Since Collen was born, I haven't dreamt of Ayden. I used to dream of him quite frequently. After Collen was born, the dreaming either stopped (due to lack of sleep and time to actually get into a dream state) or became about Collen.
Last night, though, I saw my Ayden. I've said in the past that I'm not one of those that puts a lot of stock in dreams. I don't see them as ways to receive messages (although, I don't entirely disbelieve that either) or to reach an enlightened moment. Dreams, to me, are blendings of the days events, emotions, and the thoughts that have been heavy on our minds. Ayden has been on my mind a lot lately, so I wasn't surprised when he showed up last night.
As much as I absolutely love dreaming of him, it is so incredibly hard. I remember the dream vividly because this time, he stayed with me. In every single dream I have had of Ayden, since he passed away, I haven't gotten to keep him. I've watched him slip through my fingers every single time. And I wake up heart-broken once again and just hurting....
Last night's dream was reminiscent of past dreams. He was in the hospital, fighting for his life. The doctors were giving me little hope, but I refused to believe them. I knew that he just needed me. He was lying so still....breathing but not responsive. It seemed like days passed, and I was still sitting there watching him....believe they were wrong. Then, the next thing I knew, he opened his eyes, sat up, looked at me and smiled, and said, "Momma." As I reached or him, I woke up. Tears flooded my eyes because it always happens that way....so close....I could feel him...and in this one, all I had to do was reach out and touch him....but I was too late.
I'm sure many of you wonder "where I am" in all of this these days. It's been almost 2 years. We've gone on to have another beautiful child who has helped ease the pain and bring joy back into our lives. BUT the hole is still there. The Ayden-sized hole is still in my heart, and nothing can fill it.
There are a lot of mothers who read my blog who have experience our same loss, and they see hope in us and where we are. But I want them, especially, to know that while we aren't in the deep, dark hole of grief anymore, the pain is still there. I doesn't go away. It begins to lessen, in a way, but I don't go a day without feeling it. I still cry and hurt for our loss. I still utter the "what ifs" and the "why me...why him?" But, I have to say, God has done a lot of work on us.
When we first lost Ayden, I remember thinking...."how in the world does a nonbeliever get through this?" I was barely hanging on....but I knew I still had hope to cling to. I had the promise of Heaven and an eternity with my son. But HOW does anyone get through this without that? A lot of healing has happened over the past (almost) 2 years. A degree of healing I never, ever thought possible. I imagined not being able to get out of bed for years....not being able to face friends with babies....not ever being happy again. I didn't think I'd ever laugh again....or smile. I invited the grief in, and I wanted to hurt until I couldn't breathe.
Losing a child is the most traumatic, life-changing, heart-breaking thing anyone can experience. Time does not heal the wound....it magnifies it until you are forced to face it. And nothing you can do can change it. Nothing. (That was the hardest part for me...I lost all control) Please know that you don't have to face it alone.
I've met so many families over the past 2 years...families who are walking this walk right alongside us. They are so special...and their children are always on my heart. I can watch Collen play and make friends, but I also know who some of Ayden's friends are, too. :) I think of you all so often, and I pray that your journey is becoming lighter....filled with a little more joy...and that you can somehow find hope and cling to it.