Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Ravages of Time

This is a dream firmly grounded in life, as Clark and I care for an aging parent. In the present we are caring for his mother, but the dream evokes my struggle with my own mother’s debilitation at this stage of her life.

The Dream: Mother is staying with us. She hardly eats and stays in bed all day. She is dying.  I wish she would die and end this agony. For a brief moment she emerges from the bedroom, standing and coherent, settling some issues, in control, making plans: she is her old self. I am surprised and think perhaps there is hope. Then she reverts to her incapacitated self, and I wish she would go back to my brother’s house so I wouldn’t have to face this dreadful situation any longer. I console myself that dying of starvation is painless.

Interpretation: It’s all here—the recognition that my parent is failing; my mixed feelings: wishing she would get better, wishing she would die, wishing she would leave—anything to help me avoid the horror of my own feelings about loss and death. My concern for myself rather than her starves us both—and I try to convince myself that this is painless.

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