Early Tuesday morning, my daughter crept quietly into bed with me. Not having energy to try to shoo her back to her own bed, I moved over and made space for her. After a few hours of constantly bumping into her, I picked her up and took her back to her room.
When it was time to be up for the day and I was helping her dress for school, she told me that last night she had a dream about Grannie. Instantly I was curious and on guard, for I was terribly concerned that this might lead to another long grieving session. I asked her what happened.
Well, Grannie was in Heaven with Jesus and God and they were having a party. I got invited and we had a lot of fun. When the party was over, Grannie brought me back to my bed.
I asked her what she looked like. Like a stuffed animal.
Oh no! I thought. Hannah is remembering her, frozen and pale, as Grannie looked when her body lay in the casket.
I remained calm. You mean she didn't move?
Yes, she did. She danced and we ate and then before I left, she told me she loved me.
Tears formed in my eyes, but I kept it together. Now, I'm really not sure what the whole stuffed animal thing was -- in a 4 year-old's mind, really, who knows? But everything else brought me such comfort and such peace for her. God has assuaged her fears of the unknown, consoled her when she was confused, and brought light to a dark place in her heart. God brought answers to her questions -- for what else could I ask?
The same night, I dreamed of Grannie as well, perhaps during the same time she laid next to me in my bed. Oh, but sadness! For my dreams of Grannie had been just the opposite. My dreams left me restlessly tossing and turning. My dreams brought me to the morning disconsolate and overwhelmed by the day's tasks, for my dreams had been nightmares.
I dream that Grannie is in her last days, writhing in pain and I am the only one taking care of her. Nothing I can do seems to bring her relief. She is so small that I carry her from place to place, trying to find someway to take the pain away, if only for a brief moment. Then the dream shifts and I see her strong and healthy, her hair full, and her smile wide.
But I know.
I know that she will soon be taken from me and as I feel the dream winding down to its miserable end, there is one last task to complete. I must say goodbye. Again.
It is pure agony, like the scenes from the movies where a mother and daughter are being separated against their wills. They both kick and fight, their arms outstretched, trying to take hold of each other, prolonging the inevitable. The parting now final. The dream fades. And it feels like she has died all over again.
Why must my dreams be of this? Where is the peace that God has graciously bestowed upon my lovely child? My days are full of activity. Joyfulness pervades my heart as I accomplish the things that He has set before me. My nights wind down with quiet conversation with my Lord. What is it that is so unsettled that it must rear its nasty head through my sleeping thoughts?
I am at a loss. I yearn for the dreams of my daughter. There resides peace that passes all understanding, unshakable truth, and a morning that dawns bright and new.