(NOTE: This blog is about Bruce, and while many of you know who Bruce is, new readers may not so I thought I’d give him a quick introduction. Bruce was my first husband. He died in 1983 when I was 19, he was 24, and our daughter was 11 days old. He died on March 22 when a train struck his tractor. Here are the links to blogs I’ve written about him: Why I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with March 15; How A Little Story About the Dead Is Good; Death; Death Part II; I Didn’t Hear The Train Either; and How We Met (And There Are Photos).)
I had a Bruce dream last night. He’s a little early this year. Usually it’s the string of birthdates and death-related anniversaries in March that prompt these dreams. Sometimes just a passing thought during the day invites him into my sleep, but I haven’t thought about Bruce in awhile. That’s why last night’s dream was a surprise, and not a pleasant one at that. It’s left me with an emotional hangover that I’m having a hard time shaking today. I thought perhaps if I wrote about it, I’d feel better.
Most of my Bruce dreams have similar storylines. I’m living my life as it is at the time when in my dream I discover Bruce is still alive and so I go in search of him. Sometimes I find him. Sometimes I don’t. Psychologists say it’s because I never saw Bruce dead that I keep having these dreams, and they may well be right, but sometimes it’s as though he’s actually reaching out to me, letting me know he’s OK or that he just wants to check in to make sure I’m alright.
Last night’s dream, though, had a darker feel than usual. What I remember most is that I discovered Bruce was in the train wreck and was living in a nursing home, blind and learning to speak again. My sister-in-law told me she checked in on him once in awhile. I had no idea he was alive, of course, so all I wanted to do was get to him. I could feel it in my sleep, how excited I was thinking I’d hold him again, talk to him again, see his beautiful face again. I asked my sister-in-law if he remembered me and she said yes, that he’d asked about me and was wondering where I was. But when I got to the nursing home, all I could do was see him from a distance. He was wearing a red flannel shirt and his hair was a mess. I don’t know why, but I was being held back. He couldn’t see me and I started worrying that he thought I’d abandoned him. I felt a deepening earnestness and intense anxiety. I was mad with anguish. I was so very sad that I started crying for real.
When I woke up, I was exhausted. Seven hours of sleep down the drain.
I hate when my Bruce dreams are this intense. I don’t understand them or their purpose. I feel better writing about it, though. Maybe this will be enough to fend off another dream tonight. It’s rare I have two in a row.
Thanks for reading. I promise happier blogs in the near future. In the meantime, I could use some “sweet dream vibes”.