Thursday, March 11, 2010

Visiting Allison.

I began writing this post in a dream.

I was 1,000 miles from home and visiting a college bookstore when I suddenly ran into my childhood friend, Allison, my best friend from about ages 6-12 before I moved away. I was somehow traveling backwards through time. I didn't ask how -- dreams are funny like that. I just knew it was happening.

She was young and beautiful in my dream, a sophomore in college. She was with her boyfriend who I knew would soon become her husband.

I watched her peruse through merchandise and pick up party lights."Ah," I thought. "You were not yet dead." She didn't know that two years from then she'd be gone, a victim of childbirth gone terribly wrong.

I went over and talked to her in my dream, wanting so badly to hold onto our conversation, the connection. Outwardly it seemed light, airy. We laughed together. I winced inside. She couldn't possibly know or understand that her foreshadowed death rattled around in my innards like a broken bottle, that I needed to double over and wrap my arms around myself to hold in the pieces that were coming apart.

One of the tiny lightbulbs dropped on the floor and bounced but did not break. I bent over to pick it up and thought, "Is this what it's like when you travel back in time to spend an instance with someone?" I thought. "Consumed only with when you would lose them, unable to fully enjoy the moment?"

I wanted to cry great racking sobs for the future as I knew how it would play out. I felt shorted. I went back to see her -- worked so hard for this moment -- and yet even then could not bring back the innocence that existed before I knew the pain of her loss.

We continued our light banter. I swallowed more glass. I found her a sweater she could wear on her way home. There was some comfort in giving her that, on that last occasion that I would see her. And we parted. She bought her party supplies. I watched her fade and slowly became conscious that I was dreaming. That's when I began writing this post in my head.

I woke up thinking of her and of all the other losses in my life I would know one day. How I'd be forever changed by each one, bent and gnarled like a charred, twisted oak, scarred by countless storms and fires.

Maybe this is the thing that makes us old. Loss. Because it robs us of our innocence that the world will stay as we know it.


bodeloublogs said...

marvelous post. i'm always reading, but rarely commenting. this post though, moved me. i've had a dream like this recently as well. it is so hard to live in that dream, knowing 1. what the future holds and 2. that it is just a dream. so haunting and vivid, unfair and to real.

Sher said...

Your words are beautiful...I feel your profound loss, even after time has passed, and send you all of my love along with the warmest, strongest squeeze!

Surfie said...

Aw, what a horrible, sad dream. Or maybe bittersweet since you did get to see your friend again.

Fiona Bianchi said...

That was an amazing post, I'm not sure any comment I make will ever sufficiently describe how moving and wonderful it was. Thank you.

mirellamccracken said...

:( So sorry about your loss my friend.
I can see that you are grieving not only your friend but some other loss in your life.
Be brave Holly you are on your way to heeling.
With time, only the good memories remain and the pain will go.
Love you

linda said...

all that you feel is so beautiful. keep feeling it. keep writing it. it's wonderful to read this. thank you.

Kelly O said...

This made me cry. I'm so, so sorry. xoxo

geekhiker said...

Powerful post, my friend.

I wonder if it's just loss by itself. I know, for me, loss is compounded by isolation when the loss occurs. But... maybe that's just me...

Anonymous said...

I haven't cried like that in months... Wonderful sentiment, I understand perfectly. There are people, places and events that now exist only in my mind. Would that I could will them back into being, give form to wispy visions. I dream dreams like the one that you had sometimes, incredibly beautiful, painful and powerful...

Ian said...

Did you ever think the light bulbs were more than light bulbs, but moments/people/relationships in the string of her life? Did you ever think that bulb that fell off but did not break was your friendship with her? You may be parted, but the light goes on. Life is full of loss and ugliness and grief and darkness,but we must not let these things consume us, because they are not what life is about. Perhaps the trick of life is learning to see and hold onto that which shines through and which never gets old and never breaks.

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