I had a really intense dream the other night. You know, the kind of dream that was so vivid and real, that it created a real life memory, not a fleeting wisp of a dream. I awoke with both the sadness that it hadn’t actually happened, and the sheer joy that, on some level, it actually had.
My beautiful, brilliant, and hilarious friend was driving by in her car. She stopped to say hello from across the street. She rolled her driver’s seat window down and leaned forward, resting her chin on her hands, as she peaked out of the window frame. I kept my distance, with mask on, as we do now, and stayed on my side of the street. We were so happy to see each other, that we had a squealing, laughing, fraction of a moment. Over three months had been much too long not to see each other, and unspeakable things had occurred during that time. We didn’t need to verbalize any of that because we knew we were both thinking the same thing. No need for words, just for hugs. That was what we craved. Just the idea, and impossibility, of hugging her in the middle of the street, during the pandemic was beyond magical. “Can you do that?” I asked, when she suggested she get out of her car to hug me. “I mean, since you are not alive, can I still hug you?” I clarified. We laughed because I thought she might not be solid, or whole. But she was. She was her healthy, petite, little self. We held on tight and wept, for a satisfying and sustained hug before we parted ways.
What I woke with was the visceral memory of feeling simultaneously, both her small frame and her remarkable strength, as she hugged me back.
My friend passed away at the end of February and, as her husband has aptly pointed out, at that moment, everything immediately went to shit.
While I have no true understanding of what her family is experiencing in these recent months of grief and mourning, on top of the relentless global nightmare, I really get the ache of missing her. I get the bizarre nature of it all, and how traumatizing it is for them. As if losing her was not enough, the cruelty of the quarantine, has made it beyond profound. Not allowed to have a celebration, not allowed to cry together. It’s not how it was supposed to be. For my friends, and the thousands around the world going through the same transformative process, I am so deeply sorry.
Something about having powerful dreams while we are living in this nightmare, feels symbolic. I have to believe it is a hopeful indication that we will be OK. If our psyches can take the time, during our slumber, to process what is happening, maybe we can awake slightly refreshed or healed in some tiny way? Maybe those of us who have it easier during this hibernation can emerge stronger, wiser, and more able to help those who will be left so traumatized? If we are strong enough to withstand the struggle, maybe when it’s all over, we can give back to those of us who didn’t fare as well?
Love is a Circle
During her final months and days, each time I told my friend how deeply I loved her, she smiled and said “love is a circle.” We had those fabulous hugs and talked often about that circle. She understood, as Lennon and McCartney said, “… in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
I am hanging on to the soothing somatic memory of my dream and of my friend. This dream symbolized to me the hope that we will be able to hug and laugh again. I wish for all of humanity, a better, brighter, and more beautiful day when we all wake up from the time when everything went to shit.
Remember that love is a circle. Put it out there and dream about it. Make it your reality and let it circle back to you.
Thanks for the visit Lisa.