Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the dryness

While I was in the hospital I had a lot of strange dreams, visions, and hallucinations. Some were silly and psychedelic, obviously caused by the sedatives and paralytic drugs I was on. Others were loosely based on the sounds and events going on around me while I was sedated or coming out of sedation. There were also dreams or thoughts that told of past or future events, as if I was more open to the energy and experiences of those in the room, even though I had no other way of knowing these things. I was confused and disoriented when I woke from sedation and hadn't remembered right away that Mila was no longer with us. I thought that the twins we lost in 2006 were also here, that we had 3 newborn babies waiting at home for their mama. I realized quickly that this wasn't my reality, even though it seemed very real for a short time.

Sleeping was difficult while I stayed in the hospital. I was uncomfortable, lonely, and heartbroken. I missed my husband and my children. The beds in the hospital were so awful that I had to have several physical therapy sessions to get my body aligned properly again once I got home. Nighttime felt creepy with so many lights, sounds, and interruptions from nurses to check vitals or administer meds. The first few nights out of ICU I had some very vivid, disturbing dreams. I don't remember what exactly took place, but there was a common theme. The best way I can describe it is dry.

In one of the dreams we lived in a rural area. We were in an old farmhouse surrounded by trees, and various animals such as dogs, goats, and chickens. It was fall, but the air was dry and stale. The ground was hard and dusty. Rather than soft, tender leaves that have just left their branches, it was covered with dry, crunchy leaves that broke into pieces when you walked on them. Everything was brown and dead, waiting for the first snowfall to make everything look fresh and clean again.

In another dream we were inside a different home, it was an autumn night and outside the air was dry. Lights from our home illuminated the trees with gold and brown leaves, but beyond our yard it was dark and dangerous. We couldn't let our children outside for fear that the wild animals would attack them.

The colors and feelings of both these dreams were the same; ugly yellows and browns, dark, dry, stale, hard, sharp. They are the same as my feelings of grief: dark, dry, hard.

It's October and this has been an unusually dry fall so far in Minnesota. I am almost haunted by the resemblance to my hospital dreams when I'm doing the dishes after dinner and gaze out of the kitchen window. I used to love fall. It was my favorite season. Now, fall is painful. My grief is at its heaviest right now and I wonder if I will always associate these dry, autumn days with the deep loss and sadness I've experienced. I feel the same way in early spring, when the air is cold and the trees have not yet sprung to life. We miscarried at 18 weeks in March of 2006 and those cold dreary days always remind me of the loss we experienced then.

I usually surround myself with colors and textures that comfort, soothe, and inspire me. Most of the time, these have been the rich, warm colors of fall. Now, I want a cooler palate. I crave gray, white, and aquamarine colors. I want to feel things that are refreshing and restorative. I find peace today in things that are soft, smooth, and light. I indulge in clean water washing over me or a crisp, clean sheet. The meditation book I've been reading on grief says that I can ask God to supply and surround me with the things I need to feel better. Today I pray that God guide me towards all the things that bring me peace, comfort, and relief.

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