It's been a little over a year since the death of my second parent. I find that the absence of my parents is a life-changing event that I am still adjusting to. Most days I think of them, still with longing, but without the intense grief.
Yet from time to time, their absence hits me hard and lays me low for a day or two. This past weekend is one of those times. I ache with longing to see Mom and Dad, to talk with them. Sadness envelopes me and I feel lost. Our family structure has shifted. My sibs and I have moved into the "elder" generation position. It doesn't feel right somehow to have no generation ahead of me.
We are still attempting to regain our footing with the holidays - to create new traditions that compensate for the absence of Mom and Dad. We will be challenged later this month when my niece gets married - the first grandchild - and no grandparents will be present. My father was a great dancer, and we will have to pick up the slack for sure!
In my longing for my parents, I decide to write to them. I share what I am feeling. Near the end I throw out a plea to see them, just for a moment, to help me keep on going. I know in my adult mind that that is a "silly" plea, but my heart will not be silenced.
That evening I go to sleep and dream. In my dream, my youngest brother and I are standing outside on some undetermined street corner. As I look up, I see my father approach us. He looks about 10 years younger than when he died. Dad looks vibrant and alive! He approaches us. I eagerly point Dad out to my brother. My brother and Dad are able to touch, fingerpoint to fingerpoint, just like ET. I am within a couple of yards of Dad before he disappears. Even tho we weren't able to touch, I feel ecstatic that I have seen Dad.
I wake up in the morning and feel a sense of happiness and deep well-being. The feeling stays with me all day. I am incredulous that Dad found some way to connect with me, and to reassure me, in similar fashion as my mother did to me in the dream where she met me last December.
Although death feels like an end, I am beginning to grasp that there is a world beyond imagining on the other side. And that connections to loved ones cannot be severed, even by death.