It’s a thin line

I dreamt of Jake last night. He’d come home and then left on a trip, and had stopped to stay in a small town somewhere up north where it’s green. It seemed like normal times but felt a little off, like I knew in my dream that I was dreaming.

In my dream, I said to him that I thought I’d move closer to him, and asked, “Do you want family closer, or no?” He said, “Oh, yes!” And it was settled.

I ‘ve been puttering around this morning thinking about Jake and how I feel like I saw Jake, physically, in person, for real. My waking self didn’t know the difference right away.

I still reach out to him in my dreams, hoping to make sense of the space between us, and in the back of my mind is the notion that he left because of me.

But even in my dream I couldn’t bring myself to ask if he wanted me close.

And I wonder if I will only ever see him in a dream. What if that’s the only place he actually exists?

There’ve been times when I wondered if I’d imagined his entire existence. But no, I HAD A SON NAMED JAKE.

Grief doesn’t diminish; it settles deeply into your bones like hidden mold, but somehow it doesn’t get into the hippocampus. Grief is invisible but it stinks like mold; I reek with grief and I’m the only one who can smell it. But that’s its nature.

This, I think, is why my empathy is sharper, my tolerance broader. I can’t smell your grief, but I know it’s there. You’re suffering as much as I am. Maybe more.

Posted: January 22nd, 2023 under memoir, The Blog of Missing.
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