One of the most troubling aspects of my journey through grief and depression has been that I had never dreamed of Steven. For several years, I didn't dream at all, a short circuit of some kind deep in my brain, so the doctors told me. Being sedated for an extended period years ago probably didn't help.Eventually, I did begin dreaming again, sporadically at least. For some reason I never dreamed of Steven, and the docs told me not to worry about it, but I did, nonetheless. It didn't seem right to me.
One night, about five years ago, at the end
of a short, otherwise nondescript dream, I briefly saw my little guy,
toting his backpack wandering down my street, (which, being a dream I
didn't recognize as any road I'd ever seen), on his way to school. Then I
woke up with a start, and that was it. Not a thing since.
the less common side effects of a med that I'm on is described as
"unusual dreams". That's a vast understatement. Being me, of course I
don't get the standard side effects, I get the weird ones. Typical.
started dreaming floridly about a week into the course of meds, as they
kicked in. The dreams were intense, lucid, extremely detailed and very
long. I retained a lot of the details for days, much more than the usual
vague recollections one normally experiences, making things a bit
strange at times. At first they were troubling; tales of frustration and
confusion, and bizarre in ways I can't describe. Like walking through a
living Dali painting. Unimaginable things that were at once disturbing,
yet compelling in strange ways at the same time.
A couple of days
ago, they stopped, which is "normal" according to the literature on the
drug in question. This was a relief, and I began sleeping better than I
have in a decade.
Then came last night's dream. Once again, it was
detailed and I have retained most of it, although describing it here is
beyond my capabilities... but I spent the night talking to my boy. It
was some kind of family reunion, set in what felt like my grandparents
old place in Wellington, except that the house was ridiculously huge. I
ran into my recently passed uncle Al, who tried to explain what was
going on, but it didn't matter, it was just good to see him again. Then I
Steven and I were sharing a bedroom, the only room that
was familiar, and it became the most peaceful, comforting dream I've
ever had. We talked, he asked a ton of questions about trivial things
that caught his attention, just like he used to. We did odd things, like
disassemble the clock radio to see how it worked, and there were a lot
of other scenes, some with him, some without, but we always ended up
back in that room, sitting on the two beds, talking.
He said he was
ok, and that it was a very complicated place, so it took him a long time
to find me. I smiled and told him it was ok, then he asked me to tell
mom that he wasn't mad at her and asked if his big sister was ok. He
felt bad that the last time mom and he talked, he had been angry. I told
him I'd let her know. The dream went on a long time, and I was feeling
very peaceful when I awoke, about 4 AM.
For a second I was in the
usual waking moment fog... then I remembered that I'd finally dreamed of
Steven, the whole thing came flooding back to me, and I started to
laugh. I laughed harder than I have in years; deep down gloriously
joyful laughter like I have never felt. It kept up so long that I almost
worried that I'd finally snapped, which immediately seemed hilarious,
and I started laughing again, and again and again, until I fell asleep
exhausted for a few more hours. I awoke, and told my wife Pam about it
Was it spiritual? Hallucinogenic? Insane? Real? I have no idea,
but I'm ok with that. I couldn't care less. As far as I'm concerned, my
little guy's ok. He really is, and that's ok with me, no matter what
caused this wonderful revelation. He's ok, and I don't have to worry
about that anymore. Rest now, buddy, Mom and your big sister and I are
going to be alright, and if there is another life after this one, some
day we'll meet again. Maybe we can try to put that clock radio back
together, you and I.
Be at peace little fella.