I had a nightmare last night. Perhaps it’s because I spent so much time thinking about my mom while preparing her Mother’s Day card, but I went to bed that night and dreamt about her death. Let me tell you the details.
In my dream, I dreamt that I somehow managed to look into the future and foresee that my mother was to die that very day at 12:44 am on the dot. (Don’t ask me why that specific time. My pea brain makes arbitrary shit up in my dreams). So I went all-out trying to prevent her death.
However, it was all for nothing as my mom was eventually hit by a car as we were leaving a restaurant. Panicked, I called 911 bawling, but the operator told me that their work hours at just ended, and the response team had gone out for beer and drinks. When I persisted, she told me to fuck off. It’s interesting how even in a dream, I manage to populate my life with rude people.
But then, through my wretched despair, I realized that my mom was stirring. Somehow, through the ridiculous logic of dreams, my mother up and alive again! In that moment, I felt a huge rush of relief knowing that her death hadn’t been inevitable after all! But then she wheezed that her lungs had been fatally punctured–and my worst fears were confirmed.
Blah blah blah, fast forward to the end. My mother and I finally accepted that death was coming for her, and we planned to spend the time doing the things that we loved to do together. We took a bubble bath; we cooked; we played board games; we talked about our life; we cuddled. And as I hugged my mom and stroked her hair in those last moments, I knew that this was the last time that she would hug me, those warm, wrinkly hands, and I tried very hard not to cry.
Now here’s the thing. My mom didn’t really die in my dream. My alarm went off twenty minutes before the end of the dream, and it was almost laughably anticlimactic.
But that’s not the point of this post. Regardless of what happened, I wanted to write a post appreciating nightmares–for I did appreciate this nightmare, as strange as it seems.
Because when I woke up from my dream, I was still in a half-believing state that my mother had really died. I nearly cried. However, after my brain functions kicked in and I finally realized that it had all been a dream, I suddenly found myself filled with new-found appreciation: appreciation for my mom, for my life, for being alive.
Now I just want to say this as a reminder–this was only a dream! My mother is very much alive, juggling her vegetarian diet whilst spending her days gardening her butt off. She’s healthy and kicking, perhaps too enthusiastically so. However, even if in a dream, I still remember that terribly heavy ache of losing her. She’s the person I love the most in the entire world, and while I’ve never experienced death before, I think that those final moments of my nightmare served to show just how much I could love my mom. Sure, I know that I love her–but sometimes I forget when I become stressed or annoyed with life in general.
But there in my dream, I was holding my mother in her final moments, and I was holding her as though she were a little baby–a beautiful, fragile egg that would break if I held on too hard. I felt the warmth of her hands, the weight of her head as she leaned against my shoulder; and for the first time in a long time, I was so thankful that she was alive. I don’t remember feeling this deeply for a long time, it reminded me that even love has to be remembered and practiced.
Therefore, I’m actually so appreciative that I had this nightmare. It reminded me of just how deeply I loved my mom, and I’m thankful that she’s still around to be nagging and annoying me every now and then.
So thanks mum, for being alive. Happy mother’s day.