Just before I woke this morning, I dreamed I was in my father’s room in the house I grew up in, looking through his belongings after his death. In real life, he sold that house when I graduated from high school. I did go through his apartment after he was moved into assisted living in 2005, four years before he died.
The dream had the same uneasy, familiar wrongness as dreams of being back in high school or college: I could vaguely sense that I’d been there before and shouldn’t be again—but there I was.
Since he died, I’ve dreamed once that I saw him. In that dream, he was sharp and alert, untouched by dementia. I looked away for a moment, and he was gone: I dreamed that I hallucinated him.
Now I dream about his absence.
I found things of my father’s in this dream, but none of them had meaning.
What did I miss, Dad?