Last night, I dreamed about Rick. It was only the second time I've dreamed about him since he died 4 months ago. The first time, it was confusing and bittersweet. This time, it was painful.
In my dream, we were arguing. I was mad at him. I was anxious. It wasn't nice. It wasn't loving.
He had come home and for some reason I was afraid the cats were going to get out of the house. He was keeping the door open too long. I was nervous. I was yelling at him. I was worried about the cats. It was a regular day. An argument. I didn't know he was dead in real life. I didn't know that I should be happy to see him.
I woke up blinking my eyes, trying to feel grounded again. Trying to remember where I was, where Rick was, who I was... Oh, that's right - a widow. Rick is dead. I can't have an argument with him ever again. Rick is dead. I finally saw him again in a dream and all I could think about was the cats. The cats who never - not once - actually attempt to leave the house when the door is open. I finally saw Rick again in a dream and all I could do was yell at him.
It was just a silly dream. Just a bit of subconscious thought mingled with memory and anxiety and imagination. But I wish so badly that I had hugged him. That I had said, "I love you." Or at least something nice.
I feel like I missed a chance.
I feel like a horrible wife, even though it was only a dream.
Why is it so hard to shake a feeling from a dream?
Sometimes I feel like I will never sleep again. I do sleep, of course, but not nearly enough. I'm still running on 4-5 hours of sleep each night, and when the sleep I do get is disturbed with dreams or crying or cats meowing at 4 am, it doesn't make for a very restful experience. The times I've slept the best have been when I've been away from home. Philadelphia. Connecticut. A different bed, a different feeling in the air. An exhaustion that seeps into me until I have no choice but to give in.
I know I have the power to heal myself while I sleep. For so many years, I have relied on my dreams for guidance and comfort. They have been a map by which I better learned myself. Before Rick's death, it was not uncommon for me to remember 4 dreams per night on a regular basis. I kept a dream journal for over a decade. I have always written down important dreams. I have long had dreams that held far more meaning than simple scenes like my dream from last night.
But it's all gone now. My sea of dreams has dried up. The ones I have are sporadic and meaningless or they are painful or scary.
I don't know what to do...
Tonight, I am going to light a candle before bed. And I'm going to say a prayer for peace. I'm going to focus on restful sleep. I'm going to sleep with intention.
I can't go on with this sleeplessness. I will tell myself not to be afraid of the dreams that may come before the good ones come back. I know that my fear holds my brain in a protective vice at night. I know that fear is what keeps me from slipping back into normal sleep with the healing dreams I used to know and love. I know I cannot rush this process.
I wish for comfort. For sleep. For healing. For relief. For loving feelings. For calm. For peace.
Whatever it takes, however long it takes, I'm going to get my dreams back.