On Dreams, Death, & Waking Up Crying

I had a dream last night. If I remember correctly, t’s my first time waking up from a dream sobbing and choked with tears.

In the dream, I had a younger brother. I remember, his name was Jem Jem. He was around five years old, and he looked nothing like me: he was small, pale, with a crest of shiny black curls atop his head. His eyes were wide and innocent, so innocent it hurt me even in my sleep. I felt like he was real, and that he was a part of me. I didn’t think you could feel such vivid things in dreams.

The finer details now escape me, but I remember that he died.

He died in my arms. The death was devoid of logic, and if there ever were two concepts that can cause too much heartache when put together, it is death and lack of reason. Sure, everything in our realm has a reason, I believe that as firmly as I believe I have two separate eyes and not one. But does that apply to the world of dreams as well?

I remember clutching him really tight and knowing–feeling–the exact  moment he died in my arms. I remember shaking him, yelling at him with my eyes to wake up, wake up, don’t die, please but he did. He died, no matter how hard I shook him or how long I screamed without a sound. I cried as I held him tighter to me. He was still warm.

I sobbed maniacally. I moaned like a wounded animal. And, when I woke up, I found that my crying continued from my dream into waking, as if it had walked through a portal and came out unscathed, without any visible line at the seams. My eyes were streaming and I heard myself wailing lowly as I swam back up to consciousness. I gasped for breath as I grabbed onto the tendrils of waking.

It’s disturbing how attached I had become to a child that I will never know. But that’s what dreams are: fleeting, unreal, temporary. Sometimes they serve as escape, but sometimes they serve as chains. If one believes in dream interpretations, they may even be speeding cars without brakes.

In dream interpretation, a death represents the coming to a close of  a phase in your life, usually to be followed by a new beginning.


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