Tears on My Pillow
by Hannah the Zebra
I woke up yesterday morning with my pillow wet. I had been crying in my sleep and as I woke up, the dream was still so real that I was overwhelmed with sadness.
I wasn’t terribly surprised. I got through the day of subbing on Wednesday, but by the time I got home, I was exhausted. I probably won’t be as exhausted next time I sub because I will be in the familiar environment of my own school. But Wednesday night I was discouraged. I had lain down and rested after I had gotten home so that I would be able to go to rehearsal. Normally I might not have gone, but we are three weeks away from our Spring Concert and some of the music is quite difficult. Perhaps more importantly, I almost always feel better after half an hour of singing.
But I was definitely discouraged. And singing accesses my emotions at a deep level. So at some point during the rehearsal I wanted to cry. Kind of interferes with singing, so I didn’t. But I did allow myself to be sad. And scared. How limited will my life continue to be? And of course the answer is that I don’t know. Which is even scarier.
So I woke up the next morning with the dream of my grandmother’s house in New York still vivid, and I knew what had been so upsetting in the dream. I had been walking from room to room in the house one last time. That happens sometimes in my dreams, this process of saying goodbye to the house and to my grandparents. In fact until about ten years ago, about twice a year I would dream so intensely that I was still living in the house that I would wake up disoriented and wonder where I was. But in this dream, people were talking about selling the house. And I wept. I wanted to scream, “Wait, wait! Please don’t sell it. I want to come back!”
And then I knew that the tears were about loss. I usually don’t allow myself to feel grief. Which works about as well as the large cap on the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico worked. But every once in awhile something allows the grief to rise to the surface, and in this case it was a dream. I lay in bed and cried for several long minutes grieving the life that I’ve lost.