You came to me in a dream.
You stood at the bottom of the creaky basement stairs in the old farmhouse,
and I, at the top.
Wide-eyed, I asked, “Why are you here?”
The last time I saw you, I was six years old.
You were skeletal, frail…,
your eyes made of shining glass,
dingy, gray gown hanging off of you as if a coat rack.
You didn’t know who you were, you didn’t know who I was…
you didn’t know who mom was.
I remember hatred, spiteful venom, bitter, accusatory words,
and only seconds of lucidity.
Once, you apologized.
And in an instant,
you were gone again.
The snake returned,
the hand on the lever at birth,
that lever yanked down hard the first time they attached those nodes, set you in that chair, as a girl.
“She was always a little off…”, they said.
Their “fix” broke the dam; “off” became only understatement.
The last time I saw you,
your skin had chilled and body locked tight.
Your glassy eyes had finally shut.
Your skeletal frame had finally stilled.
Your jumbled masses of venomous utterances had finally ceased.
Your final moment of lucidity had come;
once more, you apologized.
Mom shed her final tears.
I remember walking to your final resting place, shrouded in tall shadows of black.
I remember watching them lower you downward in that box made of oak.
I remember the flowers mom kept alive for a decade after we walked away that day.
I remember missing a day of school, condolences from teachers and friends.
Honestly… that’s about all I remember, and most of it…
just faded scraps of old photos in a box in the back of my mind.
But I do remember thinking, even back then, “You are finally free.”
So when you came to me in a dream,
healthy and robust,
1930’s style floral dress, fit perfectly to your figure,
I knew that even as a little girl,
hardly old enough to even faintly understand the concept of death,
that I was right.
No more delusions.
No more voices.
No more monsters.
No more paranoia, depression, panic, fear, isolation, guilt, regret.
In death…, you regained life.