Jasper has been gone all week, and I have been sleeping a lot. Somehow, when he is here doing homework until after midnight, it is a little guilt inducing to head off to bed at 9:00 pm….or even before. I get giddy at the prospect of a full night’s sleep. Sometimes so much so that I have difficulty dropping off. I’ve slept this week. And with sleep comes dreams. I had a dream with Jim in it earlier this week. It has affected me deeply. I will not share all the details of the dream in this blog. It is my dream, and though it may seem that I am pretty open in this forum, there are many things that I hold close to my chest, that never make it past my circle of intimate friends, and even more that only stay inside my head and heart.
In my dream, Jim came back to visit. Friends and family were gathered, anxiously awaiting his arrival. I was just one of many, and when he arrived, he brushed me off to go find and talk with his family. I was not hurt…almost every dream I have had of Jim since he died, this is what happens. He is busy, or distracted. He is actively doing something in which I am not involved. I leave him be. The difference in this dream is that I went to find him. I held his face in my hands so he had to look at me, had to talk with me. I told him that I was not in love with him anymore, that I could not be in love with a dead guy, it bordered on necrophilia. He told me that he had moved on. It was time for him to go. He was a different person, had another life. We laughed and joked with some of his new friends. I then went to find his brother, his family. To let them know that no matter where my life took me, I would love them. They would always be my family.
This dream came to me the night after I had told a friend that I was done. Done with any kind of ritualized grief. She wanted to have a bonfire at a year…and burn the prayer flags made for Jim’s auction/benefit concert/memorial service. Seemed like a good idea when she suggested it, but the more I sat on it, the more I knew I couldn’t do it. I am done. I am done with ritualized grief of any kind. I just cannot go there anymore. I cannot remain in love with a dead guy. It borders on necrophilia. I am not naïve enough to think that I am done grieving. I know I will still get sad. I cannot forget Jim…I still live in this house, I still sleep in our bed, his Sotar winks at me from the rafters every time I head to the garage, his trails still make me smile on a run or mountain bike ride, his blue eyes gaze at me through our daughter, and Jasper inherited those wonderful LaFortune legs. Friday nights without a plan still make me anxious. Josh Ritter’s “Kathleen” still opens up a hole in my heart and I cry.
Dreams are powerful. They don’t care about the calendar. It has not been a full calendar year since Jim died. I had a similar dream, at about 11 months post, after my sister died. She needed to go…and I said OK. Emerald weaned herself, abruptly, at about 11 months. I fretted about putting her on formula, until a wise doctor told me that there was nothing magical about the 12 month date…it was just a ball park estimate. Emerald transitioned to whole milk just fine…at about 11 months. It has been about 11 months since Jim died. My dream says it is OK. Jim has moved on. I am doing so as well.