Dec 27, 2012
To begin, I do not believe in ghosts or visitations from the dead in spirit. As a Christian, I believe in the afterlife of dying in the physical life and immediately moving into the afterlife completely separate from our physical and known world, with no type of contact achieveable, but I do believe that dreams we have of our loved ones are actual forms of visitation and/or communication, as our dreams are not a part of our physical world. I believe this because this is the most real and consistent way I am still able to interact with my mom since she died, and each time I see her in my dreams, it helps bring a sense of comfort to my grief. Real or not, that is what I've chosen to believe and I feel blessed with it.
That said, I've noticed quite a bit over the past few weeks especially that my almost three year old son, Greydon, has been talking a lot about my mom--talking about her in ways almost like he's recently interacted with her. Given that I do not believe that she is a ghost following him around, I am wondering if she is visiting him in his dreams as well as mine, but he just doesn't know how to reiterate the fact that he dreamed about her yet. Rather, to him, it's like a real encounter but he doesn't have the capacity to express verbally the difference of how he experienced it to us.
The first time this really stood out to me was a couple of months ago. We were in her house, which is now completely empty of her belongings and on the market for sale. I was inside with both my boys, sitting on the steps and my eight year old, Trevor, was crying because he was thinking about her and having a moment of grieving. Greydon sat on the other side of me on the steps and looked into the living room, and said with as much assurance as a 2½ year old can offer, "It's okay. Gramma sits right there in her chair. She sits there and she is happy."
Where he was looking was where my mom used to sit in her recliner, in the corner of the living room. But as I said, the room was empty; there was no furniture. I couldn't tell if he was actually reliving the memory of seeing her there so often, but yet...long ago enough for me to have thought that he'd have no memory of how specific he said it. The last time he'd seen her in that recliner was Christmas 2011, which had been at least 10 months prior at that time--and he had not even turned two years old yet at that time. He said it in a such a way, with such assuredness, as if he had only seen her sitting there a day or so ago, rather than nearly a year ago. I was awestruck, to say the least.
Since then, whenever he talks about her, he talks about her in the present tense, as he did during that experience on the stairs in her house. But not in a way like he's presently interacting with her, just more like he is much more familiar with her than what I would expect the capacity of him memory to hold from nearly a year of not seeing her--and a full year of not seeing her in the way where she had enough life and strength in her to interact with him, before she was bed-ridden and dying and he literally could not recognize who she was in the hospital in her last month of life. I wish I could describe this better...I really do. It is only him who talks about her like this; Trevor only has the memories of her, and has never mentioned even having had a dream about her since she passed away. He misses her terribly; she was much more of a second mother to him more than a grandmother, really--their bond was incredibly close--but I don't think he's as in tune with remembering dreams about her, if he has them at all.
But here's the thing: my mom seemed to have one major lament she expressed consistently to me, my husband, and Trevor before she died, and that was that she had not had enough time to be around for Greydon to remember her. She felt so strongly that she was being cheated out of the relationship and bond she could have formed with him as she had with Trevor. She told Trevor especially, "Make sure you tell Greydon about me, so he knows me as his grandma too. Make sure he doesn't forget me, because you're old enough to remember me, but he's not. I want you to tell him always how much I love both--both of my wonderful grandsons."
Trevor has nobly taken this upon himself; he does tell Greydon about my mom, but that's just it at the moment--it's about her, not so much ways that could help Greydon relate to her. That's expected from an eight year old, obviously. But regardless, it's like Greydon has formed his own unique and very realistic-to-life bond with her anyway. I don't know how it's possible, to be honest, but somehow...he is. He's not making things up about her that we could easily attribute to bits and pieces of things we told him and has since put together to make up his own version of her. He is actually speaking about her in ways as if he is actually getting to personally know her--the real her, as we all know her...that in no way he could make up on his own, at his age. There is just no way.
Going back to the dreams I have...I dozed off for a nap recently and woke up with a start from a dream I was having about her. It was a complete replay, scene by scene, word for word...literally...of the trip my husband and I just took this last weekend before Christmas with the boys to Chattanooga. We took them on the Chattanooga Choo-Choo for the "North Pole" event. Greydon was sitting across the seat from mine, with Brandon beside him, and Trevor beside me. We were at the point of the ride where the "elf" was reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the kids on the ride.
And I swear in that dream, I saw my mom, clear as if she were really there, sitting next to Greydon, leaned over him in a way, smiling, nuzzling the top of his head with her cheek, just holding him--with him...all of us...totally unaware of her presence, obviously.
It was almost...too real to be a dream, but I saw it in a dream. That's the only way I could have seen it.
That may sound crazy, but I believe that somehow, in some way, she's forming the bond with him that she so desperately wanted to have in life. She's somehow reaching him in a very real way because...he does know her, after all.
It makes me so happy, and anticipate how she will also become a part of our new baby's life. I am so glad my children have a grandma that loves them as much as she does, enough to show it even from Heaven.