I Still Have That Dream
(crossposted from my personal blog)
Been wondering why I’m in such a funk lately, then my calendar reminded me again this morning that today is my mother’s birthday. Her name is Marjorie Bradford and she died 13 years ago now, but the pain feels pretty fresh whenever I stop to think about her (which is often).
For many years after her death I tried to write a story that encapsulated how I felt about what happened and how much I loved her, but nothing ever came out quite right.
After she died, I had tons of dreams about her, but most of them had a common theme. In them, I was often aware that I only had a little bit of time to spend with her because I understood that she was sick and still dying. In some dreams she was very sick, in others almost completely healthy. A few times in my dreams I even asked her “How much time do we have?” and she’d say “Only a little while” or “A few days” or something.
It was as if, in my dreamscape, I was able to roll back the clock a little and revive her, but not completely and for good.
In mulling over why she almost always manifested in this way in my dreams led me to finally being able to write a story about her that did all of my memories and feelings and her impact on me justice. The story is “Elan Vital” and you can read or listen to it over at Escape Pod.
I’ve never read that story in public and probably never will because any attempt to do so will end up with me curling up in a ball sobbing. I don’t even read it to myself for that same reason.
However, when the story first appeared on the podcast I saw so many people praising the reading of it, I decided to listen to just a few minutes. I ended up listening to the whole thing. Mur Lafferty, as you may know, is an extremely talented reader. She did such justice to that story I can’t praise her enough.
Happy birthday, mom. I miss you and love you and I still have that dream.
5 thoughts on “I Still Have That Dream”
I’ve yet to read your story (I’ve bookmarked it to come back to it), but I just want to say that my mother died of pancreatic cancer and it was painful watching her fade away so, even though I don’t know all the details of your story, I already know I can relate.
My mom died of cancer last year, and I often dream about her. In some dreams, she is healthy; in others, she is ill, but she is always still alive. The worst part is waking up and having to remember that she is dead. I look forward to reading your story.
The most painful dream of her I ever had was very long and involved, and at one point I started to realize that I remembered my mother being dead for several years, but here she was alive. Plus, I had memories of those years being with her. The cognitive dissonance hit me hard (this is all still in the dream) and I started to freak out. My mother then calmed me down by saying that she was not dead, that I had fallen into a coma and dreamed that she died. I was all: OH, okay. The dream went on.
When I woke up I was so angry at my brain for doing that to me and full of grief all over again. I don’t remember how I even got through the day after.
I really liked your story. I have so many friends that can relate your story. So vivid and real. Thanks for sharing.
Wow, what a mindfuck. I’m so sorry. I’m always a bit torn after I dream about my mom being alive, because on one hand, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being with her again. On the other hand, it’s like having to grieve all over again when I wake up.
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