Ryan is a son we lost a year ago, he was 24. He died of a freak accident in our home. Without a long explanation (yet), his bipolar disorder killed him, as it does so many of the people who have it. I'll write about that regularly going forward.
I had a dream about Ryan last night.
I went to visit him, he was in some sort of group rehab or residential program. The place was in a bad, old, near-downtown neighborhood. I could picture the door of the building perfectly, it was a familiar place. But when I got there, there were 2 scary people walking up the street towards me, and suddenly the doors didn’t look the same, and I wasn’t sure which was the right door.
I walked in the closest door and it took me to an area outside an empty, dark, church sanctuary. To my right I could see a room full of people, all concentrating on something at the front of the room that I couldn’t see. I saw Ryan sitting in there, just his profile from the shoulders up. A man walked up to me and asked if he could help me. I told him I was there to see my son, and he looked concerned. He said something like he didn’t think that would be a good idea. I persisted, and he got more firm. I saw Ryan looking our direction. About then, the people in the room got up and started walking by. I expected to see Ryan walk by, but he wasn’t there, I thought he was avoiding me. This didn’t surprise me, there was a lot of avoidance in our relationship.
I gave up, and asked the person if the door next to me would take me outside. He said it would, and I walked outside. As I walked out the guy said to me “I wish I could believe you, I really do.” Once outside, I was suddenly scared again, and I heard a voice telling me to run. I ran the half block to the car, stepping over a low picket fence, and got my slacks caught in the fence. I reached the car, and woke up.
What stuck with me was the fear more than anything. There are so many ways I could interpret this dream I’m not even going to try. My wife Karen said simply “oh honey, you have so much more grieving to do.” I suppose she’s right.