no hurt feelings whatsoever, I swear. Scroll down further if you decide to read the post.
The other night I had a dream my youngest…wasn’t alive anymore. He had…stopped being alive because of cancer and I found myself in the midst of figuring out a funeral and what percentage of Jewish he considered himself and I can’t even go into all the details of the dream, though I remember them vividly even three nights later. The details aren’t important here – just that I felt the grief to the center of the earth in my dream, and so, too, in my reality, because when I woke up I was still grieving. The overwhelming relief at realizing it was a dream mixed with the indescribable pain of feeling like I’d lost my child forever became this vortex that overwhelmed me and I was immediately – but immediately – racked with sobs and gasping for air and trying to keep quiet so I wouldn’t wake the kids.
Dave, of course, woke up and I tried to choke out the words “bad dream” as if he didn’t know that’s what was going on (he did because this has happened to me before,) but before he had the chance to move just an inch to his right to comfort me, my youngest appeared in my doorway. I said his name and managed to say “bad dream” to him and he was instantly sitting on the side of my bed leaning over and hugging me so tightly as I sobbed and said “Thankgodthankgodthankgodmybaby” over and over again.
He didn’t say a word. Just sat there leaning over and hugging me while I cried and got tears and snot all over him and squeezed my arms around his torso and felt his ribs and stroked his hair and felt his breath on my neck. After about 20 minutes of that I finally managed to get slightly calmer, and of course, had to go to the bathroom, because 45 and three kids, that’s why. When I was done, Dave had already put him back to bed, but I wasn’t done with him, yet, so I went into his room and got into bed with him and hugged him some more. He asked, “Was it a scary dream or a sad dream?” I said, “Sad dream.” I wanted to stay there and sleep with him or make him come sleep with us, but for logistical reasons I knew that wasn’t the best idea, so I just asked him if I could take his Pikachu doll back to my room with me to sleep with. He said yes.
I told him if he didn’t want to go to school because he was up for so long in the middle of the night and really super-tired, he wouldn’t have to. He said he thought he should go to school, and I said, “Okay, but you can change your mind if you feel lousy in the morning.”
I think I will shock absolutely no one when I say I was really, REALLY hoping he would decide he wanted to stay home from school. And he did.
We did the only thing that made sense to do on the morning after a night like that. We made banana bread and watched “Young Frankenstein” together, which was exactly what the doctor ordered.