I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.

13 Apr

She was gone.

In the rooms, swept with grey, painted with some crooked brush of forgetful, I sat, desperately trying to focus on the mundane, what’s for dinner, what to say, how to live.

As my heart seized and contracted, and whispered her name in my ear, over and over. My arms suddenly stretched and fell, realizing they’d never feel her gentle, warm body surround them ever again. My eyes would never catch hers, the liquid orbs wouldn’t ever dance for me.

Dead. My first born, gone, simply, from a flu, a cough, a something transient and unreal, too quick, too easy.

And I could not breathe.

The tears would come, and I’d heave and struggle, every cell in my body screaming for her, screaming Vivian! wretched with the knowledge that her body was cold and still somewhere, not giggling and perfect before me. There weren’t enough tears, not enough power in my lungs, enough life in my body to roughly handle her void.

I sat, in a restaurant, and cried my aching womb to sleep.

I tried to wake from this through the night. I’d shake out of it, and be dragged right back to it, to the hideousness of it all, the utter void. Losing my mother was horrible, absolutely, but the absolute blackness of losing a child, losing the issue of my body..my entire vocabulary can’t touch on it. When I finally woke, I pressed my fingers to my face, expecting the tears to have been real, expecting my heart to be laying forlorn on my chest.

After the alarm, after the drunken morning shuffle downstairs, I stared into her room, stared at her softly rising chest, at her shaggy head, listened to the slight snores. She soon come into the kitchen after me, rubbing away the night, blinking at the stove light.

I’ve never held her so tight, or breathed her in quite so well.

8 Responses to “I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”

  1. DD April 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm #


    I’ve had those dreams. I thought I was done having them, but recently they have come back. Just like you described.

  2. Eden April 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    I’ve had those as well, from the time Zoe was an infant. The terror of it usually wakes me up before I react too much.

  3. sweetsalty kate April 13, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Nodding. It’s tough though. With the best of intentions, gratitude can be a burden.

    Everyone says “huge your children tighter because X happened to family Z!” and well, yeah. That’s what people say. But does gratitude ever really sink in and stick? Maybe fleetingly. You’ll curse someone out the next day, or yell at your husband, or kick the wall after burning toast. Because we’re all human.

    For me, the toughest guilt to shake off has been this. I snap at Evan, I get exasperated with Ben. My own kid died, and I still can’t internalize that lesson. I still walk around all day barking at them, not being patient enough, not being grateful enough.

    Of all people I’m in the camp that should know better, but I don’t.

    I’m trying to be okay with the fleeting, rapidly-diffused gratitude. And trying to be less cynical about other peoples’ efforts to shoot for more than that. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just shrug and reach for another cold beer.

  4. sweetsalty kate April 14, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Good grief I sound like one miserable, cynical f*ck.

    ha ha ha. ahem.

  5. elorajade April 14, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    I think every mother has had those dreams, normal ones anyway.

    I always dream that they’re lost and I can’t find them. Even that drives me batty.

    I’m sure mine got ideas from them.

  6. bromac April 14, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    You know my situation. The other day, in the midst of a depression-induced nap, I dreamt I had this tiny, sickly baby. She was so small and so skinny. And then she was gone. These dreams that haunt us are heartbreaking.

    I wonder, though, how much they are spurred by the seemingly daily news of mother’s losing babies to dogs or pools or pedophiles and such.

    And I wonder if this dream, your dream, was spurred by the death of your mother; by the fact that you experienced the bottomless grief of losing immediate family. It was this month, or close; in the spring right?

  7. Bon April 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    sometimes, just waking up is an incredible mercy.

    and like Kate, i still bark at mine, am always still looking for ways to get shit done, to have a moment to myself. yet at the core, oh am i grateful. i am suffused with it, i swim in it. i just…uh…forget.

  8. thordora April 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Oh Bon and Kate, I get that. In the afternoon I was rolling my eyes, speaking harshly and threatening to throw out al
    l her toys and books again.

    After my mother died, I had a hard time being normally irritated with my father, as any other teenager SHOULD be as part of growing up. Then someone reminded me I wasn’t his mother, and I had a right to my feelings and needs. (not in so many words of course)

    Learning to live with gratitude AND annoyance was interesting, but necessary. I LOVE Vivian, but as my father would say, damn, somedays I don’t like her very much. 😛

    Bromac, I think it is the combo of MANY recent deaths/abductions, and the 20 year mark coming up-KNOWING the depth of loss, but not that SPECIFIC loss…and, in some small part, I think it’s also connected to my fears that my mania will start soon, as it does in spring/early summer. Bad dreams are the precourser.

    What DO normal people think about? Or are there ANY normal people?

    I’ll be talking about my Mom deeper with a post for a fab contest Creative Wanderings is having. 🙂

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