Letting Go of the Dream

I had a session with M., a biofield healer, the other day. She was repairing my energy fields and at one point she said, “You have to let go of your dreams.” I didn’t ask her in what context she meant that but the statement struck me like a thunderbolt.

We all have dreams. I’m not talking about those wild roller coaster movies we have when we are sleeping, but the things we dream about having or doing. We have dream houses, dream cars, dream vacations, dream jobs, dream relationships; our lives are fueled in part by our dreams. We strive to make those dreams come true.

When I became a parent, many of my dreams centered on my son, my family, our future. We used to “dream build” together. We’d put pictures of houses we liked, pictures of beautiful private planes, boats, places we wanted to visit, up on the refrigerator. We’d talk about how we wanted our lives to unfold, the family compound we’d build on Kauai, traveling the world together in our jet, the success Jake would have as a photographer, an inventor, a chemist, a chef, the things he pursued with such passion at various times throughout his life. At one time, those dreams seemed within reach. We had no doubt we could make them come true.

During the last few years of his life, my dreams became simpler. I just wanted him to survive, to emerge whole and unscathed from the turmoil his life had become, to uncover the root of his discontent and exorcise it once and for all. We still harbored those other, more grandiose dreams, but they were shoved to the back of my mind as we fought for his spirit and soul.

Then came that dreadful December 28 and all the dreams vanished like smoke in a hurricane.

When M. said I had to let go of my dreams, I realized that in some ways I still cling to how I thought my life would be, the ‘before’. I know that life is over, but there is a part of me that won’t let go. I have to let go of all those past dreams, the remnants of my prior life – the life that exploded on the day Jake died. It simply doesn’t exist. He took all of our dreams with him. I have to face my new life with a new outlook. No longer a dreamer, I have to take each day one at a time. It is easy to say, much more difficult to do.

So how do we do that? How do we let go? I don’t have the magic answer yet, may never have it. We get on with our lives, making it up as we go along; I don’t have a clear picture of my future. We grind through the days, getting from morning to night, but we no longer talk of how our lives will be, no more dream building. That family compound in Kauai is just a chimera now. The shadow of a life from long ago.

More than two years into this new life, I am living the life of the ‘after’. Outwardly, it seems fairly normal, but on the inside, it bears scant resemblance to that old life, the life of ‘before’, a life lost forever – now just the figment of a dream.

Some days we talk of selling everything, buying a little camper van and hitting the road. Shedding our old existence like dead skin. Divesting ourselves of the material things that anchor us to this place, to our past life, making the disconnect total. But the thing is, we will always take a part of Jake with us. He will accompany us wherever we go, and that is as it should be. He lives in those dreams, the remnants of the past. That is why it is so difficult to let them go once and for all. It is as if I would have to let him go too, and I cannot do that.

It is a delicate balancing act, holding on to his spirit, yet letting go of the dreams we once inhabited. We inch along a tight wire stretched across the chasm of memory. Don’t look down, keep moving, eyes fixed on the distant other side. Some days we make progress, and it seems a bit closer. Some days it seems as if we will never get there, wherever ‘there’ is. Some days it’s all we can do to keep from falling.



About edcol52

The Infinite Fountain of Love and Loss flows unceasingly into the pool of memory and sorrow. I created this blog in response to the most dreadful tragedy every parent fears, the death of a child, our 24 year old son, Jake. We are now on an unimagined journey along this road of grief and recovery. If you can find some comfort within these pages, than I will have succeeded in some small measure.
This entry was posted in Coping, Dreams, Healing, Jake Colman, Progress and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Letting Go of the Dream

  1. Jill Hede says:

    This rings so true with me. I had so many dreams for our children and their futures. Since we lost our daughter (almost 2 years ago), I realize that many of our dreams will never come to fruition. I’ve given up my dreams and my innocence. You know, the innocence of believing that bad things happen to other people.
    I like your idea of leaving it all behind for a camper! So sorry for your loss. It’s still unbelievable to me that our girl is never coming back.

    • edcol52 says:

      Yes, Jill. Still unbelievable that we will never again hear his knock at the door, will never see him again, never hold him again. We cling to our memories of him, all that’s left. Thank you for visiting and your thoughtful comment.

  2. I, too, like your idea of giving it all up for a camper. It’s all just “stuff” now. Home is just a house in many ways now too. Living the dream is no longer possible. Retirement is weird. Nothing at all like John and I imagined. Sending grateful hugs to you and T.

  3. edcol52 says:

    Yes Dee. Not much really holding us here, we just can’t figure out where else to go.

  4. Kathy says:

    This is so profound and resonates with me in so many ways. Letting go of my dreams. Can’t do that yet.

    Thank you

  5. Gary says:

    Thanks John for sharing and we are on year four on our sons death and late fall I sold our boat and camper that we did together for many years. It wasn’t easy to let go of these things, and I cried when the new owners took them away. But I had too, let this dream of yearly trips and fishing together go and as you said, our dreams. Tore my hear out, my loss, my reality….my dreams..

    But what seems odd this year is that I lost my dad as well and I thought I lost my future and my past that I wanted to pass on to my son, with my dad’s loss. Empty is where I am, just empty. I am searching for new meaning, new dreams, new hope and I push forward and then only to slide back…

    Keep moving as you said, keep moving is all we have some days

    Wish you and the family, Merry Christmas.

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