Monday, February 19, 2007

Ghostly Encounter

Ever since my darling baby Bug kicked it I mean passed away, I have suffered from sleep disturbances. It seems as though I am unable to find my zzzz's, and when I do manage to slip into slumber, I am awakened by dreams. Dreams of different varieties. My favorites are when the little dude comes to see me in my dream wearing his denim overalls and we pick up where we left off: with him in my arms, drooling all over me. These dreams are so real I can smell his scent, feel the soft prickle of his freshly buzzed head, feel the heat from his body. Inevitably I wake up and spend the rest of the damn day moping. But I wouldn't trade these dreams for anything, because they are a tangible reminder of who he is, a type of reminder I am unable to summon up during my waking hours.

The other variety tend to be the scarier type. No matter what, I can't save him; I have to relive the shame of telling my mother my boy died. In these dreams, my brain isn't content to relive the reality of his passing. Oh no, my darling imagination has to kick into over drive. My most favorite (said with just an ounce of sarcasm) is when I go to my deep freezer to pull out a roast and instead find my lovely son floating face up with his eyes wide open.

Between that dream and the Monday Morning Massacre, I have begun giving that freezer a wide berth. Now when ever I need something, I just send in one of the troops. Gotta love having kids.

This past week has been of the hellish variety. Besides all the bendy sex the hubs and I enjoyed (and let's all thank my Yoga instructor for my ability to get OUT of some of those positions), my subconscious has decided to kick my ass. Not so subliminally. I have been waking up in a cold sweat, or panic, yelling out Bug's name or attacking my husband in the wee hours of the morn.

Normally he wouldn't mind being attacked in bed by a woman, but this type of attack has left him spooked.

We started talking about heaven, and angels and ghosts. I am a Christian, so I like to believe my boy flew heaven-bound and sits around all day eating bonbons while watching Oprah and laughing at me and his siblings. My husband's version of heaven is slightly different (read:boring). He believes our Bug is up there and that is enough for him. He doesn't have time to imagine the goings on of Heaven. He has to work for a living. To support me.

(Note the slightly passive aggressive way in which he delivers said line. Generally accompanied with a loud and long sigh.)

Still, as a mother who has a type A personality and control issues, it is hard to just leave things be and to trust he is where he is supposed to be. After all, he wasn't a typical almost five year old. The boy had no speech, could barely toddle about and was developmentally delayed. He may have looked five, but he was really only about 18 months old. What if he didn't go towards the light? What if he was directionally challenged and didn't know his ups from his downs?

What if, what if, what if? It's those damn what if's that will get a grieving mother every time. What if he's lost and scared? What if he's floating about with unfinished business and refusing to go to the other side? I'd like to thank CBS and the writers of Ghost Whisperer for fueling my obsession. I'll just forward my therapy bills to your accounting department.

Then there are the mediums and the psychics who claim to be able to talk with the dead. They appear on national television programs, reaching out and contacting lost love ones. I wonder if they are frauds or if they are the real deal. Could they find my Bug? Could they just put my mind at ease and let me know he's not banished to the pits of hell because he was a little confused when it came time for the big crossover?

I can just see Bug rolling his eyes (and not in a seizure-induced manner) and telling John Edwards that I hounded him in life with all my demands for kisses, now he can't escape me in death either...

Perhaps I should just go downtown and trust my fortune and my money to one of the ladies with a cardboard sign in the window advertising fortunes read for $5.00. I can just imaging walking into the back of a dark shop, shouldering myself past the beaded curtain and sitting at a table, anxious and hopeful that my boy will appear and not some other lost soul looking for a mommy figure in his death like he was in his life.

But lately, with my inescapable dreams and Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever. barking and growling into the calm air of the night, I have to wonder, is my boy lurking when he should be upstairs with the heavenly? Why else would my dog's ears stand on end and he suddenly go alert and beserk for no reason? Don't animals and small children see what we adults overlook?

Last night was one of those nights. The dreams haunted me and Nixon took to his growling out in the wee hours of the morn. The house was still and I was tired of being held hostage by these what if's. So I did what any brave and independent woman would do. I turned on a lamp and tip toed out into the darkness.

I was going to tell my darling little angel boy to get his ass back to heaven and leave me the hell alone. I'm tired of these bags under my eyes. Nixon kept growling and snorting, but he followed behind me, visibly upset.

I looked about and saw nothing. Felt nothing but the cool breeze of the ceiling fan against my skin. I took a deep breath and told my son I loved him but to quit haunting my dog and I. And then I waited for a response.

Nothing. So I flicked on the kitchen light, half relieved, half disappointed.

And saw a fucking mouse run between my feet and into the laundry room.

Unless my son has been reincarnated as a rodent, I do believe my ghost mystery has been solved.

After Nixon and I got down from the kitchen table (cause there is a mouse in my house!!!) I sighed with relief.

It looks as though I won't have to call for an exorcism. Just a damn exterminator.


Anonymous Jacquie said...

Have you ever read or heard of the book 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper? It's quite a story (true one) and gives some good thinking material. I have a copy if ya want?

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger Shana said...

You had me at the edge of my seat...then falling out of it laughing!!!

My thoughts on the matter may or may not be of any comfort to you, but I 100% believe that your Bug is safely in Heaven in a whole and completely healed body. That is what faith is all about, believing without seeing.

Good luck with your!!!

11:35 a.m.  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I don't believe there are coincidences in life. Mouse or not, I want to believe he was there with you.

My grandfather shows up in my dog every so often. Serious.

The way you're able to handle this all with humor and thoughtful poignancy blows me away. How you didn't win that freaking "most inspirational" category I'll never know, but it makes me question the entire validity of that contest.

11:46 a.m.  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I've never believed in contests. I do believe in you, however. And I agree with Mom-101, mouse or not, I want to believe he's with you, too.

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger Wendy said...

I agree he is with you, but I think the mouse is a mouse. I say save the money and spend your day teaching your dog to get that mouse. Or I can Fedex the cat to you. She has killed 3 mice so far. My only complaint she doesnt clean up her mess.

1:41 p.m.  
Blogger kimmyk said...

I think that even though they are gone they're still hanging out making sure we're all ok. It gives me comfort in knowing that.

When Rusty passed away my neice was 1. When my neice would stay with me she would sit up in the middle of the night and play peekaboo around the chair and giggle til she got hiccups. I'd ask her who she was laughing at and she'd just look at me like I was stupid and point at the air. I choose to believe they're gives me comfort.

Mouse huh? Poor thing is going to starve unless he likes wine.

3:32 p.m.  
Blogger Christina said...

My thoughts on heaven are a little out of the ordinary, but I do think he probably comes to visit. You're still very affected by his death, and I think he visits to try to bring you some comfort. Save your money on the fortune tellers and feel happy when you have a good dream about him.

The mouse, on the other hand, is probably just a mouse. :)

4:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I truly believe that when we die, we leave behind all the limitations of our physical bodies. That said, I hope you can imagine your little Shalebug happy; running and jumping and laughing and speaking with a voice that sounds absolutely angelic.

And if he ever does communicate with John Edwards, I'm sure he'd want to tell you he loves you and to thank you for taking such good care of him.


4:39 p.m.  
Blogger carrie said...

I hate mice.

Those other feelings, however, are there to remind us, I think, as least that's what I like to tell myself when this happens to me and the dog in the middle of the night.

I wish there was a way to know, to really know and be at peace with it. If there was, if there is, I wish it to you.


5:20 p.m.  
Blogger Thumper said...

I think one of the beauteous things about Heaven is being able to be there and still poke at the people left behind here. I *know* my father in law was headed that way, but I'm also sure he's the one who makes the Fat Free cheese fly off the grocery store shelf at the Spouse Thingy, and the one who makes the crappy white bread slip from my fingers while the whole grain bread tips off the shelf and literally bonks me on the head. If they get to spook us while they're taking a peek at us, all the better for them.

Your Bug isn't stuck between here or there. He's bouncing from cloud to cloud, laughing his butt off, telling everyone about how he just freaked his Mom out with a mouse, and damn that was funny. He's there, and when you feel him, he's here. Wherever he needs to be.

6:03 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Fucking-A, woman. You had me going there for awhile. I was all ready to go off on your ass about how your dog just sensed a deer outside or something like that (since you live in the sticks and I hear they have deer in the sticks) and you drop that on us.

As for the rest of it I send you {{hugs}}. Dreams like that would have me hiding in my closet under a pile of shoes.

But if you believe that your Bug is with you, why fight it? Enjoy his presence. Even if it's in the form of a vermin-riddled varmint.

8:07 p.m.  
Anonymous FishyGirl said...

As I read your post the hair on my arms was standing up on end, til I got to the end, when I nearly sprayed juice all over the computer.

Your Bug is up there running and laughing and playing and eating ice cream. And enjoying making his mother climb up on the table. I'm sure of it.

8:28 p.m.  
Blogger creative-type dad said...

I'm sure he's up there doing what we all imagine to be doing up there- eating KFC, playing video games.
Of course, he'll always be in your mind and you in his.

11:31 p.m.  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I had dreams like that after my mom died, and I was terrified to go downstairs in the night because I thought she was down there, haunting the house, waiting for me to come down so she could spook me.

I know. It sounds so stupid when I type it out. Or say it out loud. But it is what it is.

It used to really scare me. Now it comforts me. I know she's with me, and I know your Bug's with you.

6:32 a.m.  
Blogger dennis said...

Love Nixon! You gotta trust a dog's senses when it comes to middle of the night, get out of bed and walk on the cold floor experiences!


7:23 a.m.  
Anonymous Heather said...

Matthew 19:14

He is absolutely in paradise and hanging with Jesus.

7:39 a.m.  
Blogger J. said...

A mouse! LMAO ...

and although you put a humorous spin on everything, those dreams do effect you, and rightfully so.
Hold the good ones to you, as a sort of little visit, and get rid of those nasty horrible ones.
I'm no freud, but it's guilt, y'know? And there is no need for guilt. Obviously.

Hugs sistah.

10:23 a.m.  
Blogger Em said...

You are incredible. You find a way to add humor to all things in life. I love that!

But do we ALL have to watch Oprah in heaven? I would much prefer a little Sports Center. Or some CSI.

10:35 a.m.  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Oooh, this is a good post. You had me going.

I don't know if you've heard anything about the two abducted boys in St. Louis (my town) that have been found, but the parents of the one found after four years missing went to Sylvia Brown and she told them nothing helpful. She told them that their son was dead and buried on a nearby woods, but searches turned up nothing. Because he was still alive. I wouldn't waste money on psychics if I were you. If your gut feeling says Bug was there with you, then he was.

P.S. I'm a long time lurker who finally decided to start commenting. Couldn't help myself with your magnetic personality and inner strength.

1:43 p.m.  
Blogger Butrfly4404 said...

Thirteen years later and my mom still talks to my brother in her dreams. My brother saved my baby sister's life...from beyond. I didn't believe in 'ghosts' until my brother died. When he died, I was eleven and I said outloud "Tommy, I love you and I miss you, but it scares me when I'm wondering if you are here...please don't scare me." I'm going to assume that worked.

My first time here, wasn't expecting to cry about it!

2:26 p.m.  
Blogger Butrfly4404 said...

PS - Bug got to heaven a month after my Isabella...I hope they are friends, because that's what my heaven is like! :)

2:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Nicki said...

I just read your other blog and now that I'm done boo-hooing...what can I say but thank you so much for posting all that you did. I have three wonderful boys and am going to annoy all of them today with grateful kisses. Thank you for helping me appreciate these little ones that sometimes drive me batty.

4:17 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I bet he was there with you. And in the most loving way possible.

My neice talks about her grandfather coming to her at night and talking with her. She has come out with some tidbits about him that she could only have learned from him. So you know what? I believe her.

I hope he does come to you in the gentle night.

4:38 p.m.  
Blogger ECR said...

I'm glad you are made of hardier stock than I. The mouse would've sent me completely over the edge. My screams would've woken the kids, the crazy neighbors, and the in-laws down the street.

I wish you a lot of rest.

5:41 p.m.  
Blogger MamaMichelsBabies said...

Your amazing how you can find the humor in such a situation. I'd have to feed the dang rodent after that. Poor Nixon... to him that mouse must look like a small lion.

And you know Shalebug's in heaven, wondering what the heck your fussing about, he can run and jump and speak there, and that's heartbreaking and beautiful at once. Light a candle and feed the mouse, it's good for the soul.

7:58 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear your feelings. It's been 10 months ago today for me.

3:03 a.m.  
Anonymous roxylynn said...

I whole heartedly agree with shana-Bug is in Heaven with Jesus and he is happy. You will be able to see him one fine day and he will be able to take you by the hand and take you for a walk. He will be able to talk to you, thank you, and tell you how much he loves you. He is able to do all things in Heaven he couldn't do here on earth.

10:53 a.m.  
Blogger Bon said...

funny...i'm not so sure about heaven, though i wish i were...but i am pretty sure Bug was there with you.

or at least i like to believe that about my own little Finn. i know what you mean, about the dreams that bring him back so much more tangibly than waking hours can. and what you mean by the fear that he's lost and scared...that's the worst feeling i know.

it's my first time here - love your writing, both the sarcastic and the heart-wrenching. will link, if that's cool. :)

10:36 a.m.  
Anonymous daisydee said...

As Shana said, he's in heavan healed, safe and watching over you.

As for the mouse. Don't you have a cat??

6:06 a.m.  

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