Saturday, November 22, 2003

A Roll with Dyce

When I woke up this morning I remembered a dream I had just had. My maternal grandfather, my father, and I were walking downtown. My father went off ahead to get the car and my grandfather and I continued along. He was the older version of himself that I remember from my childhood, but before he had become ill approaching his passing. I felt bad having him walk as far as we seemed to need to walk and offered him my sympathy. He told me that he preferred to be in the streets, amongst the bustle of the masses rather than in a car, isolated from it all. I imagined the dampened sounds of the outside world and the white noise of the ventilation fan as I rode shotgun in a car, watching the action outside pass by without any conversation with the driver. I agreed with my grandfather and really began to take in all the sensations of the street and feel alive. I realized at that moment that there were Christmas carols playing. Two men passed us by on inline skates and all of a sudden my grandfather and I were skating. He started ahead and asked me if I remembered talking to him about what happens to our "stuff" when we die. I immediately became aware that he was going to die. He said that he used to believe that nothing happened, but that where he was in life had him believing something different. He made some comment regarding our dirty underwear as he skated out of earshot. I caught up to him at the top of a hill and when he turned around I told him that we better wait there for my father to arrive with the car. I was imagining my frail grandfather trying to skate down a hill when he lost his balance and fell backwards off the road into a sort of ditch. I feared not only for his safety but for his life and rushed to him. I found him laughing loudly. His laughter stopped and his expression became confused and helpless. I asked him to put his arms around my neck so that I could pull him out. I hauled him up onto the street and ended up sitting with him in my arms like a child. I was weeping and feared that this would be his end. I didn't want to lose him again. I held him tight rocking in a rhythmic trance. My father arrived with the car and I motioned for him to come help. Then I woke up. I started to cry. Once I recovered myself I wrote it all down in my journal, my paper and pen journal. I never cried when my grandfather died. I always felt that crying at funerals was a selfish act, that it was not sadness for the person who died but sadness for yourself and dwelling on how their death was going to impact your life. I thought it was better to fondly remember the past with them than to fearfully imagine the future without them. Neither of those perspectives fills the hole that exists right there at any given moment. I guess this dream is telling me, among other things, that in some way, he is still with me. Thanks Grandpa, I'll see ya around.

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