Last night, my sister came to visit me in a dream.
This has happened before, and when she appears it’s as if she knows when I’m in deep need of support and understanding.
Earlier that evening, I had a horrible argument with my husband over something trivial and my kids weren’t listening at every turn. I tried meditating, reading something insightful, relaxing music, but nothing seemed to help.
When I went to bed, I felt frustrated, angry, and alone. During the night, my restlessness grew worse. I kept waking at different times for no reason. Then, one by one, my children woke up. My middle child needed to use the bathroom, my youngest wanted more milk, and even my dog needed to be let out.
By the time I finally got back in bed, my mind started racing, and my emotions were running all over the place, kicking my anxiety into an uncomfortable, high gear. I felt exhausted, empty, and completely helpless. At that moment, the only thing I could do was stare into the darkness and just let it all go—to release all the sadness and empty it from my body. I cried until I just couldn’t anymore. Then, I asked for strength.
The anniversary of my sister’s passing is March 17, 2017, and every year leading up to that date, I try to prepare myself emotionally. This year, I am realizing that I really have no control at all. The smallest disruptions throughout the day can seem like the end of the world. No matter what, the glass will appear half-empty. The clouds will have no silver lining. Life will seem completely unbearable.
I don’t remember what we even talked about in the dream. I only remember how her presence made me feel. Standing face-to-face, I was overjoyed seeing her joyful expression. She was positive, happy, and full of light. We were giddy with laughter, and we kept hugging each other tightly. For that moment in time, life felt whole again.
When I woke in the morning, I felt a deep sense of relief. All the pain I felt the night before had completely washed away. I almost felt anew.
Although grief throws emotional curveballs, it also provides hope. Hope for healing. Hope for a brighter day. The more open we are to it, the more it gives back.
I realized that my sister never really left me, but still exists in a different form—still providing her loving support and comfort as I move through this life. I know that she is still with me; by my side, through it all. I am grateful for that.