I have been silent on this blog for a couple of months now. The shock of my father’s brush with death seemed to leave me incapable of writing about my other sorrows. Then I was hurled into a new job which demanded much mental and emotional energy in July.
But that does not mean that, all of a sudden, grief over the loss of K.B. dissipated. There were the dreams, for instance, dreams in which K.B. never spoke. One night I had a powerfully realistic dream of being present in a room where K.B. and Chris were talking normally. I was astonished that she was alive. I went up and grasped her arm to see if she was really flesh and blood. It was so, and I spoke to her joyously and excitedly, exclaiming, “K.B.! You’re alive!” She smiled, but there was no conversation, and there the dream ended.
Around that time I talked with an elderly lady of my acquaintance about dreams of the dead. She said that she had heard somewhere that everyone has one lucid dream of each deceased loved one in which that person talks to them. She told me that she had such dreams of her parents and of her brother, and in both cases they spoke words of consolation to her. What they said was very meaningful and helpful to her, and she had no more lucid dreams of them.
I was intrigued by what she told me, but envious, too. I do not share her belief that we are all granted one last opportunity, even while asleep, to actually communicate with those we love who have passed away, but I could see the comfort that belief brought her, and I wished more than anything that in one of my dreams of K.B., she would speak to me.
For me, I would take any such conversation as something my subconscious was producing, drawing on memories of all the times we reveled in the opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and cooking tips. I would not see it as a kind of communication from the realm of the deceased, as my elderly friend would, but rather as…as what? A pleasant illusion, akin to the replaying of a scene from a much-loved movie? Or the chance to feel, even for a short while, as if the unthinkable had not happened and life was as it was seven months and one day ago?
I can only think that the uncharacteristically silent K.B. of my dreams represents my deep sadness at the suddenness and finality of her death. I had no opportunity to say goodbye, to tell her how much her friendship meant to me, and I will never, in this life, hear the lilt of her cheerful voice again. Unless I dream it, and that seems to elude me.