Most nights that I dream about my paternal grandmother, I dream that she is either alive and struggling to live or she is alive and well and she faked her death.
Most nights its the latter.
I think this stems from the fact that I never got closure from her death. We had not spoken in four years when she passed away and I was pregnant with my first child at the time. I was not invited to the service (“party”) due to being excommunicated at the time from my paternal side, which might have had something to do with being 17, married, and pregnant – among other things they felt were good enough reasons to turn me into a castaway. Neither here nor there.
I dream about her quite frequently and in most of my dreams she is the third wheel in a relationship with her own husband.
Her husband, in my dreams, is remarried to some Mary Tyler Moore type whose had a face lift and she is struggling to literally, well, live. The one from last night, she was in a nursing home that was by a river. Though since she died young she probably had never even seen the inside of a nursing home, she was in it and she was laying in a bed and grouchy and bent out of shape about how her life turned out. She wouldn’t speak to me in my dream she only made grunting noises – not sure why. This river was unlike most rivers, it was clear and it had little shrimps that swam in the water and seashells and was only about knee deep at its highest point. There is some sort of luau party and her husband, my grandfather who is still living, and his wife, in my dream, are trying to get her to join -them- at this luau. I remember being completely perplexed in my dream as to how she must be feeling over this.
I am so perplexed by what happens inside these dreams – that I spend many waking hours after these dreams trying to sort all of this out, finding meaning it – sometimes I do – most of the time, however, I don’t.
We are then wading through this water and I stand next to her as she watches longingly at these people having fun at this luau which is so not like her in the flesh. My grandmother was a socialite, a party girl so to speak – social butterfly, many friends, knew everyone in Soulard and ate at some of the nicest restaurants, had a knack for gardening and told some great jokes, wore red lipstick and wore it well, so in my dreams I am so confused when she is like this because I am referencing (within my dream) the grandmother I knew in real life. She is being forced to smile and be happy, she is scowling, which is something I almost never saw her do.
I am encouraging her that its ok and that we can have fun regardless of the presence of my grandfather and his new wife (disclaimer: he is remarried, rather quickly in real life, however I have never met his wife and I haven’t seem him in nearly 6 years so his ‘wife’ in my dreams is purely a fictional character that very closely resembles a woman I work with), but needless to say she resists. At some point before waking up I help her back to her nursing home bed, which she looks too young to be in -all- my dreams, and she eats some chocolates that sit on the bed next to her. My dreams remind me of just how much I miss her – the grandmother she was before my angsty teenage years scared them both away. I wake up and look around and their old phone number is immediately in the forefront of my mind and I look over at my cell phone, it’s 5:50am and not time to get up quite yet. I remember she isn’t there, I remember she isn’t going to answer the phone and that their old house no longer has them in it.
Everything still remains such a mystery to me, to this day, it’s clouded in fog and misunderstandings that don’t seem to make sense to me. It’s something I have struggled with since I learned of her death – two weeks after she died.
The total lack of closure is most likely what makes me keep cycling these dreams. The dreams where she faked her death are far more frequent than the one mentioned above. Those are another emotional rollercoaster for another day.