I’ve had some really weird and disturbing dreams the past week. The sort of dreams that don’t really relate to anything in my actual life but have lots of very stressful or strange things going on in them. In these dreams, nothing appears to relate to my actual life in any particular way. Nothing symbolic even seems to be obviously about my life.
They might not be welcome, and the past few nights I’ve caught myself feeling a tinge or dread when going to bed because I don’t want to have more disturbing dreams. Still though, it makes me think back and be grateful that these nightmares are just that - nightmares and not real. It makes me think back to the year Drew died, and how many nights I had bad dreams about how he died. In the dreams, he was either angry with me and leaving me, or had found someone else and was leaving. Not a single time did one of these dreams show the true reason he was gone - that he had died suddenly in a helicopter crash. Helicopters were never in a single one of these dreams in fact. It seemed as though my mind was trying to make sense of what had happened to him in the trauma of it all. So it would create these false stories that he had left, or that he was far away and not coming back for one reason or another - none of them ever death.
So the feelings are the same, just as intense but not as often and demanding. I miss Clayton every day but the immediate sting when the thoughts rush forward is milder with time. My eyes still water each day but there are more days of laughter than tears. The dust has settled and now I’m feeling unsettled. A year ago I feared I would have to move out of the apartment that Tin and I shared. People don’t realize that when you become a widow most often times your finances flip. Your household income drops but all the same responsibilities are there. We, the widowed, are billed for our loss. As if life isn’t taxing already.
I was talking with another widow the other day, and she told me that lately when she looks at the pictures on her wall of her and her late husband, it feels like it was someone else in those pictures. It feels like some other life, or another lifetime ago. She said she used to feel really sad when looking at the pictures, but now its more of an emptiness, and a big void. She stares at the picture, as if trying to feel something, but it just feels like nothing. And then THAT makes her sad.
"I know that feeling," I empathized. "It's like you feel removed from that life. Like it wasnt you who was in it, or it's somehow been detached from you."
"YES!!!! Exactly! Removed!!!", she said in loud agreement. "Why do we feel removed from our own lives?", she wondered. "That sucks!"