I've been having more dreams again. In them, Sam and I are sitting at a table in an ethereal, nondescript setting. I can't hear the specifics of what we're talking about, but I can hear her voice, and I'm pretty sure she's telling me something serious. I've been waking up feeling a bit more engaged in the world, which has been pretty good...
Something in the world switched off. Something shifted, and I feel precarious and on my guard again. Some of it might have to do with the dreams. Some of it may have to do with the fact that I gave Sam's old piano away to free up space. There may be a tinge of guilt there, even though it was falling apart, out of tune and totally impractical for us to hang onto - and we need space to put up our Christmas tree.
And then, last night, I had a very vivid dream that has me questioning everything today. I was in this big old house (totally unfamiliar to me), and there was a young woman with a baby (also totally unfamiliar), and I was helping her escape from an ogre of a man - not sure if it was a father or an abusive husband or what. We packed up her stuff (which really only amounted to the infant and the clothes on her back), and I got between the ogre and the woman. Then Sam rang the telephone to distract the guy (for some reason I knew it was her calling from beyond the Veil, to help us escape), and we ducked out the garage door to my car and drove away.
Holy shit. Is this how I see myself? Am I the rescuer of women? Am I the stand-up guy, the knight in shining fucking armor?? Is this a warning, or a premonition? And the most terrifying thing about the whole ordeal is that I didn't feel anything for the woman I was helping. I was only living up to some role, going through empty motions. Pardon all the profanity in this paragraph, but this scares the shit out of me. Especially since there are quite a few single mothers in my life (no offense to any who may be reading this). I have enough on my plate without "rescuing" someone else. I need to just slow down and get my head and my heart in sync. I understand that a lot of widowers date relatively early in the grief process, and many have written that in retrospect it was too early. And I'm getting a lot of stimulus right now, and am feeling a bit emotionally overwhelmed.
So I need to just focus on the moment and get through the holiday without Sam the best I can. I need to listen to less Flir and more Brian Setzer Christmas music. I need to build the new bookshelves in my studio, attend the Clay Jenkinson Thomas Jefferson event tonight and do a damn good corporate video shoot on Thursday. I need to get the chainlink dog run from Home Depot so Wiley doesn't have to be tethered or kenneled when we leave him home. I need to finish my Christmas shopping and generally do things that are motivated by legitimate feelings, and not just do things because I'm the kind of guy who SHOULD do them.
UPDATE: While cleaning the corner where the piano used to be, I found an old videotape of my son Tyler as a baby, including his first Christmas (with both families - including Samantha & my dad - in attendance). Sam was such a good mom. Seeing that, and what we had as a couple, as a family, breaks my heart now that it's gone. My dad was an awesome grandpa. So that was the straw that broke the camel's back, and suddenly I'm being smashed around by a great big grief wave. Happy Holidays.