When you finally have that dream you have been hoping for… You know, the one where your deceased Boi appears to you, and you get to give him the most ginormous hug?!!!! Or, at the very least―get a glimpse of him! But then, he is dead in your dream, too…

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I have not had a single dream about my son since he passed sixteen months ago (at least nothing I can recall)―not until just now. It was one of those afternoon naps that was sorely needed… I have been running on “E” for a few weeks now, so I got my moment to lay down, and I took it! Daytime dreams are often the most vivid for me. I am not exactly sure why.

It was also during one of these daytime dreams in the fall of 2021, just a few short months before his death, that I learned my Marine would never set-foot with his beloved boots inside our home again… I woke up sobbing after that dream, because I knew, deep down in my soul, that it was true—even though my mind told me it was just a bad dream. Just like then, today I woke up from my nap in much the same way—trying to stifle the sound of my sobs from my children’s tender ears downstairs…

Since my daughter died, I can count on one hand the number of special dreams I have dreamed with her. Mostly, in my dreams, I would be desperately searching for her, but never finding her. This is why, now, eventhough I have still not had a dream with my son alive, I am used to it. I know those special dreams are very few and extremely far between, and they seem to come when you least expect them.

I had a grand total of two such special dreams with my Josie in the first five and a half years after she died—both occurring in the first few months of her passing. Other family members had numerous dreams where she appeared to them, and that made me happy. However, the two I had were more like special messages she needed to deliver―vital clues as to how I was to continue without her, but I did not receive a single word, or embrace. That is what I truly longed for, but after months on end of sleepless nights, waiting for her to “appear,” and it never happening, I slowly resigned myself to the reality of my “situation…” It was painfully hard, and the hours and minutes dragged on for several years like the heaviest of breaths.

When Julian was killed just two days before her five year death anniversary on February 4, 2022, I still had only had those two dreams of her that I could recall. By then, even with my grief compounded in such a complex and incomprehensible way, I had learned to not expect any sort of special “dream-time visits” from my son. Those wishful thoughts would only serve to rob me of precious energy that my body very much needed to face the days that lay ahead. The last several years had taught me that I simply could not afford to stay awake at night just waiting…. and waiting…. and still waiting… for them to appear.

But then, in July of 2023, about six months after Julian’s death, my precious daughter, Josie, finally came to visit me in dreamland!!!! It was just a day or so before my birthday, and in that dream, I was flooded with memories of how it felt to be in her presence―feelings I did not even realize I had forgotten… I was completely and utterly overjoyed.

She was exquisitely beautiful, and radiated such a sweetness that was always so unique to her… Then, just as I was giving her a great big hug, I suddenly realized that I would also have to say goodbye, and my poor heart began to weep all over again!!!! I was instantly awakened—left with lingering feelings of peace and overwhelming love, but also feeling quite helpless and broken. This had undoubtedly been one of those dreams…

I also understood in that moment why I had not received such realistic visits from her up until then… It had felt nearly impossible to have to say goodbye again—much like the night when I initially learned she was gone, an unspeakable sorrow. I believe this is perhaps one reason why I have been “protected” from having these kinds of dreams. It is almost more than I can bear at this time…

However, I do know that I DO NOT need to experience these dreams to know they are still with me every single day. I can feel them, and hear them, and see them in my mind’s eye—every wakeful hour. My heart resonates with theirs when they are present… It is always quite miraculous to me, but at the same time, very normal at this point. I can honestly say that I quite literally talk to angels every single day, ALL DAY LONG.

I know I am not unique in this aspect. Every grieving mother is connected to their child with the kind of bond that binds for an eternity―and beyond… Perhaps, when my subconscious is finally able to make sense of this tremendous loss, I will meet my children again in my dreamland. Perhaps, next time, I will be brave enough to say good-bye when it is time… but then again, maybe not.

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