It is predictable that my nocturnal tossing and turning would only occasionally be interrupted by frightful sleep. That is probably on page one of the bereaved parent handbook. My nightmares tend to show Constance in horrendous life-threatening situations in which I can’t save her. The hurricane was particularly memorable. Last night’s experience was far crueler.
In the dream, Constance was sitting on my lap facing the same direction I was. I tightly wrapped myself around her like a shawl. While kissing the top of her head I told her that I loved her. I told her I missed her and asked her not to leave again. I silently tried to remember why she had been away. After several fanciful musings, I was punched in the heart with the realization that I am dreaming. I immediately grab her tighter in the hopes of never letting go of the feeling. I lurch awake and realizing I am holding myself. I uselessly try to fall asleep in the same self-hug position to get the dream back. Instead I wept.
My daughter frequently chose sitting on my lap over uncomfortable surfaces such as a bench or the floor. I loved the extra cuddle time from my baby girl. I will cherish those memories.