Through the Wormhole
We watched it together. His grandmother's recent passing has raised a lot of questions about the issue of death, dying, afterlife, religion, heaven, hell, reincarnation...the topic is indeed a vast wandering wormhole of questions that spawn questions and more questions. I don't think either of us expected to have our questions answered, because I think we both know there is no answer to be had for the living. I think we both realize that nobody gets to know until they're dead. Maybe we expected to have some of our suspicions and doubts validated. But I don't think either of us felt that way when the show was over. Curiously, I think we both felt disappointed, even though we knew no epiphany or enlightenment would come from watching.
That tells me that even though the rational mind knows, the heart denies. The heart keeps searching and searching for those answers. The heart keeps looking for a way to quiet the fears that plague us in the dark solitary hours of the night, when we are alone and adrift in our own dreams.
I am weaning of migraine medication; the last pharmaceutical in a calvalcade of medicinal salvation that began when my strokes were diagnosed. Because it works on brain chemistry, there's some fairly funky stuff going on in my gray matter at the moment. The doctor warned me that I might experience unusually vivid dreams. "Unusually vivid" turned out to be an understatement of truly gargantuan proportions. Because of that, I am able to remember every detal into my waking hours, something that has never been true for me before.
In the most recent dream, I was talking to my mother on my cellphone, driving down my own street in my own car. I can recount the entire conversation word for word. I can still HEAR her voice so distinctly in my ear. I'll spare you the long, emotionally frought details of that conversation. But the curious thing was that I was completely aware that she was dead and that she was calling from someplace....beyond.
I asked her where she was. She replied, "I can't tell you that honey. But you know."
I didn't know and I told her that. "I don't know Mom, I don't. PLEASE...help me know."
She said, "You have to find out for yourself. But it's okay here. I'm okay here. Don't be scared. I don't want you to be scared anymore."
She knew, you see. In life she knew that nothing scared me more than the threat of deep, cold, eternal blackness. She also knew that none of the conventional stuff that people choose to believe in to relieve that fear, made any sense whatsoever to me. And so I floundered around, dog-paddling in my fear, trying to keep my head above water and not let myself drown in the panic. She told me shortly before she died that she wished I wouldn't worry so much about it. I wish that too.
She has visited all of us this way. The boys dream of her. I dream of her. My sisters dream of her. And all of us have felt that same sense of reality about these dreams. My eldest son woke one night to find her sitting in his desk chair. They had a nice chat. And then he went back to sleep, unafraid and strangely comforted. A dream, surely. And yet.....he says that he can't shake the feeling that she really was there.
Is there a point to this post? No, I guess not. Except that...I'm still pondering. Still a little lost. Still afraid. But maybe...maybe getting a little better. Maybe getting a little less worried about what happens after, and a little more committed to living well before.
Maybe there's a way through the wormhole. And maybe that way is acceptance.
And maybe I'm completely full of shit.
Time will tell, I guess.