There is an old song whose lyrics go, “I'll see you in my dreams, hold you in my dreams.” So many who have lost a loved one wish for this to happen. I remember going into work one day and being called to a friend’s office. Her father had died months before and tears were streaming down her face as she told me of her dream the night before. “He was there. My father stood in front of me and held out his arms, I ran to him and he embraced me in a hug,” she told me. “He smelled like my father and his voice was his and I still remember the feeling of his hug as he told me that he loved me.” It gave her comfort to connect to him once again and to remember in such detail his very essence that she missed so much.
Many people report having dreams of their loved ones. Often they bring comfort, while sometimes they bring confusion. Some are as clear as my friend’s was and some don’t seem to make sense and are a mixture of fantasy and reality. When I hear a client tell me of a dream, I always ask how they felt about it. Do they still remember it clearly or have the details faded? Did the dream involve all of the senses such as smell, touch, seeing and hearing? Were there words spoken and did they make sense to the dreamer?
Sometimes dreams are just a way for us to process what is happening in our lives. Our unconscious mind sorts through the many emotions and experiences we are having during our waking state. Trying to analyze some of our dreams can be an impossible task as the elements range from the silly to the bizarre. However, when we have a dream of connection, no interpretation is needed. The experience seems as real as if we were actually with them. We wake trying to remember each sensation, hoping that it will remain with us. Our hearts ache at the separation, yet our soul lights up at the remembering so clearly.
There is much debate as to whether or not these dreams are actually connections with our loved ones on the “other side.” No matter your view, when you have a dream that brings your loved one to you in a way that involves all of your senses and leaves such an indelible mark on you that you can recall the dream weeks or months later, you are transformed in a small way. These dreams usually bring comfort to a grieving heart and this is a blessing. So to all who grieve, I wish you sweet dreams.
Nancy Weil is a leading authority on humor and grief. She serves as Director of Grief Support for eleven cemeteries and is a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Grief Management Specialist. Through her company, The Laugh Academy, she offers products to ease the stress and pain that grief can bring. Bandages for Your Heart on DVD or CD, Laugh for the Health of It on CD and her new book, If Stress Doesn’t Kill You, Your Family Might, can be ordered by clicking here.
Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons/Jaako