Elephant in the Room: Talking about the Suicide

One of the strange things I noticed, as time went on, was how my mother seemed to not like it when I talked about her being dead. And if I actually mentioned the suicide? Poof! Gone.

According to my dream log, I’d taken a Galantamine a few hours before I had this one. I’d been awake once already, talked to Bill about having breakfast, and then fallen back asleep. This lucid dream, if you want to get technical, began as a false awakening because I really thought I’d gotten up and went to my sewing room to sew.

My husband opened up the door and said “Your mother is here!” I thought, wait a minute! I’m still asleep!

I hurried over and looked out the door. There’s Mom, coming up the stairs with a bunch of stuff in a plastic Giant Eagle bag, just like she always did.

I gave her a hug. “Wow! I can’t believe you’re here! I am obviously still asleep. I hope it isn’t 9:00 yet. I was planning to get up at 9:00 and sew. I’m supposed to go downstairs and have breakfast. If I sleep in Bill will be pissed.” She laughed.

For a long time we hung out and talked about how I just remodeled my sewing room. I showed her my new storage containers. She asked how it was working out having three cats in there – was it too many? I explained how I take them in the bedroom individually sometimes for some alone time, and that I wished I could let them out all of the time but Bill is upset because they scratch his stuff.

I asked her if she sent me the dream earlier in the night about the orange cat. She said she didn’t, but pointed out that she also isn’t the only one over there who sends me messages.

Then the dream changed. We were laying on her bed talking like we always used to when she was alive. I told her about how my sister had given me a bunch of stuff from her suicide survivor group and I was reading it.

“I just can’t relate to this stuff,” I said. “It goes on and on about “irretrievable loss” and “permanent separation”. But for God’s sake I’m sitting here talking to you about it!

I explained how I’d tried going to a bereavement group at a local church and ended up feeling like an outcast. One time only, I’d ventured to share a story – as vague and benign one as I could think of – about how I can still communicate with her. They stared at me light deer caught in the headlights!

“I just can’t talk about this with other people, because they either don’t believe me or get uncomfortable with it.”

She looked at me sheepishly. “You know I had to have counseling for that.”

I was stunned – it was the first time she’d volunteered any information about how her manner of death played out in the afterlife. I got the distinct feeling that was as far as she was comfortable going, so I decided not to push my luck.

I changed the subject and we talked about cleaning up the house and other silly everyday stuff like we used to when she was alive. Then I woke up and while I wasn’t entirely ready for the visit to end, I was OK with it.

Now certain I was awake I went down to breakfast. My husband confirmed that the entire dream took about 45 minutes, based on the time when he left me in the bedroom and when I came downstairs.