Monday, March 14, 2016

I Go Without

For the first few years after Rachel died, I would lay down at night hoping that I wouldn't dream of her...

As a general rule, I was afraid to lay down at night because my mind had no distractions and would automatically land on Rachel - and usually I would cry.  I'm not sure why I feared crying at night so much... maybe because it feels lonely to cry in the dark....?   Maybe because things hurt more when there is nothing between your heart and the silence...?  I don't know, but I know others can probably relate.

I have had only one dream with Rachel in it since the scary dreams I had before we got her diagnosis.  It was in 2011 and I woke up feeling comforted, but a little sad.  You can read it HERE 

Still, I was afraid to dream of her.  I would ask God when I laid down to not let me dream of her because I was afraid it would either be scary or make me miss her more.  I am not usually one who tries to avoid feeling things - but this has been a consistent fear of mine - to dream of her and wake up hurting more than I already did.

Some time last year, I started to ask God to allow me to dream of her again.  I asked him specifically to let me meet her in my dreams.... I felt ready to feel what that might bring.  I was hoping He might give me a glimpse of her face... a moment of her laughter... a peek into her life...  I was hoping He might show me who she is in heaven... what she looks like... sounds like... I was hoping to feel like she wasn't dead... like she was a normal, healthy kid who never left me... like she'll be when I see her again.  I wasn't wanting my mind to bring me to Rachel in my sleep, but rather was hoping that God himself would hijack my dreams and show me her heavenly beauty.

Last Friday, I had a dream about Rachel.

This dream, though, was nothing that I had asked for... nothing I had longed for... nothing I have wanted to remember - and yet I can't get the thing out of my mind.  It's haunted me for the last 10 days.

In my dream, I told Matt I had some of Eden's clothes that I wanted to put on Rachel... so we went and dug her up.  In my dream, this was a totally normal thing to do.  We dug her up and put a board over her hole so that nobody would fall into it and then brought her home and put an outfit on her.  I'm not sure why the outfit was so specific, but it was a white sleeper that my Aunt bought for her that has little bikes, flowers, a girl and a puppy... and a touch of sparkle... but nothing pink or purple at all.  That surprises me since it's always the girly stuff that makes me wish I could have dressed her up...

I was sitting back in the hospital bed and Matt was holding her and held her up for me to see it.  I got disappointed and I said it was too small for her.  I said "She's grown since we buried her... we'll have to get a bigger size."  She looked just like Eden, but a little bigger.  We decided to keep her with us for the night so we could get her some bigger clothes.

Matt wanted to put her in Eden's sleep rocker... and this is part that bothers me.... I got grossed out.  I was like "I know she's Rachel, but she *has* been dead for 5 years and she is deteriorating and must have germs all over her."  Matt said "It'll be fine, I'll wipe her up." as he started to wipe her hands with baby wipes and her skin was coming off with the dirt.  I got really upset and said "You can't put her on that, I don't want her to get Eden sick.  Please... just go put her back in her grave.  I won't be able to sleep unless I know she is safely buried again and won't touch any of Eden's things"   He agreed and we went back to bury her again... But we couldn't find her grave.  In its place instead was my Grandpa's grave, but even that was hidden under this cement covering.   We went to a community building to try to find a shovel so we could dig her grave again and instead we found these large music makers - like the ones behind the rainbow on her Ark Playground.

And that is all I remember.  We dug up our dead baby, dressed her in clothes too small, wouldn't let her touch any of Eden's things, got to see my Grandpa's grave (hard one because he was supposed to be buried on the same family plot that Rachel is, but plans changed after he died so his grave there remains empty), I didn't hold her, I saw no life in her at all... and I woke up before I knew where her body was being kept.

Last night I was at JCPenny's and I saw the sleeper... and my heart skipped a beat.  I found myself staring at this outfit, touching it and trying to figure out why it made its way into my dream.  I hadn't even put it on Eden yet in real life.  I lifted it up and the shirt that comes with it says "I love kisses from Mommy."  My heart sank...

I have lots of thoughts on what pieces of this dream could mean... what they could be referring to... where the idea might have come from... what fears/regrets/sadness might have been floating around in my head to make the dream go the way it did... but mostly, it just makes me really sad.

The next night, I wanted to sleep with her blanket really bad - I looked over and Eden was sound asleep wrapped in it... and I had to go without.

And I guess that feeling right there is the overall memory from that dream... the feeling of her being gone... of all the things I long to see and asked of God in my dream because I long to know them... to know her... to hear, see, feel, love her... to kiss her again....

But I have to go without.

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