Monday, April 16, 2012


(not me!) from here

Dave was in my dreams the other night. I dreamed he hadn't actually died. He'd had a near death experience and recovered. "Surprise! I didn't die!"

Where he'd been for the last 10 months never came up, nor did the fact that I'd missed the memo on his NOT dying. But there he was anyway, all logic suspended in dreamworld.

In life, Dave was the most practical, level-headed person I knew. He had strong feelings about tattoos. He just couldn't get his head around spending money to have a needle poked into one's skin repeatedly and then having to cover it to get a decent job.

He was also practical when it came to his emotions. He just didn't spend a lot of energy talking about or analyzing life, dreams, hopes, feelings or emotions. 

In my dream, however, Dave's NDE had changed him completely. He had several tattoos to reflect the ways his experience had altered him and was outwardly philosophical and emotional. He was transformed.

I was so proud to have him back, as though he were a war hero, returned to me after fighting bravely. I kept reaching out to rub his back and I felt full to bursting with joy that he was here again. I had the urge to shout at everyone around us "SEE! He didn't die! He's here! He survived!"

They say in dreams, whatever you dream about represents YOU. If you dream of a house, the house is you. If you dream of someone rejecting you that person is YOU rejecting yourself, and so on.

So, it occurred to me that Dave may have represented me in this dream. I went through this life-changing experience, I survived and I am changed almost beyond recognition because of it.

Though I don't have any tattoos yet, I've been considering getting one (or more) for a while now, almost to mark myself as a new person since I feel completely different on the inside, anyway.

So, while the dream was heartbreaking and made me ache for him, it also felt like a simple message about my own growth and emerging self-worth. And by emerging, I mean baby-sized, blinking in the bright light, scared and ready to bolt back into the womb, self-worth.

But it's there, and it has potential. I get down on myself sometimes for not knowing what my new life's plan is, exactly, and worry about providing for myself.

Then I think of what I've survived so far and how, against all odds, I've held my shit together through it all and I remember that I have that flame within me.

 I can do what it takes to be happy and fulfilled. I deserve it and I can do that for myself. I have that strength.


  1. I have been thinking about a tattoo ever since my husband got diagnosed with cancer. I too feel that I have to do something that says - we loved, he was here, I am marked by his death.
    I have the words. I just need the location.
    Funny all of my children got a tattoo after their fathers death. Two of the three are conservative in appearance.
    But they all did it.
    I think perhaps that is why so many people do.
    I like what you said about the dream. I will remember that the next time.

  2. Yes.
    Dreams of our loved ones are always sooo moving. Leaving us to reflect on them for hours and days - reliving them and usually analyzing them. (I won't review my latest dream about my Dave here. I think I might need to share it with a therapist! Lol!)

    "Then I think of what I've survived so far and how, against all odds, I've held my shit together through it all and I remember that I have that flame within me." - How HAVE we held our shit together anyway? At 22 months, I look back to earlier months, and the very early months and shake my head. How DID I survive anyway? How did I get to this point? (I really don't know!) I can see the beauty in nature without my heart aching in pain anymore. I can look into the changing colours of the evening sky and clouds and think that Dave is also enjoying this. Somehow. On some other level that I can't even begin to comprehend. (I did have a dream once where Dave was calling me at work, and I asked him where he was? Where he'd been. He told me that he was with God, and had been exploring all the celestial bodies - the universe. Apparently it had taken a while!)

    Anyway - Here's to strength! The strength we didn't know we had.

    1. Wow, Val, that's quite a dream! What an amazing adventure to have in the afterlife. I suppose that might take a bit of time, huh?

  3. Cassie, this was a very dear post. I finished my taxes last week and stared at that "surviving spouse" status. I so very much agree with you and the other posts. We all have "survived", how or why is beyond us and can't quite be answered.

    You are so very young in this journey and might not be ready. But I yearn for the day, when I can move past "surviving" to living gratefully and happily.

    As an aside, my daughter did get a tatoo of an four leaf clover (Irish father) with her dad's initials. I will probably never make that leap, but good for all that have.

  4. I blame Pinterest on my thinking about a tattoo. Too much time on my hands and there are some beautiful photos shared on there. I like the ones with white or light colored ink. You have to know what you're looking for to even see them...but I would know it's there.

    1. Yup, I've thought of one of those too, but I go back and forth.

  5. Dear Cassie,
    Loved your post, I too have had several dreams some very real and it has taken a while once I'm a wake to realize that Robin is not here with me. I also got a memorial tattoo done on my back which includes him and my native heritage as one. If I knew how to pot it here for you to see I would. My youngesdt son and daughter in law are giving me another tat for my birthday this year of a verse from his favorite song with the bird robin on a branch to represent him. Prayers and hugs to you though our journeys in this widowhood. Kim

  6. Cassie,
    No need you should "get down on myself sometimes for not knowing what my new life's plan is, exactly, and worry about providing for myself." Even the best of plans go awry, as we all know. Those plans we made with our spouses to grow old together and enjoy life's events together will never happen. I think we all have learned that life can change in an instant, and I, for one, am more open to change and new directions in my life. The old me is no longer. You will find your way, and will provide what you need for you. You have already done so in selling your house and moving to a new community.

    My latest dream...I was on a strange planet trying to find my way home! That seems to be reoccurring even when I'm not asleep.

  7. Oh, Cassie. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your information about the idea that what you dream about can represent yourself! This gives me an entirely different way to view the horrible dreams I am haunted by. It is always me trying to reach Tom. Trying to call him and not remembering his number -- or even not being able to operate a telephone. I dream of trying to get to him and not being able to find him. Everyone here undoubtedly knows these dreams. But the idea that maybe -- just maybe -- I am trying to reach myself. To tell myself something. That is an idea to consider. Thank you.