I’m still mourning the death of my son, but he never died.

Last night in my dream . . . one of my sons died. He was eight years old. One minute he was here. . . the next I was mourning death. My dream never told me how this happened. That’s probably a good thing. The realization of what was upon our family hit me the second day after his passing. The first day I felt numb.

The rage.

The heart ripping anguish.

The silent open mouthed crying where I couldn’t catch my breath to cry with sound.

The feeling of pure hopelessness that my son couldn’t live anymore. The unfairness that I would never hear his infectious belly laugh again. The sadness that none of my other children processed this same infectious belly laugh. I was already mourning that feature of his. I mourned his life and was angry I would not be able to see the handsome man he turned into, which is something I am excitingly anxious to see one day.

In my dream, I experienced true heartbreak.

Now, after 4 hours of being awake, I am slowly starting to heal. It takes time. I find myself watching this son closer this morning and noticing everything he says and every smile he throws my way. I am purposely trying to make him laugh so I can pull his laughter into the still swollen part of my heart to soothe it like warm blanket in the frigid, raw, cold.

There are many opinions on why we dream. Some will say that dreams are a way to sort through the events we experience and file them into organized areas of our brains. Some believe dreams are religious visions to guide us or prepare us for something we should do, or an answer to something we need. Neither one of these matches my dream. Bad dreams are a mystery. Why do we have them? Why does our brain take the people we love and play a story for us in our heads like a featured cinema flick, letting the unspeakable happen? Why do we have a brain that thinks this is okay to do?

Maybe my dream occurred because of the stories I have read recently about children dying. It affected me emotionally when I read them. I feel a mountain of sadness in my heart for the families. And for the child. But I am screaming FOUL and shaking my fist at the inside of my head.

Because this is just not cool.

As my heart heals today, I feel guilty but privileged. My heart especially goes out to the parents who didn’t awake from this dream.

They are living this dream.

Every day.

I can’t imagine how.