Twice the Loss

Dearest Rachel –

I’d already started a letter to you last night, based on the events of last night – or rather, an event from last night – but upon waking up from this, I had to tell you about it. Another dream, of course, so dream logic – or rather, the lack thereof – applies, so bear that in mind.

For whatever reason, probably because I could do the dialogue better than he could, you were trying to prep me for an Aladdinesque role in which I was the understudy, filling in for a younger (and thus more athletic). There were actually two of you; one, a slightly younger version of you, still reflecting some of your more childlike persona from back in college, looked on, while the other one, more motherly in both appearance and posture, was straddling my lap, trying to fix my hair and adjust my fez.

Moments before, I had been reading a story – probably the story of the play – to some little girl whose face I couldn’t place. At some point, she began crying out for her chair, and you were younger self recognized exactly what chair she was asking for. Unfortunately, you weren’t quite fast enough with the potty, and she made quite the mess on the floor before you got it under her to catch what she still had left to get rid of. Meanwhile, Daniel (who was still little more than 10 or 12, judging from his looks and shorter hair), was watching what I presume to be Disney’s Aladdin, which I suppose would have been the source material for reference.

It was really quite the chaotic scene.

And in all this that I was taking in, I realized that you would have to go soon. I stared into the eyes of your nurturing persona, and felt your weight in my lap. And I didn’t know this was possible, but I began to cry in my dream, which puzzled both of you – by now, your younger self was done with the clean up, and wondering what was up with me.

I looked at both of you in turn, and barely got out “I’m going to miss you so much!” before realizing that I had woken up, and was actually speaking in my sleep – or had been. Younger you had blinked in near non-comprehension, while your older self nodded sadly, as if you regretted having to go so soon. Maybe that version of you knew how close the end was, while the other was decades away.

So here I am, telling you about this, and wondering what it was supposed to have meant – all the while knowing better than that. It isn’t as if I am Nebuchadnezzar or Darius, or one of the pharaohs of old, whose dreams held important mysteries to be solved and acted upon. No, I’m just a lonely widower, working my way through the second year of my grief. My dreams are utterly unimportant. At best, these things serve as a brief respite, a postcard from the other side, telling me (while I know you’re okay over there) that you’re still thinking about me, and want to let me know.

I wish I could remember anything you said – either one of you. I wish I could still feel you sitting in my lap. All I’m left with are these fleeting images, and they need to get it all written down before they fade completely from my mind.

And my hair is still a mess – I’m going to have to take a shower and deal with that myself right now.

I’ll talk to you later, honey. Take care; maybe (Lord willing), I’ll see you again tonight.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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