Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2017/ Caregiving Dream

Caregiving Dream

My brain is not a subtle instrument.

I just woke from a dream. Describing dreams is boring, so feel free to skip this. Somebody (I feel I know who, but shall not mention this person by name) was in the last stages of his life. He was frail and thin. Somehow I was brave enough to be present for this person (I just finished Sky Gilbert's memoir Ejaculations from the Charm Factory), trying to keep him comfortable. At this point this person was partially deaf and could not communicate much (horses can ask for blankets), but still seemed to be most comfortable with headphones on, listening to music. In particular there was a song with a distinctive chorus that is fading even as I type this:

Facing love, laughing like children.
Living life, laughing like children.
Facing lay, laughing like children.

Somehow this person expressed that he wanted to listen to this song. And then he spoke it, as I tried to make him comfortable in his bed with blankets and headphones.

And then there was a dream transition, and I was outside the local soup kitchen, and there was this person, frail but standing and walking towards a group of people who were singing the chorus of this song. But he was frail so I caught up to him and cradled him in my arms, and he was mouthing the words and I found myself singing the chorus along with the other singers, and he died in my arms, not happy necessarily but more content than he would have been lying in some hospital bed.

And that's how my poor brain was trying to process the sadness and anxiety (melanoma) of poor Stuart McLean's death this week. As I said, not a subtle instrument.

Goodbye, Stuart. I don't care that most of my generation liked to mock you. I don't care that the cool kids all thought you were just a hokey ripoff of Prairie Home Companion. I liked the stories. I liked the heart. Sometimes (especially during the Arthur Awards phone calls) your radio show struck a deep chord. Maybe in reality you were an insufferable tyrant like all the other CBC Radio personalities, but as long as I don't have to find out I don't really care (The way Mary Hynes treated those AV people at the SJU lecture still upsets me). It's done now. I don't know what St Peter told you at those pearly gates, but at least he didn't bar you for not singing.