In the numb, grief fogged days following the loss of our sweet baby boy Jude, my husband, desperate to memorialize our son, went out and purchased “the angel of comfort” from the willow tree collection. In fact, he went out and purchased 8 of them – one for us and one for each of Jude’s cousins; young and old, who were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Attached to a message of comfort, hope and love, we shared the angel of comfort with each of Jude’s cousins instead of sharing the joyful news of his safe arrival.
9 months after loosing Jude, the angel of comfort sits prominently on our mantle in our family room – a physical reminder of our baby boy. I often stand in front of it – looking at its perfect depiction of our sweet Jude. The angel of comfort is a boy – a rare depiction in the willow tree collection of angels. The angel of comfort is sweetly holding a grey puppy, a striking resemblance to our long loyal four-legged friend, Logan, the Weimaraner. The angel of comfort has no face – a trademark of the willow tree collection, but also a symbolic representation of what I have come to know as my sweetest haunting dream.
Faces of babies, toddlers, teenagers, Men, flip through in my dream like flash cards being presented to me – testing me to guess the right one. The faces flash before me for a second and the level of frustration increases within me with each unrecognizable face that flashes by. In the dream, I know that none of the faces are his until I come to the realization that I actually wouldn’t know which face would belong to Jude. In that moment, the sadness sinks in while the faces continue to flash by.
Until one face catches my heart and it stops in front of me for one additional nano second. In that nano second, I realize that’s the face – that’s the face of my son. And as my heart glees with joy and pride that it has managed to recognize Jude, the face dissolves just as quickly as it appeared and I am left with nothing. A blank space – a blank face – just like the one on the angel of comfort. It is then that I wake up – partially sad, but equally as happy that for one nano second, I saw the face of my sweet Jude. The face that is not recognized by my eyes, but by my heart – the only proof that I need.
This dream haunts me almost every night. It’s the sweetest haunting dream I have come to love. It’s the only window from my heart that my eyes look through to see Jude.