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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Nightmares and Death

May first I received an email informing me that my oldest brother was dead. Thus ushered in one of the most stressful times of my life. In the subsequent months there have been multiple work crises and health crises. Too, various choices various people made guaranteed that Joe's death would be a gauntlet for me, one nightmarish scenario after another. It's really wrong to make decisions that change a family member's death from simple heartache to unnecessary torture. 

Going to the movies and visiting Skylands are my mini vacations. I haven't been to the movies or Skylands since May first.

And then there are the nightmares. One theme: figuring out which one of my family members are dead. In fact they are all dead, except one remote and never seen brother who does not speak to me.

But in the dreams, it's as if I am in a warehouse doing an inventory. I am going through the ranks, figuring out, who is dead? When did they die?

Last night I dreamt that my mother left me to take care of my father. I went downstairs and found my father's corpse inside a copy machine. His mouth was open as corpse's mouths often are. His hands were contorted into claws. I felt his skin; it was cold. 

But hope springs eternal. I thought, "Maybe he's still alive. Maybe he's just taking a nap. It would upset him if I asked him if he were dead. I don't want to be the one to condemn him to death." So I just shut the copy machine, and went on my way. 

In the other part of the dream, I was joining an underground group of commandos whose job it was secretly to fight against sexual abusers. No doubt this portion of the dream was inspired by the national disgrace of the Kavanaugh nomination.

Later, I went back to the copy machine and found my dad's corpse inside. I realized that i was responsible for his corpse, because I had left it there, and for at least three days, no less.

As I was waking up, I kept reminding myself. This can't be happening. Daddy died years ago. I kept repeating the year of my father's death. I was repeating that date in my mind as I woke up, as if it were a really important piece of information that I might otherwise forget. 

I won't forget. Rest, mind. Rest. At least try. 


  1. I will take a stab at why the copier and fighting abusers. Redemption.

    Souls are saved through Christ. You've been reading xerox copies of books and copies of books save the original - an afterlife for an old but still loved book.
    The fight against abuse - also redemption - for the souls who suffer through that and save them and others that pain.

    I've said it before - if St. John the Baptist were alive again (s)he'd live on the banks of the Passaic River.