The dead come to our dreams to comfort us. Your husband once stood at the edge of the hallway to confess his grief, his long body braced against the wall as if one more step into the living room would dispatch him spinning into the hollow. You took him into your arms. You and your innocent unknowing, standing at the precipice of grief, awaiting the loss that is to come. When you stood in your wedding dress at the fitting, your own mother said, I don’t understand why mothers are always crying! I don’t feel like crying at all! When all you wanted to do was cry. Only once you’ve dreamed about his mother in the year she’s been gone. She who traveled the world, who didn’t want to die, collapsed in your arms, sobbing. When you play safari toys with your daughter, you are the antelope her lions eat for dinner, nom nom nom. Ouch, you say at first, but that doesn’t follow the rules of death your daughter already understands. I’m alive again, you try, waving the animal off the floor like some weightless cartoon ghost. Your daughter pushes your hand down hard. No, she says. She’s dead. How easily she says it. You and his mother are the animals who refuse to be dead. You realize now it was a comfort to hold her in your dream.
Leave a Reply