i have this recurring dream about my dad. it comes every couple of months and i have dreamt it for years now. i had it last night. it’s not a nightmare. it’s worse. it’s the kind of dream that stays with you all day long. the kind of dream that feels like real life, like it really happened.
and in a way, it did.
my dad is there, with my mom and sister and me. we are doing normal things – going to the grocery store, cleaning the house, visiting friends. i can’t understand why my dad is there, how it’s possible when we all know that he is dead. but nobody else says anything so i don’t either. the more normal activities we do as a family the more afraid and sad i feel, because i know that soon he will be gone.
the dream is so similar to how i felt before my dad died. scared and confused, wondering why he didn’t tell us what was the matter. our family acting normal when clearly something was wrong. i feel the same sadness that has no words, deep, deep inside my chest. the same fear, the same sense of urgency. the same intensity that i felt right before his suicide – like the eerie calm that precedes a violent storm.
but the difference between my dream and real life is that in my dream i know that he is going to die by suicide. i know it and i can’t say anything. i know it and i wonder if anyone else knows it. i know it and i want to stop it but i know i can’t because it already happened. i want to ask him why he is there. why show up if he is just going to leave again. i want to cry out, i want to shake him, i want to cling onto him. i want to tell him
please, don’t go
don’t do it dad
don’t do it dad
don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it
DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT
and then i wake up.