I woke up abruptly in a fever this morning, my body sticky with sweat and my heart hurting. I felt this deep sense of grief, I felt like crying. And moments after I wondered why I wanted to sob, why I felt so carved out and empty, I remembered my dream.
This is really fucked up, this dream I had and I’ve been thinking about it all day. It’s haunting me and I’ll never forget it as long as I live. How can something that never really happened except for in the caverns of my midnight mind have such a resounding effect on me and the rest of my life.
Since Sampson died, I’ve been having a few dreams per night about losing something after I’ve neglected it. They’ve alerted me that there’s something much greater behind this bunny than the situation might initially convey.
I’ve only ever felt apathy toward animals. It’s always sort of been a joke in my family… “Erika can never remember to feed the cat’s!” and my mom alllllways had to remind me time and again not to forget to let the dog in the house, and she even gave my cat away because she knew i wouldn’t really mind either way.
This is something that I’m ashamed about. I hate that I have been this way. I’m a loving, passionate, considerate person toward (most) humans. Why do I become so selfish toward animals? It is a selfishness that I want to be able to correct. My biggest fear is the reflection this might have for raising my children someday. Among all the things I want to do and become in my life, I’ve always know that above all else (undoubtedly)… raising a few amazing children and being the best mom that I can possibly be is my purpose in life. Underneath almost every decision that I make, I’m already considering my children. This might seem strange or difficult to understand, but I live my life striving to be the best possible person so that I can be the best possible mother. And the thought that I can’t even care for an animal unravels fears that I wouldn’t be able to care for a child someday.
Sampson the bunny became this ascribed symbol, without even myself realizing it, of a pivotal change that I craved for; learning to have feelings for an animal. I want to care for and love something, but humans are quick tempered and unpredictable with their emotions, so why shouldn’t and why wouldn’t I be able to truly love an animal? These were my thoughts and hopes. I loved Sampson, but I still neglected him. I failed to notice what he was blatantly expressing. And so I lost him.
These dreams I’ve been having for the past few days touch on these fears I’ve just elaborated about. And my dream last night was so vivid an symbolic I’ve been really, deeply effected by it.
I dreamt that I was hiking somewhere beautiful near my home and I felt really happy, and all of a sudden I came across this beautiful baby in a beautiful basket. The baby was naked and warm and she wasn’t crying, just looking at me with these huge, amazing brown eyes and this calm face and I fell in love immediately. The child was remarkable. I had to care for this baby, it became my child in my mind. I was going to raise this baby. My thoughts never considered that I should take the baby home with me. We belonged out there, together. So i ran home to bring things back for the baby and for me, and when I returned a big ugly monkey with stringy brown hair and an evil face was devouring it violently right in front of me and the child was screaming and that’s when I woke up.
It makes me cry whenever I think about it, and I can’t seem to really erase it from my mind if i’m not being productive at work or doing something that consumes my thoughts. This post is sort of written in the midst of my grief about it, and I don’t have anything further to say except for I hope I see that happy baby alive and well in my dreams tonight.