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I dreamed of my ex-wife again, although in the dream I never saw her face. I saw only her lovely, brunette, lovingly curled hair, symbolic, I’m sure, that the woman she was then—and the woman she is now—is forever lost to me. Truth be known, she’s been lost to me for a long time. We were probably lost to each other from the start.

I call these dreams nightmares, although nothing truly frightening ever happens in these dreamscapes. I merely see my ex and our two sons as younger versions of themselves, close, sometimes beside me, but always moving, never facing me, never attainable. I suspect the dreams wouldn’t be as upsetting if not for the part of me that always knows it’s only a dream, that always grieves at the sight of my young and lost family. I talk and cry in my sleep, trying to awake. As lovely as they are, and as good as it is to see them so young, I can’t bear to lose them again—or to be reminded again of how much I’ve lost. I’ve lost part of them every day for over twelve years now; I don’t need to lose them in my dreams.