Friday, January 21, 2011

Not a Dream

I had another dream about Hudson last night. In this one, we were on an open-air train of some sort. It seemed like a Tweetsie Railroad touristy kind of train, but it was on a very long track alongside a river with a highway up above it. I was sitting on the floor of the train, next to a bench that I could have been sitting on, nursing my sweet girl. Another mom was sitting on the bench trying to help me figure out how to pump on the other side while I nursed (why we would be doing this on a scenic train ride, I have no idea). The sun was shining on us.

Then, in the next “scene,” she was gone. I was still sitting on the floor of the train, but Hudson wasn’t. I stood up and screamed, “STOP THE TRAIN! MY BABY IS GONE!” And the train screeched to a halt. I had no idea what could have happened to her. Did she bounce out? Did someone swipe her? I climbed over the edge of the train car and jumped onto the ground and started running in the opposite direction of the train. About a hundred yards back, a man standing beside some kind of shack down by the river (maybe he was selling something?) yelled to me, “Here she is!” I ran down and found her sitting happily in a galvanized tin bucket full of magazines, waiting for me as if nothing had happened. I think she was wearing the pink bodysuit and denim jumper dress that she wore last Easter. I swept her into my arms and hugged her so tight, relishing how good it felt to hold her. I felt awful because this was the second time in the dream that I had lost her (I don’t remember the details of the first part—only that I couldn’t find her then, either). I worried what people would think about a mother who could lose her child twice in a row. I wondered why I couldn’t seem to keep her with me. And I hugged her tighter.

And then I woke up. My first reaction was relief that I had been dreaming and that I hadn’t really lost her.

And then I had the awful realization, yet again, that it wasn’t really a dream. That I did lose her. Except the real version doesn’t have the happy ending. So I squeezed my eyes tight and just tried to remember her face in the dream and be grateful to have seen her.  Instead of the tight hug, that image is all I get.


  1. This just breaks my heart. I am so, so , so sorry you have to experience her loss in your sleep. I wish so much that you could just stop the train.


  2. I am so sorry. I can only imagine how awful this is and it still breaks my heart.

  3. In one of my dreams recently, you and I were shopping for double strollers while Hudson and Emma were at day care. It was so normal, so natural. I just don't know...

  4. Oh, Mandy, how awfully heartbreaking. I am so, so sorry. It is just unfair.

  5. This breaks my heart. I've had similar dreams since my mom died a few years ago. In them I am left bereft, confused and wondering how in the world I could possibly explain to my siblings how I'd lost her. I have a clue as to how you might feel, but I know it must be much more heartwrenching to dream it about your little girl. Beaming the hope of good dreams your way.

  6. Oh, Mandy, there are no words... no words to comfort, no words to change this. Just wanting you to know that I am here, reading and crying along with others, sending you love and support. And, I am awed by your ability to hold the two up simultaneously... grief/sadness/pain and yet looking for the gift... the gift of the image of Hudson's beautiful face from your dream. Her face, after you found her, saying Mama, I am here. And, I am OK.
    And, I want to reiterate that your sharing your experiences and responses and your pain and struggles is a gift to the world, a gift I wish, wish, wish you were not in the position to share. But, a gift none-the-less.
    Sending you love, and a hope for peaceful sleep tonight.

  7. It's that waking up that hurst the most isn't it? In the first few days home from the hospital I used to think that I still *might* wake up one morning and find Cullen's death to be a long and twisted nightmare. No such luck- every morning was worse than the last.

    If there is one thing to take from your dreams it is the feeling of her body in your arms- it is not something you can feel when you are awake anymore, but I can't help but think that maybe feeling her in your dreams might be just one more thing she is giving you..

  8. I think that when you found beautiful Hudson sitting in a bucket, smiling, she was letting you know that she happy and safe. And, that you can let go of a bit of your grief.