Last Night I had the Strangest Dream
Well, technically it wasn’t last night, it was Thursday night, but the sentiment remains the same. In my dream, I was at my old church and the pastor informed me that I was dying. He told me not to worry, that they’d ‘taken care of everything’ and all I needed to do was turn up for my funeral which was happening that day. A bunch of women – older gals that I’ve known at different times of my life – were fussing all around me assuring me that dying was no big deal and that I would be so glad that I’d avoided all the pain.
That’s what they kept telling me, “Oh, if you weren’t dying, you’d be in so much pain. This is so hard. This is all so hard. It’s much better to just die.” And I believed them. I went to my funeral (it was lovely) and, afterwards, they let me know that the man from the crematorium was there to take me to die.
“Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. And if you tried to live, there would be so much pain. It’s just too hard.”
So, I’m getting myself together to die. I’d said my heart-breaking goodbye to Joshua and assured myself that he would be fine. He was in good hands. And, though he said he’d miss me, he told me he’d be okay.
I suddenly realized these things:
What the hell was I dying of? No one even told me!
Why was I so scared of all the “pain” and “hardness”? Was it worth dying about?
How could I forfeit even a moment of extra time with Joshua just because people told me this was going to be hard?
I said, “No. I changed my mind. I’m not just going to lay down and be burned and die. I’m not doing it. I don’t care how hard this is. I don’t care if I only have days or weeks. I’m going to get my son.”
And I did.
For those of you wondering if I’m nuts for dreaming this vividly – that’s entirely possible. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had incredibly vivid dreams.
I woke myself up and came downstairs to write in my journal. And I’m going to share here, verbatim, what I wrote in my journal.
One quick note: The pastor gave me $1,000 before he told me I was going to die. Random, but that’s how the dream started.
“So many people were counting on me dying and were genuinely put out that I refused to “go gently” into my death. Like seriously aghast that I’d dare hold onto my life – or “what’s left of it” and make the most of it. Other things that stand out to me are:
The $1,000 – It was meaningless because the person who gave it to me never really intended me to have it. And money didn't matter. It never did.
The more I think about it, I realize that almost all the people preparing me for my death, funeral, and cremation, were either already dead or people that I had very little respect for when I knew them.
I think people DO expect me, and this whole world, and this culture to just give up and die because things are going to be painful or hard. That is the constant messaging we get. Just give up. It’s too hard.
I have, many times, allowed MYSELF to just give up and “just die” because I knew something was going to be, or was, at that time, really hard.
The thing – The ONLY thing – that mattered was coming back from my funeral for Joshua. He was all I wanted. He was the driver behind every choice I made at those moments. I decided to live – and suffer – if it meant I could spend more time with him.
I’m sharing all this with you because I think its important to remember that life is hard. It just is. And this time we’re in right now is extraordinarily hard. We do have a choice: we can lay down and die because it’s painful and hard. Or we can live.
I choose life. I choose the pain. I choose the suffering and the trials if it means I can be a great mom for Joshua, if it means I can serve Leading Ladies, and if it means that I can keep moving forward.
The last line of my journal entry was this: