empty dreams

I have a cold, and have not been sleeping very well. I am wide awake 3 or 4 times during the night for brief periods, maybe 15-20 minutes. Normally when I wake up at odd times during the night, I remember dreams I've had. These last several nights, I haven't had a single dream - at least any that I've been aware of after waking up.

For about 6 months after G died, I dreamt about him every night. They were monotonous dreams, slice-of-life type dreams. I would remember only a few minutes or even a few seconds of the dream. He was always the way I remember him most recently, never younger. Always 22 years old. We would be watching TV, walking somewhere, eating a meal, having a conversation. Sometimes there were other people around, and the dreams would take place in all different locations. But he was always there.

Then the dreams slowed. I stopped dreaming about him every night, but it would still happen maybe once a week. That turned into twice a month, which turned into once a month. The dreams continued but got far less frequent.

I realized in the middle of the night last night that I've stopped dreaming about my brother. It's been months since I've had a dream about him. I don't remember the last one.

I think the dreams were helping me to keep him alive. When I was dreaming about him, I could still see him. I could picture him talking and laughing, walking and driving and eating.

I can't remember my brother's smile.

I can still look at it in pictures. It still looks familiar to me, and I still remember what he looks like; I haven't forgotten his face. I can't, I never will, because he is part of me. I look into the mirror sometimes and see him staring back at me, which is terrifying and comforting all at once.

But I can't really remember. I can't close my eyes and watch the smile spread across his face anymore. I can't remember the details of his face as he breaks into laughter. I remember certain things, but parts of him are slipping away. Sometimes I try to picture it but it's all wrong. It's not him, it's not quite right, and I can't get it back. Time is changing the details and taking them away from me.

Maybe I will start having the dreams again, and maybe the details are still under the surface. Maybe I will get them back. But I'm feeling off-kilter and lonely this morning.

I can't remember my brother's smile.

6 comments:

mo*reezy said...

I love you, and I am so, so sorry that this is your (our) reality now. It just sucks beyond description. I know you feel alone, but I hope some part of you, even if it's really deep down, knows you're not. **hug**

Amy said...

I am really sorry about your brother. It is really inspiring that you know that he's part of you though. I hope that someone will remember me like that.

gretam said...

I truly understand how you are feeling. But I can tell you that it does return. The sight of the face you love is there..just a bit deeper down at the moment. I still, to this day, see my fathers face. (He has been gone almost 9 years.) Just remember..G loved you and still does. It doesn't ever end! We love you! G & P and the kids

liz said...

Ugh, I feel your pain. I cannot remember what my brother's laugh sounded like and it is really upsetting. I've been thinking that I need to dig out some old videos of him to help me remember. I haven't watched a video of him since he died, but I think I might be ready now... and the relief of remembering his smile & laugh might outweigh the pain of seeing him, if that makes sense.

Thais said...

I am sorry you are not having a great day....you know, your blog actaulyl is like therapy to me, if it makes you feel any better...I have had similar thoughts about my father but have always subdued them. I am glad that you seem to be getting them out...sometime sI get that lonely feeling also, as i almost never dream about my father....we can be lonely together, if its any consolation.

Elena said...

You can't summon his smile to your mind immediately, but I bet one day, when you least expect it and when you're doing something mundane, something will remind you, and you'll see that smile spread across his face again.

It's heartbreaking that you even have to deal with this, but you really amaze me whenever you write these entries. You express your feelings so well, and it makes me glad that you have an outlet for your grief. The details may fade here and there, but no one, not one of the people who knew him, will ever forget G. And I have to say, you contribute to his wonderful memory each time you write.

I hope you're feeling less lonely. :)

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