or a long and [perhaps too] personal post in which jennie misses she who is gone and thinks of ways to knit her back
My best friend in high school died suddenly and unexpectedly about six weeks before graduation. It was my first experience with death and for months afterward I grappled with an extreme of emotions, ranging from depression to anger, guilt to sadness. Night after night, she would appear in my dreams. And because real life is nothing like tv shows or movies (no medium or sixth sense here), rather than 'listen to what she had to say' in my dream, I would always start screaming and wake in a start. The dreams were terrifying, despite the fact that nothing ever happened in them. Then, one summer night a little over a year after she died, I had a dream where she appeared and, rather than scream, I sat still and listened. We talked, for what seemed like only minutes. But in those dream minutes, I was able to say everything I wanted to say and never got a chance to - that I wished I'd been a better friend, that I was sorry I hadn't been home that day, that I loved her and missed her. And she said all the things I guess I needed to believe she might feel, if one can feel beyond life -- that she was sorry and that she loved me and missed me too. I woke up feeling peaceful. And, for the past eight years, I haven't dreamed of her again.
Two weeks ago, I woke with the distinct memory of having 'seen' my friend. It was a disconcerting feeling that didn't wear off after coffee and work, and I figured I must have dreamed about her, though i could remember none of the specifics of the dream. and then last night, I dreamed about her agian, but this time I remembered the dream -- my friend and I, we didn't talk. She just appeared, as though walking into a room, and then that was it. But get this -- she was knitting. My friend did not knit when she was alive, that I can recall. Her mom did -- I remember looking at her knitting basket and seeing a sweater she was making for my friend -- it had cables on it and I remember thinking how amazing and miraculous they were -- how did she get them to cross? [to this day, whenever I make anything cabled, I think of my friend and her parents, with whom I am no longer in contact].
In my dream, my friend was knitting something argyle. But not a normal argyle... I've been trying to draw what I remember from it since this morning, and I think I've figured it out. It was primarily navy blue, with blue accents (I remember thinking in my dream that blue against blue was strange, but interesting) with an accent color that I can't place (yellow? orange? white?). And now I am obsessed with figuring it out and knitting something in honor of my friend.
Is this crazy? I don't know. My feelings about life, death, and friendship were dramatically shaped by my friend's death. I've never been much of a religious person, and I'm not one now, but I always imagined that last dream to be a 'goodbye' of sorts. So why she's suddenly 'appeared' again in my dreams baffles me. But... there is something kind of neat (?) about seeing her knit, remembering what she was knitting, and trying now to recreate it. Maybe this makes me crazy, but I feel connected somehow through the activity, as though knitting this project keeps her around. It's amazing how much you can miss someone nine years after they've passed away. Who knows if we'd even be friends now if she hadn't died (though, of course, I like to think we would).
Anyway, we'll see where it takes me.