I had what felt like an enormously important dream last night. I had been reading a book called ‘Motherless Daughters’ before going to sleep, and I was clearly trying to resolve some of the issues it raised for me, but I am grateful for the gentle way my mind went about this process.
In the dream, I had flown to Cape Town, and walked into a house to find my mother waiting for me. I was not quite clear on which house this was – it is not one that I recognised, though it had some of the furniture of my childhood in it, and on waking reflection it seems immediately obvious that it was representative of my mind rather than a geographical place. I was at first taken aback but calm, telling her firmly that she was dead and shouldn’t be there. She smiled, and through slow conversation while she made us food I came to realise that there were two distinct beings – my mother before her death, and my mother after her death. I can’t quite distinguish particular words within the dream, though some of the images (her hands spreading butter; her sorrowful-warm-loving smile) and realisations are very sharp. I felt very sad when I learnt that she could not leave the house and others could not see her – I expressed concern for her loneliness, and that of her partner Dirk, but she explained that they had to travel separate roads now, and that was difficult but could not be changed, and must thus be accepted.
I gradually came to understand that she was now my internalised mother – she was the mother I was learning to be for myself. I woke feeling grateful for having had time with her again – having heard her voice, felt her touch, and being comforted by her continued existence, in whatever form. It felt like a gift I had given myself in the night.