I have this reoccurring nightmare. I’m stuck in a glass box with Chase and Jolie. Hunter is on the other side in an abyss of fog. I can feel my heart pounding, racing, the stress consuming my whole body. I have to get him. I need him in the box with us. He’s just starring at me. Almost waiting it seems, for me to get him. His little hands press against the glass and he is looking around, confused. Chase is holding Jolie, tears streaming down his face. I am frantically trying everything I can do to break the glass, knock down one of the walls, something anything. Every second of the dream feels like eternity and I grow incredibly faint. One pound of Hunters fist on the glass and his scream of “MAMA” and I am instantly woken up in a complete sweat with tears filling my eyes.
I have found myself fixated on this dream, which is why I think it keeps repeating itself. Isn’t that something we do to ourselves through grief? Even in our dreams. We fixate on what we cannot change. I have torn apart the dream trying to figure out its meaning and how I can rid it from my sleep. I can only think of the way it relates to what I feel at this moment in my grief journey, approaching one year since Hunter has passed.
I am so incomplete with out Hunter. He was no longer JUST here. He has missed so much of this life we keep living. I can feel him getting further and further away from me. Almost as if he is getting boxed out. I desperately try to keep his memory alive but every second that passes in this life, is one more that he has missed. I hate saying this, but I just can’t feel him as much anymore. There’s something between us and I want to break it down.
The clouds in the sky remind me of the fog in my dream and I quickly realize the space between us is what I see when I look up. The beautiful but gigantic area between heaven and earth. Sometimes it feels like he’s just right there and I could reach up and touch him. And other times, it feels like he is worlds away.
I couldn’t save him. How is a mother to live with this great amount of pain for the rest of her life? No matter the endless amounts of times that people tell us “you did everything you could”, we will still feel the insane amount of guilt for not being able to save him. We are his mommy and daddy, he looked to us to protect him. Did he understand? Was he confused why no one was saving him? Does he forgive me?
Do you live with the biggest questions on earth that you know will never be answered? This is the space where faith and grief exist together in order for grieving souls to keep going every day.
Whenever I look at photos of Hunter, I can hear God telling me “the bigger picture.” This is something I have been trying to focus on in many different areas of my grief journey, especially through the questions of why Hunter is no longer with us. I think of these photos I have. Just a moment in time, only a fraction of the whole picture God had planned. Maybe I can only see everything in a small 4x6 photo when God can see the whole canvas. Maybe that box I am in with Jolie and Chase is just a piece of the picture and though it feels like Hunter is “boxed out” he’s actually part of the bigger picture that only God can see.
My faith has to exist with my grief, or I couldn’t face these realities of what I have gone through. Holding on to the hope of this bigger picture and not being able to see it all, gives me reassurance that Hunter’s life was for a purpose and even in his death he is still an important part of this world.
I hate the quote everything happens for a reason as much as any other person that has gone through the unimaginable. I don’t use it in my everyday life because for some reason, the words laid out in that way just make me angrier. Purpose for the pain, is what I tell myself almost every minute of the days it seems. Because I have to believe that God saw Hunters life here on earth as such an important one, that it would do something powerful and ripples of his existence would continue even after he was gone. I believe God is SO good, that he CHOSE Hunter, for one of the biggest most beautiful canvases this earth not only wanted, but needed to see.
Hunter is not getting boxed out. Hunter is part of the bigger picture, free, not confined in any way.