Before my mother died, I had few dreams about her, only on rare occasions. I had the real her to contend with while awake. It was enough. Now that she’s dead, I find I dream about her all the time. It is always about her being dead and not being dead anymore. Someone has made a mistake. Either she was found in her casket still alive- odd, seeing that she was cremated- or she literally comes back from the ashes because her wishes were not being followed.
I told you she said she’d haunt us if we didn’t follow her wishes. Obviously, I believed her.
Every night I this week she has been alive in my dreams. Each night it is different.
Last night, she was mad at me for burying her while she was still alive. Hey, I didn’t know. In the dream, I’m confused because I remember the urn going into the niche. I know she wasn’t buried.
And she was mad I was not working.
How do you expect to pay for moving expenses? She demanded.
We were standing in the garage of my childhood home. She had the keys to my car. All I wanted, in the dream, was Jeanine. She was finishing school somewhere. I had to wait, at my mother’s house, until she was done.
I kept trying to dial the phone to tell Jeanine to come get me.
I mean, I kept seeing the urn go into the niche and yet she was standing there holding my car keys. She got smarter in death because she never took my keys away in real life. The car was my ultimate getaway. Took me a few years before I realized I could simply drive away. I’m in that garage- carport actually- thinking, no, this is not right.
At least she wasn’t demanding her stuff back. Those dreams seem to be fading away as her things become mine.
I want contact with her. I want to know I didn’t do anything wrong when I picked up the white urn with my brother and sister and put her on the ledge. I tucked her in with pictures of her boys- Ben, Zach and Jake. Letters from them.
I want to tell her about my day last Friday. I did something she would have been so proud of. Something I could have shared with her in a deep, meaningful way. She would have understood my sheer joy. She would have applauded my commitment to my beliefs.
I want her to stop haunting my dreams. I want her to be alive while I take these incredible steps.
And I know, in my heart, I could not have taken these steps while she was alive.
I will settle for the dreams. I see their transition. For now, she is still annoyed with me. In time, though, I know she will be smiling.