The dream came to me the first time after a fitful
night of rest, just a few hours before the dawn of my first day at school. High
school. My mother had been so proud of me as she watched me accept awards for
high merit and grade point averages in front of my classmates at my eighth grade
graduation. A spoof on high school graduation, of course, but without tassels
and gowns. We had to dress up, which I absolutely hated to do, and it was worse
when mom presented me with a blue satin dress for the occasion. I hated dresses!
Wearing dress pants could be okay, but having to remember to sit a special way,
to walk a special way... it was more than I cared to have to deal with.
In the dream, I saw mom again, giving me the dress, and explaining how beautiful
I would look in front of all my classmates.
"You'll be the most beautiful girl there," Mom said, mussing my
long brown hair playfully. I winced and shook my head, then smoothed my hair
back into place.
"Mom..." I groaned, only half serious, a smile tugging at the corner
of my lips.
"Come on sweetie. The boys will love it. They'll fall all over themselves
to get to you." Mom's face lit up with another smile, and she stood up and
retrieved the dress from the closet, then slung it over one arm.
"Yeah right." I said, and then took another look at the dress. It was
satin. I had never owned anything made out of satin before... with a dubious
look to continue playing the part, I reluctantly took the dress from mom's arm.
"All right... I guess I could try it on at least..." And I saw mom's
smile once again before the dream slowly faded away...
Why was I dreaming of it? There wasnít really any great significance to
the event... I had worn the dress to the graduation, accepted the awards, and
that was about it. Sure, I ended up spilling juice all over it, but mom managed
to salvage the satin dress after only three trips to the laundry mat.
I wonder what my brain was trying to tell me... My mom died not two weeks
later in a car accident. Maybe my brain was trying to find some way to deal with
the grief without actually having to confront the horrible truth.
That would explain it... But it still didnít make sense. You would
think that my brain would start giving me dreams about the funeral, or how she
had died, or dreams where my mother would tell me everything was all right and
she was in a better place. Something along those lines that would help me come
to terms with my mother's death and help along the road of self-healing. But no.
I only dreamt of blue satin dresses and middle school graduations.
What was wrong with me? Maybe everything was wrong. But I couldnít do
much about it. I was having a hard enough time just acting normal. Sure,
everyone was kind when I went back to school, throwing me the normal comments of
"Iím so sorry" and "I heard about your mom..." a comment
that usually sent people off to the other side of the room, embarrassed for
their apparent rudeness. Some of my friends had even written me letters and
called me to share their experiences with parent deaths and helped me get
through the first week of school, explaining the routine I was likely to get
from teachers and friends.
After a couple of weeks, they returned to their normal routine and apparently
assumed that I'm all right now, perfectly back to normal. Oh how wrong they
I felt so confused... like my emotions have been shaken up in a lottery box
and torn into little pieces, then scattered about with a leaf blower. My
best friend came from New York to stay with me for the week following mom's
death, but after that comforting presence went back to her home to resume
school, I began to become confused again, and finally fell into the clutches of
Why canít I be happy? It seemed that I would never be happy again
without mom. My mom was always my closest confidante, my best friend, and I held
such love for my mom that it felt as if I had been the one to die that terrible
Why am I so different? Since that horrible day, I noticed changes within
myself. My behavior changed in such a way that I couldnít control it. Not like
outbursts of outrageous behavior, but more subtle changes. Like the way I dealt
with people. I have always been the quiet person, not one to shout out to
friends or to even attempt to make a large amount of friends. But now I was
making friends where I could, talking without first thinking of the
consequences, and changing in other ways that I still do not understand.
What am I turning into? My first major piece of insight was from a friend
online, an older male friend from India. We had been sharing information on
their countries for a couple of weeks, and because of his polite manner and
friendship I felt that I could confide in him. I told him of mom's death, and
explained what had been happening throughout the last couple of months. He
explained that he'd noticed something about me as well. That I consisted of two
extremes, one of an innocent child, and one of a very mature adult. Although his
opinion was that all people were of more than one part, he explained that in my
case it was an odd mix of extremes, although not one that made me a bad person
in any way. He said that he had noticed this in several of my letters.
Finally, a piece of the answer... I suppose that this was the cause of
the changes. The new responsibilities that were forced upon me after her
motherís death. Suddenly becoming the "woman" of the household.
Being expected to continue to receive good grades, study my five beloved
instruments, taking care of the house, and still attempting to have some small
semblance of a social life. It might not seem like a struggle to some people who
have most likely experienced worst, but it's a horrible burden to carry. I feel
like the weight of the world is upon my shoulders, and they are at the breaking
point. It seems as if people expect everything from me, things that I cant
provide, yet I am compelled by love and friendship to try anyway. Sometimes that
in itself is an overbearing burden.
Why do they think so much of me? Sometimes I wonder if I will ever
measure up to their standards. They all think so much of me, think that I can
tackle so many problems at once, that I extremely smart and knowledgeable... but
I am not a genius! Far from it in fact. How can I tell them this, though? They
have done so much for me; it seems unfair that I could not stand up to their
expectations. So I try my best. It seems that there should be an old saying
along the lines of "Sometimes 'your best' is not enough, no matter how hard
you try." It seems that I live my life by that line now.
When will I stop grieving? Perhaps I will never stop grieving. It is a
terrible feeling to live with, day by day. There was an empty ache in my heart
where my mom's love should be. Of course my mother had loved me, but now she's was gone...
memories of love are never the same as the real thing. I know that I'm not the
only one grieving, but I am the one who is expected to take care of it. They
come to me for comfort as if I have already gotten past the pain and would be
able to wave a magic wand to make it go away for everyone else. My friends come
to me to ask for answers to problems I barely know anything about. So I
retreated within my shell and vowed to never show my true emotions to anyone
Do I have to be like this forever? I know I am not without support, but
it seems as if the world is suddenly against me. It is hard for me to just live.
I try to share my feelings sometimes, but I am sometimes repelled. Some people
accept and understand my feelings, while others act as if I were acting silly
for hurting so much. I feel a certain hate for those people and their uncaring
manners. How could they understand? My mother is gone! I'm was alone now...
I'm... an orphan. Sure, I still live with my grandfather as I always have, but
he is old, older than he likes to admit, and someday I will have to go through
losing him too. I donít want to think about that... how could they be so
coldhearted? They didn't understand... I suppose that they never had, and never
would. Perhaps I would have to survive on my own after all.
It'll be hard, but I'll try my best to live.... I suppose that all I can
do is keep on living and hope for the best. It will be hard, true, but I have
to... I still have an older brother and sister, and a grandfather that I hold
much love for. He has always been my "substitute daddy" ever since I
was little, when I couldnít understand what it meant to grow up without a
father, and my bond with him is very strong. I have to be strong for him, I
know, and still be strong enough for myself. But perhaps in the years to come,
with enough help from my friends and family, I will someday be able to come to
terms with what has passed, and finally be able to move on with my life.
Now it has almost been half a year since my mother died, and I have lived this
month in a constant state of depression. However, I wade through these days
keeping my love for my mother close to my heart and always holding on to the
knowledge that someday in heaven I will be reunited with her. And when it comes
time for senior prom, I will wear my blue satin dress with a smile on my face as
I think of my mother watching me from heaven and smiling back at me. I will live
my life waiting to see that smile, once again.