Memories Do Matter
Facing life head-on to live without regrets...
I had an unusual dream that really bothered me this morning when I woke up. It was actually a very upsetting one and I was virtually in tears when I awoke. It was a dream about my ex. I don't exactly know why I dreamt this, as I've moved-on living my life the best way that I can and have committed to taking care of myself. I avoid thinking about the past very well... But something has triggered or caused me to dream about a certain event that I've spent far too much time in the present thinking about than I've wanted to currently face. I’m not even bothered if my ex reads this at one point. That's how serious this dream was to me and that is how much the dream bothered me. I will not be reaching out to you because I don't want to rekindle emotions that we cannot properly reciprocate to each other. You and I both know I will never again choose to be the unhonored or disclaimed lover of your dreams. But unfortunately, during this past night's state of sleep you have ended-up in my own dreams and a thought of you has made a very deeply affecting visit to me that I feel everyone needs to hear about. I hope that you will understand, instead of being annoyed, upset or weirded-out.
I dreamt that I had come home from a casual outing. The weather was wonderful and sunny like any other day as I walked into the home I’ve always known. I placed down my purse and keys next to the couch and had proceeded upstairs to greet my family. I came into my parent's kitchen and my mother immediately stopped cooking to sit down at the kitchen table and tell me that she had something important to let me know. She told me that she had received a phone call. I am still curious up until writing this, as to who she had received this call from. A phone call of what I had already dreaded was about, as my dream was only a product of myself and my thoughts will ever be. My mother said solemnly, “They called and told me that [he] had passed away and that they found him on the floor.” Who is they? I totally disregarded the question in my head.
My palm reached over my face and I began to quietly exclaim, “No! No!” I immediately felt sick to my stomach and my heart dropped faster than tears that would soon flow. I immediately walked outside and searched for every telephone number in my phone of every close mutual friend or family member I could find, but no one picked up their phones.
I drove over to his home as fast as I could. My dream was so detailed that I could even hear the sound of my car engine revving up that suburban hill past familiar white fences of farms. In my mind, I can still see the needle of my tachometer rise and fall with every passing stretch of road. I finally got to his home and knocked on the front door. And I knocked. And no one answered. I grabbed the knob of the front door to the home and pushed it open. I called “hello” as I walked into the house and walked downstairs, though I had expected to hear a response, either from he or other friends and family… And it soon became quite clear to me, and probably to me alone, that I was the closest person he'd ever had in his life.
Sure enough, as I walked down a stairway, through a doorway and around his old printed couch, I saw the image of him lying on the floor. It became so apparent to me at that point, at that moment… Even though so much had torn us apart during life… Of course... Of course I would be the most affected and devastated person in the time of his death. I knelt down and I cried with my hands over his lifeless face.
I called my mother to confirm that what she had told me was true and asked her thoughts of what I should do. No one else was here at the house in which I came to. I made a phone call to a local post-mortem service (though if I couldn’t tell you type of service, no one could). It was not until a white, unmarked ambulance showed up though the front window of his home and his lifeless body was placed on a metal-legged, rolling stretcher that I realized I would never see him again. His body was draped with a sheet.
Goodbye. I’m so sorry. I will always love you.
I went home in tears on a car ride the seemed more winding and lengthy than the one that had brought me to his house. I thought about the past and the echos of laughter from my memories rang throughout my mind. As much as they haunted me like the broken bells in an empty church tower, they also made me smile. I realized then, that when life is all said and done, it’s not the bad moments that you shared with a deceased or loved one from your past that you remember for the rest of your life, it’s the good ones. How those memories make you feel is up to you.
I wondered, after the angry words we said to each other and the decision to finally live our lives apart, if he realized how much I still and always cared about him.
This alone, was the most painful element of this dream.
Finally, I got home and sat down. I received a call from a service director and asked if there was any other person of contact he was in communication with. There was a long pause of silence and he began to discuss my options. The mentioning of an urn and ashes was too much for me to handle, as I couldn’t imagine someone I was so close with had turned to dust. At this point I woke up. I could not deal with the experience of this dream any longer.
The reality of death is too real for human nature, and though I sit here typing the narrative to a detailed and frightening dream, I feel there is something that anyone who reads this can take away. I feel that I have a message to share with everyone because of the thoughts and emotions it has caused. My message is not a religious or denominational memo, but rather a one-size-fits-all lesson in how to live and complete your life.
I have stared death in the face before. As a means of bettering myself, I have often come to terms with it in my own father’s mortality in the face of his disease. Even so, I am not quite sure why the idea of loss has visited me in this aspect of my life or in this story line, but I feel there is a reason why it has.
Yes, I will say it again… Death is too real. But it is so real that it makes everything else in our lives trivial. The constant reminder of death is a wake-up call that we need to enjoy our lives for what they are and breathe-in deeper with what we’ve surrounded ourselves with.
Life is very short. None of us realize or know when exactly we are going to go.
The most painful aspect of this dream last night was never being able to tell the person whose departure lied within, that I still and always love him even though we have decided to live our lives apart.
True maturity in a relationship with anyone and the sign that we genuinely care about another human being is when we are willing to make things right when the relationship has ended or we have been treated badly.
My message to you is get right with the people you love. Get right with the people who you’ve once spent enjoyable time with, but no longer speak to regularly…After all is said and done at the end of our days, the most important action you can do in your life is tell people who are important to you or have made a difference to you exactly how much they mean to you…
Because at some point, you have made up a piece of their life-story and within their life lies a reflection of you…
Because tomorrow you may never have another chance to tell them how you feel.
Just know that even if we have chosen to live our lives apart, I will always love you. Please carry that with you and remind yourself of this when you are feeling less than perfect. I will go on living my life with the pleasant memories we have made, because in the end, that is all that really matters, even if things never worked out the way we wanted.
I know that someday there will come a time when this dream will become a reality, though it may not play out exactly as I have experienced it... Though I may not have such a weighted role, just know…
I enjoyed the memories we shared together and eventhough we will never be happy together, you will always be a part of me.
© 2018 GinaMarie Gambino