I dreamed about Kaitlyn again this morning. I have not dreamed about her since November and in that month I dreamed about her twice. This dream was a little more confusing and vague than the other dreams in what was going on and the sequence of events, but her presence was very vivid. I dreamed it this morning after Allyn got out of bed when I resumed sleeping lightly. That’s when I always dream of Kaitlyn, after I have woken up and gone back to sleep or just the short time before it’s time to get up. I will take you through it, though as I said, the sequence is a little hard to follow.
I was at a university and it seemed like I was a student somehow. But it was not a regular university, it’s where people go to learn how to put on performances and shows for TV. During a large part of the day there would be live TV productions going on that the students did, (they acted, some were the performers, and they did every aspect of production). If a student had time, the ones not performing that day would sit out in the audience and watch the show.
I remember I was in line behind some girls and we were going somewhere, maybe to the production and then all of a sudden they were gone. I thought I would be able to sit with them but then I had no one to sit with. I had this overwhelming feeling of how I felt in high school, I felt and was very alone. I started to find a seat to watch the show but somehow I didn’t do that. Somehow I realized this is where Kaitlyn went to school (not medical school) and I was going to go see her in her dorm. I was not a student after all.
I go to Kaitlyn’s dorm and there she sits at a table. She looked just like I remember her the last time I saw her and she looked up at me smiling. But I noticed an underlying nervousness in her. She was working on this huge poster and she said it was something she had to complete before her performance tonight, (I don’t know how it fit in). It was a poster with all kinds of mathematical equations on it (Kaitlyn was a whiz at math) and with some drawings on it (she was also an artist). She told me she was running so late and she needed to hurry up and finish it.
The next thing I know is that I was in her car with her and I was riding in the passenger seat driving down a long winding road. She said, and I remember this distinctly, “Momma, I’m really running late, do I have your permission to really go a lot faster than the speed limit?” I said, “No it is not. You should have had everything done on time so you wouldn’t have to rush.” I felt a little aggravated because it is my nature to try to never procrastinate and always be somewhere usually before time. It was always Kaitlyn’s way as well except for a brief time in high school she procrastinated in everything which was not like her. So she continued just slightly above speed limit.
We got to a place and parked the car and we met this tram that was almost full with other students, all of them had their papers and posters and all sorts of things. Kaitlyn and I got on together and sat together. I picked up a pamphlet that described all the short cuts on how to get around the city and university and how to get there in a hurry when you are late. I said, “Kaitlyn, you are not the only one that runs late here are you?” She said, “No, I’m not Momma.”
We sat on the tram as it started moving, our hair blowing in the wind. I continued to feel the nervousness in Kaitlyn and she seemed troubled. It’s like the times in her life when I knew there was something not quite going right, perhaps she was late for something, perhaps how she felt when she didn’t know if she would get accepted into medical school before the acceptances came out, times when she and her boyfriend would break up, just times when I felt an undercurrent and times she would tell me, “I just don’t want to talk about it.” Kaitlyn never wanted to talk about when she was upset about something. It’s like it hurt much worse to talk about it. Otherwise, we talked about so many things.
Then it became known to me that later on tonight she would take her own life. It’s like it had already happened and this was not the present, but a time when I was able to see her again. But I was not allowed by some force of time, not to say anything about it. I also knew that Kaitlyn knew I knew but could also say nothing about it. But we sat there and she was talking to me, I can see her hair blowing in the wind as we rode the tram. She still looked troubled, but acted so sweet and was telling me things, things I don’t remember now but she was explaining to me why she felt the way she did and why she was going to do what she did without telling what exactly it was she was going to do. I feel the message she gave, but do not remember the words.
And then it happened, I remember vividly what she said next, she said, “Momma I just wanted to be happy.” I looked at her and said, “But Kaitlyn, I’ll never be happy another day after this day.” She looked at me with sadness in her eyes and face. Then we hugged each other. Even though her hair was short, I felt it in my face as we hugged, I felt her body in my arms. And then I woke up.
Update: I’ve been thinking about this dream since I woke up this morning as I do every dream I’ve had of Kaitlyn since her death. As is my nature, I try hard to make some meaning of every little crumb that is offered me that has anything to do with her; dreams, signs and just anything. I’m very aware that someone in grief tries to bring meaning into all these things as we are so desperate for answers, for meaning, for making sense out of the senseless. But I also believe that all these things can very well hold meaning, and that is what I choose to believe. Only the dreams of Kaitlyn are the ones I remember since she died. All other dreams I may have I never have memory of so it leads me to believe they are messages, signs, and a gift of being able to be with her in some way because these feelings seem so tangible, so very real. I feel her, I smell her, and I see her so vividly.
I know one may think that I think too much, but asking me not to do so is like asking me not to breathe or my heart not to beat, you simply cannot will them to stop with your mind, not unless you die. So I think and I think a lot.
With all that said, I have attached some meaning to the dream I have had. And these are my interpretations.
I feel that my visiting that college for the performing arts or TV production (I don’t even know if something like this exists) and my first encounter there when I felt so alone like I did in high school was to let me know how alone Kaitlyn felt. Our loneliness was not the same. She must have felt loneliness for a different reason than I did as our school experiences were so different. I know loneliness and how it feels to be different, though our differences were not the same as the others.
I feel like the school was a metaphor for life. All of us performing in life wanting to be accepted or watching others and expecting so much of them.
I interpret Kaitlyn’s poster of mathematical equations and of drawings as her love for both, the sciences and math and the arts such as drawing and writing and her high abilities in both of them. Perhaps they each pulled her in different directions and she felt torn between the two. I don’t often encounter people that are talented in both these areas; one but not the other. It exists, but is not as common.
I feel her need to be in a rush and her running behind and seeming so deeply uneasy and nervous as how she felt before she died is how she felt so much of the time. Always in such a rush to get to the next step. I can also interpret it as her wanting to have died years ago (as she told me in her suicide note) and now she was just in a rush to do it.
The tram and the pamphlet; that could be interpreted in so many ways. The short cuts that were on the pamphlet can be interpreted that there are so many people that feel the way Kaitlyn felt but no one knows this in the general public. The tram to me, was not a tram to school nor the people on it going to school. I believe it was a tram to where we go when we die. There was a tram full of young people.
When we talked at the end and I realized I was not in the present and Kaitlyn would soon die, the laws of the universe that allowed me to experience her presence before she died, did not allow me or her to talk of it and it did not allow me to try to talk her out of it, it only allowed us to tell each other how we felt. She telling me she was sad and only wanting to be happy and my knowing then that she was not, and my telling her that I would not be happy after that day ever again (because of what I could not say, that she was soon to take her life).
There’s deep meaning into all that I dreamed. Some of you may think I’m just reading into things because I so desperately want to do so. Maybe you are right, but for me, this is what I think it meant and I feel so much that Kaitlyn was with me and I was able to hug her once again, to tell her goodbye knowing she was going to die, like I was not really able to do. I felt her in my arms once more, and that was a gift.