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Dreaming Like a Rembrandt Not Like a Soap Opera Widow Repair

Typical Dreams of a Widow

May 31, 2007 I dreamed last night that Jason reappeared. Once again I was around a lot of people, and I was asking everyone if he was really there. I wanted confirmation.

When the “guests” at the “party” told me that Jason is here, I smiled and thought, So this isn’t a dream. He really has come back from the dead. I thought that God made an exception for me because He knew how much I miss Jason.

I kept passing him, and he wouldn’t really acknowledge me. That was okay, because I told myself that the next time I saw him, I will tell him that we need to talk. I was sure that would get his full attention. I could tell him how much I love him, and we could get back to our lives.

He had been gone for so long! I would ask what it was like on the other side. He must know, and why wasn’t he talking about it? Surely everyone here would want to know!

Maybe it’s a secret. After all, the Bible doesn’t mention Lazarus talking about the afterlife, and he was there for a few days before returning to earth.

That’s about it. I wasn’t able to talk to Jason, only muse about it. That’s one of the typical dreams of a widow I guess.

I’ve found other widows like me who have dreams about their late husbands:

Widow Chick

Widows Don’t Wear Black

Widow’s Voice

Dreaming like a Rembrandt, Not Like a Soap Opera

June 24, 2007 Most of my dreams are a ridiculous string of events, but last night I got to hug Jason.

I looked up into his gentle expression. His smile reached his eyes, and he was looking at me fondly.

There was a shadowy aura around him- it was like the soft, dim lighting you would see in a Rembrandt painting, and not like the anxious, dramatic lighting surrounding the actors on a soap opera.

We hugged each other close again, and I felt so content when I woke up.

Have you dreamed about lost loved ones?

I don’t believe that spirits are allowed to come to people in their dreams, not in modern times anyway. But “Jason” did give me a big ‘ol warning in one particular a dream. I’ll write about that for next week.



Do Not Cry on the Baby's Burp Rag

Do Not Cry on the Baby’s Burp Rag

My son was only three months old when his daddy died. Although he was too young to understand death, babies do absorb the stress and anxiety in the people around them.

What if I allowed my own grief to be a burden on my son? What if he confused my look of sadness for disappointment? I repeated over and over to myself: Do not cry on the baby’s burp rag. You will just make him upset. Just wait until he’s napping.

When Good Memories Bring Pain

The following was written on June 10, 2007, 15 months after I became a widow:

I had trouble sleeping last night because I was thinking about Jason.

I imagine us at Santee playing rummy on the porch. I can feel the moment so clearly, but peace is dashed away when reality reminds me- he isn’t here.

How easily people die. They leave a hole in your heart, and the hole is directly proportional to how much love and dependence you had for that person.

The more you love them, the more desolate and deprived and hopeless you feel if they are snatched away.

Isn’t it sad that we are here on earth enjoying our time together, but after our loved ones are gone, the memories bring pain?

It should not be this way, but everything connected to Jason makes me want to cry.

Widows, Separate Your Grief From Your Children

Our son was only three months old when Jason died, so young that I couldn’t talk to him about his dad yet.

Maybe that’s why it was hard for me to dissociate Caleb from Jason. It was hard for me to see him as being separate and distinct from his dad.

I worried that I could lose our baby too. The moment could be snatched away and turned into a memory just like Jason.

I was helping Caleb learn to crawl, and I praised him with my high, excited, “mommy voice” when he scooted forward for his toy.

My next action was involuntary. I glanced behind me with a huge smile, like I was looking up at Jason to see the pride in his eyes.

Nope, nothing but the pool table in my parents’ living room was standing over my shoulder. The disappointment was so strong that it felt like a slap in the face.

I want to share Caleb’s milestones with Jason, but he isn’t here.

I had to consciously separate my grief from the situation. My baby cannot carry the burden of heartache that I feel in missing his father.

I Will Always Cheer Him On

A child’s smile is the reflection of a mother's love Widow Repair


Thankfully, I recognized the harm of projecting sadness on my baby son. I was healing. It’s evident in what I wrote later in 2007:

“My grim mood changes to playful happiness around Caleb. He is a rambunctious, giggling, squealing, hat-wearing, charming and heart-stealing little sprite. He makes my heart swell and my anger dissipate.”

I still know that Caleb or my mom or dad or brother could go at any time. I am well aware of these “risks” of tying my life up into other people, but I don’t withhold joy anymore in an attempt to protect myself.

Caleb looked at me for encouragement while learning to do cartwheels at his grandparents’ house this winter. He looked at me for reassurance when he learned to swim. A child’s smile in that moment is a reflection of his mother’s love.