Last night I dreamed I got an email from my father. He thanked me for the note I sent him and asked me to send more pictures of the girls. It was written in his familiar tone of studied lightheartedness so I knew it really was from him. In the dream, I knew he was dead and I was ecstatic to realize that he was alive - did he come back somehow, or had he never really died? I didn't know; I didn't care. I was filled with joy. I always knew he couldn't be dead; it had all been a big misunderstanding. (That's how I feel when I'm awake too.) Finally, this nightmare was over. Dad was back.
When I woke up, I didn't remember the dream right away. I was preoccupied with my sore muscles - running, yoga, and kickboxing every single day for a week will do that to you. I stretched and slowly climbed out of bed, wincing. Only after I'd padded gingerly into the bathroom did it come to me in a flash - my father was alive! Excitement coursed through me like electricity, but just as quickly the realization that it had been a dream crashed down, choking me with sudden violent tears, and there I was sitting on the toilet crying my heart out. My family slumbered on in the early morning dark as I tried to calm my gasping, ragged sobs.
Later on at yoga, I fell asleep during savasana (I always do) and when the instructor told us to start coming back to awareness, I started to cry again. There was a light breeze coming in the windows, carrying the smell of spring and dirt and new growth, and the awareness I was coming back to was that here comes another season without my father in the world. I didn't want to open my eyes. I lay there for a few minutes, tears sliding down my cheeks and into my hair, and wondered if I could go on strike against a world without my father in it. Then I took a deep breath, wiped my tears away, got up to put away my yoga mat and blocks, and went to get dressed and go on with my day. Namaste.