These days I can’t sleep. I have tried sorts of measures: drugs, teas, homeopathic herbs, meditation, alcohol, acupuncture. Nothing helps with any consistency. My eyes are wide open in the darkness. The early morning is a quiet, otherworldly time, laced with the nonsensical. My heartbeat is noisy in my ears. Minutes stand still yet hours fly by. I wander barefoot on hard tile floors, a specter in my own home. Sometimes I stagger outside and the cold air shocks my skin, reminding me of my mortality.
If I could make contact with my mother, it would have to be here, in this space where my spirit seems slightly disconnected from my body, where time and space take on a different texture. Irrationally, I believe if I could make contact with her, if her ghost could tuck me in and rub my back as if I were a colicky baby, then I could fall into a heavy and restful sleep. She could soothe my worries and I could drift away in the sunlight of her smile. But I feel nothing except the dog pressing against my leg, a reflexive attempt to keep me grounded. I see nothing, no green lights floating in the darkness, no ghostly shadows of her smile. I don’t feel soothed.
Even in the witching hours, magical thinking fails me. I seek her in the blackness and find nothing, Frustrated with my empty grasp, I think ugly thoughts about everyone who ever said “yes, my loved one is gone, but I feel them with me all the time.” Comically, a group that includes me. So I keep wandering, or lying still in the darkness, listening to my breathing, until my soul gives up this endless searching and I collapse into a fitful sleep for another few hours.