I had a dream about my mom last night. It’s rare when this happens but last night’s dream was unlike any I’ve ever experienced. I was at a party, and she just walked in. It was so vivid. She sat down in a chair, looking so beautiful, so young, her eyes so very blue. She was so full of light, something I hadn’t seen in a while.
I just looked at her, stunned, and gasped. I said, “Are you here? Are you real?” I couldn’t believe this was happening. Just like that she got up, grabbed me, and hugged me so, so tightly. She was so close I could smell the sweet scent of her that I have slowly lost memories of over the years since she passed away.
While she held me, she said, “I’m here, I’m here, I’m real. I’m here, I’m real.” And I broke down. I started crying so hard in her arms that I could barely stand up. I couldn’t contain myself, she just kept saying “I’m here, I’m real.” I was crying so hard it shook me awake.
I opened my eyes and realized the dream was gone. She was gone. That was it—another end. I frantically began crying, even harder than in the dream.
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That was it. That was all I could ever have of her until maybe one lucky night when she’d visit me again in my dreams. I couldn’t fall back asleep, I just lay there trying so hard to visualize the hug, her touch, how beautiful she looked. The tears could not stop coming down my cheeks.
Why is this the only way I can see her again? Why is this the only way I can feel her arms around me? Why, why, why?
That’s all I have. A dream. It’s so unfair. This dream, while so incredibly special and so deeply needed, made me so angry and so, so sad. So lost again. It took me back to the grief I felt when she died. The intense desire to do basically anything to have her back. To hug her once more. But I never will. I’m angry. I want my mother.
Fifty-nine was too young to die. I want my mom to see my children grow, to see how I’ve blossomed and become who I was always meant to be. I want her to read my writing, the writing that she had no idea I was capable of and now puts her face all over screens around the world because it’s always about her.
I want my mother—I need her—but she’s gone, and all I have left are these dreams that I so desperately crave. But also, so deeply despise because every time they break me at the core. I just want one more second, one more hug. One more moment of her squeezing me so tightly and telling me, “Thank God for Britney,” like she always did. I’ll never hear that again. It’s only a memory now.
My heart breaks for each and every one of you who understands this pain—it’s so unfair. It’s a continuous heartbreak that no one understands unless they’ve been through it. There’s really nothing more to it than that.
The journey of a motherless mother sometimes feels like an impossible one, especially when all we have left is the one photo or if we are lucky the voicemails she left or the random dreams like I just had.
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But then I remind myself that now, I am a mother too. I remember my sweet, sweet babies and the family I’ve created. I am their mother, and I have so much to look forward to and they are the ones who keep the memories of my mother alive, especially when they all have her beautiful blue eyes too.
So when my babies woke up today I squeezed them tight and told them I loved them a million more times. Because I do, and I hope one day when they unfortunately will have to experience this kind of loss too, they’ll know how deeply loved they were. And I hope they know I would have done anything in my power to have just one more second with them too, one more hug.
That’s when I realized what the dream meant all along. When I am gone, I may not be there physically, but I will always be here. I am forever a piece of them, and that is real. I am real. I am here. And my mom is here and real within me too. She is forever a piece of me, and that is what I will continue to hold tightly to as long as I live.