Last night I dreamed about Jessica. She was wearing a hand-knitted green and white cardigan that she’d had as a toddler, although in my dream she was the age she was when she died. She’d been chewing on her cardigan next to a button and had made it fray slightly. As I often did in the times that she would chew her clothes; I suggested that she chew on her Kerry’s white handle instead. In my dream, I was aware that she was dead in reality but for that moment she was with me. I was holding her in my arms once again. Looking at her beautiful face and hearing her sweet voice.
I so rarely dream of Jessica. I don’t know why. In the first couple of days after she died, I was a little scared to dream about her. I thought it would make the pain of waking to her loss harder to bear. Now, I wish I could dream about her more. Those moments when she visits me in my dreams are so beautiful and precious. In those moments she is with me again; for a brief time her presence feels real. I am able to hold her close once more and the ache in my heart disappears.
Dreaming of Jessica brings comfort. In those first moments as I wake, her presence lingers. I can close my eyes and remember vividly how it felt to hold her close, how she looked at me. I can still hear the sound of her voice. The memory of what it was like to have her physically present with me is strong and clear once more. In the day, it starts to fade. I find myself trying hard to bring that clear memory back, but it starts to blur. Occasionally something will bring it back into sharp focus, but I can no longer see Jessica and hear her voice as clearly as I once did.
Sometimes I find myself looking at Sophie; looking for the things in her that remind me of Jessica. Every now and then I glimpse Jessica in her. For a moment, I imagine she is her big sister. It’s not that I want her to be anyone other than Sophie – it’s just that I long so much for Jessica to still be physically here. In those brief moments I see Jessica once more. I see an expression on Sophie’s face that was characteristic of Jessica. I hear Jessica’s voice in the way Sophie says something. It makes me smile and brings Jessica closer to me once more.
Those moments are always fleeting. For one instance I might see and hear Jessica but then Sophie will say or do something that is characteristically Sophie and the illusion is gone. I love all the little things that make Sophie unique but it is sweet every now and then to see glimpses of Jessica in her too.
There are many days when Jessica feels so very far away from me. Moments when I long for some little sign to remind me that she hasn’t completely left us. Anything that will ease that awful ache in my heart and bring her presence close. In those brief, beautiful, infrequent dreams, Jessica is with me once more and that ache is gone.