I woke up in a panic last night. I had another nightmare.
It is incredible how more than ten years since my sons have died; I can still occasionally have nightmares.
I wake up terrified, my heart racing, feeling an overwhelming sense of dread.
With this particular nightmare, I dreamt about a colleague about to have a baby, her fourth. In the dream, everything was fine.
But that was the nightmare.
She was having a baby, and I was not.
And her attitude about the whole thing was what was giving me a panic attack in my sleep.
How could she be so cavalier about this terrifying thing, while my mind considered every possible thing that could go wrong?
At that moment that I wake up, my sons’ dying was not ten years ago.
It was barely 10 minutes ago.
My mind is playing a trick on me and replaying those emotions from so long ago.
None of this was real. My colleague isn’t pregnant.
Nothing is going wrong in my life, or hers.
As I calm myself down, take a few deep breaths and remind myself that it was all a dream, I also feel a sense of peace.
Hard to believe, but the nightmares are another way to remind me of my sons.
To reconnect with them and feel close to them, and those emotions, again.
In reliving my pain, I am bringing those moments to life again.
As I struggle daily with worrying that I’ll forget them, this pain of a nightmare is short but soothing.
I will not forget them.
I will not forget this moment or the shock of knowing they had passed.
My body won’t let me forget.
Not that I could.
4217 days later.
Image credit: Oakenroad on flickr.com used under Creative Commons Licence.
Amanda Ross-White is the proud mother of four beautiful children, including her twin boys Nate and Sam, who were stillborn in 2007. She is eternally grateful to watch her rainbow children, daughter Rebecca and son Alex, grow around her. She is also the author of Joy at the End of the Rainbow: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Loss, which won second place in the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Awards (Consumer Health).