dreams of the dead

Everybody dreams, although some people don't recall their dreams. I do. I have a lot of dreams and nightmares. Perhaps it is a sign of an overactive imagination.

Dreams of death - Wikimedia Commons photoSome of my dreams are ridiculous or bizarre, like a herd of horses dancing the can-can. Some are boring - I am reading regulations all night long, or shopping at the grocery store where ten cans of cat food are on sale for 39 cents.

I have had many dreams about people who died. This is pretty common - the brain is probably trying to process or come to terms with loss. Sometimes in my dreams, they are alive and I am mad that we all mourned their death and had a funeral.

I have also had dreams that came true - mostly of people who were about to die.

Right before my father died suddenly, I had a dream about my twin sister. She died a decade earlier, when we were in our early twenties. In the dream, we were at the beach. She went into the ocean and was pulled into the undertow. I could not save her. She drowned. Shortly afterwards, a drunken speed boater sank the boat my parents were on, and my father drowned.

Right before Doug died, I had another dream about my twin sister. She and I were walking along a ledge. I told her to be careful, But she slipped and fell on the ice, into a deep pool of water. She sank rapidly. I screamed and reached into the water to try to pull her out. It was too far - my arm was not long enough - I couldn't see her - the water was icy cold. I could not save her. I remember waking up and being very upset, and recounting the dream to Doug.

Shortly after Doug died, I had three extremely vivid dreams about him of a different kind. They seemed incredibly real - as if he was actually visiting me.

In the first, I told him how much I loved him. He did not speak - in fact he did not speak in any of these dreams. But I felt enveloped by his love. In the last dream, I was at the Grand Canyon for the first time (this was right after I met PS.) I looked up, and there was Doug. I was so surprised, and said "You're a sight for sore eyes!" It seemed like light was pouring out of him. I could feel his love.

In all three dreams, he seemed so happy and healthy and at peace. I was surprised because I would have thought he would be pissed off about his untimely death.

I did not want to wake up from the dreams. The glow remained with me for a long time afterwards.

Since I got involved with PS, I have not had any more of these "visits." I wonder why.

Our friend JC had a dream that he was hiking and ran across Doug in the woods. He was very excited and called me to tell me. I responded "We have to talk" and then he realized that Doug was dead.

I have had other dreams in which Doug is active, but they are not realistic. For example, we are shopping or working around the house. I had a dream that he came back from the dead (another common theme), and noted how messy the house was.

More recently I have had dreams where I realize Doug is really dead. For example, I dreamed that I was going to make a donation to a Little League organization in Doug's memory, because Doug started playing baseball there and, as a result, enjoyed baseball for the rest of his life. Perhaps this demonstrates more acceptance of reality.



PS A year later, I am still having dreams. In June of 2013, I dreamed Doug was not dead after all, and came back, but I was concerned because I had given all his clothes away - what was he going to wear? Also see guilt and confusion dreams here.

More on dealing with grief


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