I had a dream last night about my grandfather. He was young and happy as he was when I was a little girl, except I was an adult in this dream. The timing was all off and didn’t make sense and I remember even in the very short time we had, I was so thrilled to see him and be talking with him but… also very confused about how this could possibly be happening. The fact that I even dreamed at all is a miracle; according to my Whoop tracker my REM sleep accounts for less than 35% of my total sleep which is “less than optimal for restorative sleep.” Despite all of this, I dreamt and then I actually remembered it not when I woke up, but after all of the hullaboo of the morning, after I had dropped off the kids at school and was driving home and finally had space to let my brain wonder.
Usually my dreams are not peaceful. Usually they involve me failing to protect the people I love the most. But this time, my dream was not only peaceful, it was almost entirely quiet. There wasn’t much happening other than a few words and then just a lot of smiles passed back and forth before I faded away and the dream ended. It was beautiful and the smile on my “Police Papa” is an image that I’m happily remembering today.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever dreamed about him before… I’ve dreamt about other family members a ton, both living and gone. For years I would have dreams with full on, current day conversations with my Omi, as if she had never left. Those dreams are less seldom now. I loved every minute of those dreams, but always woke up filled with sadness. This dream with my grandpa felt as if I was receiving my first warm hug in a very long time. I don’t really know how to explain the difference in feelings afterwards.
I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. Not in the scary way that creeps in sometimes, but in the heightened anxiety way where you suddenly are filled with the fear that when your time comes you will not be ready, no matter when or how it comes. Will it hurt? What will happen to me? Where will I go? Will my babies be protected and taken care of? What will it look and feel like to have my heart actually explode from the heartbreak of leaving them and everyone I love behind?
My grandfather’s death was my first real experience with the heartbreak & regret that comes with death. I had known death before and known the tears that flow; but when Police Papa passed, I was fully immersed. I have always hoped that he was at peace, that he was filled with love and only saw beauty. My first tattoo is because of a lesson I learned within that first week after his death.
I really have nothing important to say here – except that these are things I am thinking on a lot lately. Random thoughts that are somehow associated in some way and sometimes not, but associated for the fact that they are floating around together in my head. Thoughts that are consumed by the deep desire to live my life fully and passionately, to be patient at all times, to see the world, to stretch my legs and breathe in the scent of fresh trees at all times.
I’ll be thinking of the lesson I learned to be still and quiet my loud thoughts when the world is storming outside and inside of my brain. I’ll be thinking of the peace and joy I saw in his smile last night. I’ll be thinking of the warm hug I was given in a dream from the grandpa who gave me the family nickname, “Stasi.”