I dreamt of my parents last night. On awakening, I was drenched in that deep sweat of walking through symbolic dream time. My mother passed away November 8, 2008 and my father October 25, 2012, but in this dream my mother was still alive as Dad was nearing death.
I was in my parents’ home (their house before they downsized) in the basement- which in the dream was a crawlspace (about 4 feet height). My father was naked and in his post stroke state, so in pain, unable to walk, in need of help to stand. His left side paralyzed and his left arm curved in. He needed help to go to the toilet and I tried to transfer him. There was no support pole. I couldn’t hold him and he did a slow slide down onto a pile of old rag rugs.
With my throat choked in tears, I ran upstairs to the kitchen to tell my mother that Dad was dying and we needed to get him to palliative care. She was well, pre-pancreatic cancer. She was sitting at the kitchen table with a young man. She looked resigned and exhausted.
I woke up with a start. I felt I had let my Dad down, both literally and metaphorically.
I know in my heart though, this is healthy grieving. I am processing. So I meditate on it by drawing. This is when the world falls away and I immerse myself in the gifts I was born into. And I find myself needing to watch documentaries on death and dying.