Monday, July 28, 2008

Before, and After


Last night I had one of those dreams which freaks people out when I talk about it, so I am not going to (talk about it). I had no idea where I was because at first, nothing made sense; I was either at Michael Jackson's neverland ranch or Dollywood, and since I have never been to either one, I guess it was just completely made up in my head land.
I apparently bought a ticket to go on the roller coaster, because when I woke up, I had the distinct feeling that I had ridden on one.


I had a baby in my arms, we snuggled in the mysteriously placed rocking chair. I thought he felt small for Bubbles, Bubbles was the only baby I could think of who might be in my arms. He was too light. I looked down and pulled him up to me at the same time. The smell, the whiff.
I was instantly transported. For a moment or six, I cannot say, as dreams tend to mess with my timeclock, I was transported to a life before he was gone. A time when the phrase 'before he died' didn't exist. The smell. The unmistakable smell of him.
Rainbows of color swirled above me, confused in their path, unsure of whether to create light or create a brown mud around me.


There was light.
For a moment, he was never gone, there was no 'before'. There was no 'after'.
There was only Elijah.
He was just here. In my arms. He was mine; he always had been.
All of his cedary sweet milky vanilla gorgeous cheeky delicious chunky ethereal baby awesomeness was mine.
For a moment I was allowed the thrill of him, the thrill of being his mother. The incredible 'I'm not worthy' feeling as I gazed at this beautiful creature and breathed him in. The pride.
For a moment I felt joy when I looked down at my son.
For a moment I felt the love gushing out of me, the dam had broken, it all rushed straight into my son while I watched it pour all over him. I could not stop it; it all was his and there he was, in my arms, absorbing every single drop.
For a moment and all at once, I felt the opportunity and risks of motherhood - I allowed myself a dream for this child I held in my arms who now held my heart and our future.

Which was my fatal error. Our future.

In a moment it was gone. The ignorance, the bliss, the absence of markers such as 'before' and 'after'.
The light swirled quickly, losing any color, creating darkness.


In a moment, my brain came back early from its vacation and tapped me on the shoulder.
Tap tap tap.
"Go away," I said rudely, "I am not ready for you."
Tap tap tap.
"Please," I began to beg, "Please let me have him."
Tap tap tap.
It was too late.


I knew there was something wrong. I knew I wasn't supposed to have him.
Suddenly, there was a 'before'. There was an 'after'.
I began to cry. I sensed he was going to be taken from me. I looked around for someone to help me, but nobody was there. I was alone in an eerie abandoned park with my baby.
I clutched him closer to me, I breathed him in again; his scent was the reassurance that he was still there, still mine, still Elijah.
He was.
But he was slipping out of my arms.
Tap tap tap.
Brain here. Memories accessed. He's gone. You're dreaming.
Tap tap tap.

"STOP!" I grabbed him more tightly. "I NEED HIM! YOU DON'T NEED HIM! WHY WOULD YOU TAKE HIM FROM ME?"

In a moment I knew again that I was not worthy. He was not mine.
I started to gasp - to suck him in faster.

Tap tap tap.
In a moment, there was the gut wrenching memory of him leaving us.
In a moment I remembered his last breaths, and in a moment, he was gone.


Before:


After:





26 comments:

Denise said...

Oh G......
Love you......

Amy said...

I am so sorry....

I am new to your blog, recommended by someone who met and loved you at blogher.

If your pictures and post are more than a dream I am happy.. If they are not I am So, So sorry....

As a mom to three I have no idea to comprehend the loss you may (or may not) be experiencing.

But your post has effected me so much :(

Tricia said...

I read it as a gift. To enjoy him, his smell, his heft, his beauty...

gwendomama said...

D- back at you.
Amy- would love to know you but your blogger profile is inaccessible...
T- I read it as a gift too. the smell, the touch? really it is amazing when the dreams come. it's all i have. i have to take it.

gwendomama said...

oh yes...the words were describing my dream...my real dream...just a dream...

But the ashes are real.
The pictures are real.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Oh Gwendo mama...
I am SO sorry!

I was coming to write to you of how I enjoyed meeting you last week, and how my youngest is obsessed with the t-shirt you gave me. Every day he looks at what I'm wearing and says "where's gwendomama?"
He would like me to live in it.

I didn't know your history. I can't imagine your loss. The dreams sound like they are gifts out of time to remind you that your love is real to him and you are always connected. I know it doesn't change the waking hours.

Lot's of Love to you!

Tracey said...

I can't imagine that kind of dream... KNOWING that you're dreaming and begging to stay asleep...

Sending you love as always.

Julia said...

I only started reading last week, by way of Cecily and her BlogHer posts.

I am so very sorry about Elijah.

I haven't had dreams like that. I remember very few, but in the ones I do, I always know that my son is gone. This dream seems both like a gift with its sensory reality, and like a cruel kick with its dawning realization/memory. I hope its the first part that stays with you.

mamadaisy said...

hugs and strength to you.

Ashley said...

Hi Gwendomama,
I'm here by way of Not Calm. I read this post and then went back and read all of your Elijah posts. I am so sorry for your losses (your son and family). He was so beautiful. I just can't imagine how difficult this must be. And dreams can feel so real...

I'm thinking about you and sending cyber hugs.

Headless Mom said...

I saved this for a quiet moment-I just couldn't read it with distractions.

Know that you are loved and being lifted up in prayer.

Debbie said...

My best friend lost her Mom at an early age. She says that the dreams of her always seem to come at a time when she needs her most. I hope Elijah's visit to you gave you some sense of comfort. Hugs to you.

See you tomorrow...

midlife mommy said...

I am so, so sorry. I don't know what it's like to lose a child, or to feel the loss anew, but I hope that the part of the dream that was good, the smell of him, the feel of him, stays with you. Hugs, and prayers.

Melanie K said...

i wrote a hundred other things, but this is the only one that made sense:
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooo

The Turtle and the Monkey said...

He is beautiful. Those dreams are like moments of peace in the middle of the storm. I lost my son a little over a year and a half ago and I pray for any dream of him. It is terrible to know that it will end and they are gone, but I relish those few seconds where my baby is there. Just to touch him and breath him in.

I have read your blog for awhile, but have never left a comment. I found you through LissAngels. I admire your strength and love for your children. I am so sorry for your loss of Elijah.

capperoo said...

I'm thinking about you and sending hugs. I'm so sorry.

2 Vermont Chitlins said...

Dreams can be so powerful. Just as our own memories are. When they collide, it's like a supernova.

Thinking of you and yours.

xo-Emilie

"T-Bone" Lee said...

I found your blog through someone else who blogged about you about blogher (did that make sense?) and I find the way you write about Elijah to be so heart wrenching. I know it must be so difficult, but thanks for sharing.

Lunasea said...

Wow, what an amazing dream. What a wonderful visit with the beautiful boy...and I'm so, so sorry it was a dream.

Sharon said...

I can't explain why I read about your sweet Elijah and your intense pain in losing him. I haven't lost a child. Its not morbid curiosity, but instead a way to remind myself that every second counts with my kids. It reminds me to calm down, enjoy the hard times as much as I can, because my kids are here and there are so, so many people out there (like you) who's 'seconds that count' can only come in dreams now. I am so sorry for your loss. I am a stranger, but I ache for you and this post, this wrenching post, made me want to tell you that.

Becca S. said...

There are no words....

jenijen said...

oh my god, honey. i love you.
xo

Cindy said...

Very beautiful.

I've typed and erased this comment a couple of times, but I'm finally sending it. You know what I mean.

Amy said...

Sorry, I don't have a blog.

What a beautiful little boy he was. I am so sorry.

luna said...

what a gorgeous post and little boy. I'm so sorry. I also view that dream as a precious gift.

Charlotte's Mama said...

I can't tell you how many dreams I have had like this, where I am with Charlotte, or even without her but dancing in the delicious wickedness of her being alive for me to mother. there is this lurking, this darkness that hangs over me, and I refuse to look at it in the dream, but eventually it shadows me. In the dream I curse and cry because I know it will happen, I know she is not mine to keep. It is so frustrating. Why can't i keep her, if only in a dream?