Grief Diary: The Dream

Somehow, I always knew this day would come. I knew that, one day, I’d wake up thinking that Male wasn’t actually dead even though I know he is. It’s the dream where Male just shows up and tries to prove to me he’s not dead.

Much like when four of my friends showed up at my house one afternoon in March to tell me he was gone, those same four friends woke me up in my dream, but they were not alone. Male was with them.

He was battered and scratched and bruised, and wearing his favorite ugly orange shirt with those glacier blue eyes. Even in my dream, I didn’t believe it was true. I had to be convinced that it was really him. I don’t remember what excuse he gave for disappearing for four months now, but he had one. I believe it had something to do with falling off cliffs and bears.

I think part of the reason I didn’t believe it was him in the dream was that he had no facial hair. From the time he was old enough to grow it, Male wore a goatee or a full beard. He only shaved it off once when he noticed that all the successful males at his editing company had no facial hair. He wondered if it would make a difference. I asked him if he really cared enough about American Idol, the television show he worked on, to fundamentally change his appearance. He said it was worth a try.

Besides, he hadn’t seen himself with no facial hair since he was a teenager. He looked much younger and cuddlier without facial hair. He looked entirely different. I hated it. It lasted a week. In the dream, he fell off a cliff and wrestled with bears, but somehow, he found time to shave.

I’m not sure why my subconscious would choose that image of him to try to convince me he was really not dead. Perhaps my brain didn’t actually want me to think he was still alive deep-down. Perhaps it was trying to spare me that heartache again, but I would rather not have a dream with a spurious Male at all.

I didn’t entirely believe it was him before I woke up. Yet, when I did, I still reached over for him. I still lay there wondering if it was real for a few seconds before I realized it was only a dream. Fuck you, subconscious.

I got out of bed, downhearted and dejected and just as sad as the day I found out the truth. But, as things seem to do lately, something comes along to make it better.

Last night, my sister got back from visiting our parents and brought another of my dad’s wood carvings back for me. The first thing I noticed when I got out of bed was an eagle.


And, only yesterday, I said I only had two non-owls in my house. I love the fact that my 85-year-old father still carves wood into little creatures. He’s not the greatest artist in the world, but he keeps going.

I love even more that he carved me an eagle. My sister got a butterfly, but I got an eagle, a symbol of freedom and soaring and pooping on windshields and everything good and just in the world, or at least, that’s how I chose to view it this morning.

I glanced at The Shelves of Special Things on my way downstairs to make coffee and spied the new additions that Rarasaur gave me. My heart sang a bittersweet note, full of contradictory emotions like the rest of life. I remembered that I am not alone in this.


Then, I took my dog out for a walk and noticed a package at my door. I swear, it was not there when I took her for a walk in the wee hours last night. Either the Post Office is doing wee hour deliveries now or I’m just not that observant.

It was an impeccably timed and unexpected package from one of my favorite and most benevolent bloggers, Alex. It engendered the kind of smile I rarely show in public, because in the box, were these guys.


My unicorn collection keeps growing larger, mostly thanks to Alex. In the box was also a note with the words: Stay strong. I’ll try.

Material possessions aren’t everything, but sometimes, they make all the difference. Thanks.

P.S. I was also excited to find that my new unicorn friends were wrapped in a limited edition opportunity to “walk with the wolf and see the world by moonlight” with the first ever glow-in-the-dark wall sculpture.