About my dream
In the dream, I have a few months to live. I write letters to my children, for them now and for them when they are of age, for the adults I will never seem them become. This is the heart of my dream, and it is one of my -- any parent's, I suppose -- biggest fears, that I will not live to see what becomes of them, particularly of Zenella, because she is my first and the person I love most in this world.
But the tears are for myself, I am sure, because I know that if I were to die in a few months, I would feel my life had been unfulfilled, that I had made too little of it. And I know the resolution for that feeling, it is no good to tell me, because we all know that we can easily make more of ourselves, stop wasting the hours of our days, throw away the TV, the magazines, the PC, the million ways to piss time away.
In the dream, I write to Zenella that I have nothing to teach her about how to live her life, because I had no idea how to live mine. And besides, I do not want to teach her anything; I want her to learn whatever lessons there are to learn by osmosis, by experience, by trial and error, not by being handed a roadmap and crucifying herself for not being able to follow it.
I visit my parents and my sisters in the UK and I ask them not to come to the funeral. After all, I say, they will just be paying their respects to a dead body, not to me. I will be gone.
I write to Zenella that she will have forgotten me and that I regret so much that I am not there to see the beautiful woman she has become. I am confident she will be a wonderful person. I do not know what I write to Zenita and Naughtyman because my dream has recurred since before they were born and they are not really part of it.
I do not believe love is eternal. I do not know what that even means. But I believe it lasts as long as the person loved lasts, so long as they know they were loved and value it. I know that my dream is not about fear of dying, although I am afraid of it, and it is not about how sad it is to waste your life, although I do feel sad about that, but it is about the fear of not being loved, of the love I have for her not being enough, dwindling in her as I become a distant memory, until it is unvalued, and itself dies. I am more afraid of that than anything in this world, and I want more than anything that when they in their turn are saying goodbye to their children, mine will be valuing my love.