Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Before the deep sadness

Last night I had a dream about Matthew.

I was at a crowded bar when I bumped into him. My heart leapt. He smiled and asked me if I was sticking around. He said he’d be hitting the stage around 7 and I should stick around. I was so glad to see him that I didn’t think to ask questions.

Of course, I said. He told me to make sure I stayed late because the fun stuff didn’t start happening till after 11. 

He looked 19: skinny as a pole, shy smile, a dusting of brown freckles sprinkled across his nose. Handsome as ever. After I promised to stick around he tapped me lightly on the back and walked away. When I looked again, he’d been swallowed  up by the crowd. 

I woke up then. And missed him like crazy. I realized it had been a dream.
I walked to the kids’ room where they were sound asleep and watched them for a few minutes. Sometimes when I miss my brother it helps me to be near my kids.

Even though they’re not related by blood, Deaglan reminds me of Matthew. I think it’s because my favourite memories of my brother, the parts I hold nearest to me, are the memories of him as a small boy. He had a great laugh and I hear it every time Deaglan laughs. Back then he was pure, honest and in awe of life, the way Deaglan is these days.
It was before he felt the deep sadness.

Eckhart Tolle says this of suffering: Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spare them [your children] from all suffering? No, it wouldn't. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper.

I find this prospect of parenting the hardest to accept. 

I forgot about the dream when I woke up this morning. I shuffled downstairs, made coffee, got lunch stuff together, watched the news, showered, dressed and got us all out the door.  On the way to the Daycare, Tom Power played this and the dream came flooding back.

That song always stops me dead in my tracks.

I don't know what the dream was about. Next Wednesday will mark four years that Matthew's been gone. Maybe he just wanted to say hi. Tell me he's happy.

Whatever it was, it feels good to know he's on stage somewhere.

This was the last picture of us together. I was six months pregnant with Naveen. I'll always be sad that they missed each other by ten days.


  1. 13 years later, I still have dreams about the brother I lost. I guess that never stops.

  2. At least he is still with you in your dreams. A small consolation perhaps. Huge hugs!


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