(see previous post)
This is what I think the dream was telling me — and I must say I don't much like the message, but I know I'd better not ignore it. I think it's clearer if I put it in present tense.
A man has died and is haunting me. Well, that'd be Andrew.
I'm scared and trying to pretend I'm not. Yes — no-one to look after me any more. Even though he couldn't do a lot of practical looking after in recent times, he was always good for moral support. It's scary going on alone, and I have been refusing to acknowledge that.
When the dead man connects with me — when I am in effect stuck to him (to what is behind me) — I become unable to move forward or express myself. It takes a great effort of will to do so even a little.
I call out for Bill. Perhaps this is confirmation that Andrew is the dead man who is haunting me, not the living husband in my bed. Or could this be a reference to the fact that there's a cost if I want to be rescued from my situation — as in paying the bill, or even calling for the bill to find out what the cost is? I'm speculating here; it's not real clear to me.
But then, Bill is also a dead husband. In fact the man in the bed looks like Andrew.
I manage to wake him from his sleep. I am trying to wake the dead, to bring him back to life and back into bed with me.
I do exert my will enough to find my voice again — literally, not just in dream. This wakes me out of my dream and shows me that I am alone and Andrew is dead. In my waking life I am expressing myself in my writing, both poetry and blogging, and in the writings I am acknowledging that he is gone.
Since that moment of waking I have had more sustained crying and sobbing than at any time since his death. I have cried before, often, but only a little at a time before my mind gets diverted. Perhaps I have now reached the point where I'm able to do some heavy duty grieving. And it appears that I haven't really let go yet — heck, I know I haven't — and now my subconscious is telling me it's time I did or else I'll get stuck in the past. If I am to keep moving forward and expressing myself, I must make that huge effort of will to do so.
And it's no good calling on the dead to comfort me, or trying to rouse them from their sleep — they aren't actually available to me in that way any more.
It is definitely not a welcome message! But I think it's a necessary one. My unconscious wouldn't be giving it to me otherwise. I almost never remember my dreams. When I do, and so vividly, it must be because I need to.
I still wear my wedding ring. I intended never to remove it. As far as I was concerned, I was still married to Andrew. I have likened myself in my mind to the heroine of the film, 'A Man and a Woman'. When the new lover asks her is there someone else, she says, 'My husband.' The man says, 'But he's dead!' and she replies, 'Yes. But not yet for me.' I don't have a new lover, nor the slightest hint of one — but I have been feeling that Andrew is not yet dead to me as my husband.
But we promised 'till death', not beyond. Even religions which don't condone divorce allow that a person is free once the spouse is dead. I am not talking about remarriage or a new relationship — I know I don't want that — but I see that I have been unwilling to become unmarried. I have wanted to think that being widowed doesn't mean being single. But of course it does mean just that.
In a way, I suppose, it's like not setting him free either, to go on and do his work in spirit. I know he is in fact free, and doing that work, and I also know that our souls are connected for eternity ... but earthly marriage — what am I thinking? Of course that is over for us in this lifetime.
I don't want to stop wearing my beautiful wedding ring. It's not just a band of gold; it's a dark sapphire with a diamond each side, set in gold, and it was our engagement ring first. We planned it that way. I'm not going to shove it away in a drawer. But perhaps I could move it to my other hand now and make it a dress ring.
It will be Andrew's birthday in a week. Friends have suggested I should plan to go out rather than stay home alone, thinking. But I have decided to celebrate his birthday, instead of trying to put it out of my mind. I have been thinking of creating some private rituals to do so. Now I am thinking I might include a tie cut. That will not sever the soul connection, but it would free us from bonds that no longer serve us. And it would be a good time to swap the wedding ring to my other hand.
I might stash some of the photos of us that are around the place, too. We never had so many on display, but my friends who hosted his commemoration gave me the large, framed ones we created for the occasion, and I have had them on show. I could put some of them away now. The big wedding photo could go, and the one of the two of us in the nursing home when he was dying — photos of us as a couple. The nice one of him on his own, taken in 2005, can stay. And so can the one of us cuddling our baby god-daughter, Flo (now nearly three). It has been on display ever since her parents gave it to us, did not feature at his commemoration, and it's more about the relationship with her than with each other.
Flo, who is an extraordinary soul, came to his commemoration with her father. (Her Mum stayed home with new baby brother.) Her father wrote in the tribute book, 'I asked Flo what could we say to Andrew. She said, "Goodbye".' Out of the mouths of babes! I think it's time for me to follow her wise advice.
Re-reading this later, I remember learning from a psychologist long ago that when, in a dream, you are desperately trying to call out to someone and can't, it means the relationship is ending. And I remember experiencing just that in regard to Bill, shortly before becoming (consciously) aware that our marriage was breaking up. Perhaps this latest dream was saying to me, 'Remember how it was with Bill? It's happening again with Andrew.' I like to think it is also saying, 'You moved on from that and found a new life. You can again.'
Nothing could make me forget, but it is time to say goodbye. I won't wait for his birth date. There is a full moon tonight — perfect timing.