Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dream on.

The dream world has always been a funny topic for me.

I dream A LOT. Almost every morning I remember my dreams, usually more than one. They're sometimes crazy weird, sometimes scary, usually in some way incorporates things I've been thinking about throughout the day or weeks. 

Only recently have I discovered that I sometimes mumbled in my sleep (nonsense), giggle when I'm dreaming about something funny, or shake and breath differently when I'm afraid. Jeremy was such a deep sleeper that I don't think he ever noticed if I did these things (although I caught him talking in his sleep a few times, which was always hilarious). Steve, however, is one of the lightest sleepers I know and wakes up every time I move a muscle. He's had to wake me from a few bad dreams - I seem to be having quite a few lately.

Oddly enough, I've been dreaming about Jeremy a lot over the last few weeks. After he died, I dreamt about him often, constantly begging God to let me see him in my dreams. But it was never in the way I wanted. He was distant, never came close enough for me to touch him, but would give me these deep looks of pain and apology that would leave me aching in the morning. Then, gradually over time, my dreams would just come every once in awhile. I don't know why he's been coming back in my dreams so much recently. Perhaps getting past the 2 year mark was a big milestone and I was thinking about him constantly. Perhaps like the rest of my dreams, it's manifesting an understanding I can't work out when I'm awake or in real life. I don't know. 

What I do know is that Jeremy is changing in my dreams.

Has any other widow(er) had this happen? I feel like I always have this sense that no matter what the dream is about or where we are, I can feel him in real time - like he's opening my eyes to something. I've never been hokey about dreams before, but after Jeremy died, I knew there was purpose in me seeing him there. 

At first, he wouldn't come close. He would stay far away and apologize or I would beg and plead for him not to go from a distance.
Then, he finally got in close enough that he put his arm around me once. But the closer he got, the weaker he seemed and I always dreamt of the injuries he endured from the fall after his heart attack, or I would worry about his heart. Or I knew that he wouldn't be staying alive long and I needed to do or say as much as I could before he left.
Then he got closer and intimate enough to hug me and tell me he was so happy for me when I found Steve. And there was no pain, just that beautiful smile of his. What a gut-wretching blessing of a dream that was.
Throughout the changes in my dreams, though, I felt him grow. I felt any anger he ever had gone from him and he always seemed at peace, even if he was sad he couldn't stay with me. He matured somehow in my dreams, like the essence of Jeremy but in the form that God created him to be. It's hard to explain.

Lately, he appears in my dreams like a lot of normal characters in my dreams. He'll be along side me for an adventure, or trying to protect me from something, or won't do anything specific, but I know he's there.

Maybe someone else out there knows more about this area than I do, but I would be interested to know how the widowed community views dreams of their loved ones, or what they think about the evolution of Jeremy in my dreams. Either way, and in no matter what form, he is always a welcome presence that I ache to see in my dreams. I love getting to see his face, and feel him living, even for just a moment and even if it's not real. It feels real. Those are the dreams that if I wake up prematurely, I try desperately to close my eyes and finish, just so I don't have to say goodbye. Just so I can squeeze one more second of time in with him. 


  1. Vee, I dream about my husband all the time. Like you in the beginning, he seemed far away. The first dream I had he phoned me in the dream and I begged him to come home, I was crying and saying I just want you to come back and he said "I know, I'm sorry - I can't"
    In the last six months I dreamed I was laying in his arms, he was so real, I could hear his heartbeat and we were just laying there and we started talking and he was so ALIVE, when I woke up I couldn't believe he was not there, it was like new grief so shocking.
    Interesting though - last week I dreamt of him, we were laying side by side staring into each others eyes and I was stroking his face and telling him how much I loved him, how I remembered him and would always miss him. I don't remember what he said but he was comforting me and he said something that when I woke I felt peaceful. Like we had - had this real moment where he came to check on me and I got to see him for awhile
    It felt real. The week before I had a bit of panic. I was worrying I was losing the memories of small things about him. But this dream,
    It brought back the things I always worry about losing: the sound of his voice, his laugh, the softness of his thick silver hair, his love. Maybe that was why I dreamt of him in that way, so I could experience all of those things.
    I hope I never stop dreaming about him. Now when I wake I try to write it all down.
    Keep a dream journal. I do believe that we are dreaming for a reason and some of the answers are woven inside the dream.

    Yes sometimes it is painful but for every moment I see his face - animated in a dream I have a more profound feeling of what it was like to have him here, alive.
    Thank you Vee for the reminder.

    1. I love that. I love that you got to have that beautiful moment with your husband. I hope to have one with Jeremy someday, too.

      I try to write down my dreams as well. It helps me remember and helps me process a lot of it.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. Hi Vee,

    I, too, have dreamt about Jim a lot after he died, and my experiences are similar to yours. Read this from about a year after:

    and this from more recently:

    I am just over 2 years out from Jim's death...and I enjoy your posts very much. They remind me constantly, that though in this small town, I may be a novelty, I am never alone, and, I am certainly not crazy.

    Thanks for writing.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kathie. I enjoyed reading both of those dreams, and I love what you said about all of our resistances being torn down in the middle of the night, leaving us open. Perhaps that's why dreams are so important, so valuable.

      You most certainly are not crazy. :)

  3. There is one dream that really stands out for me. First a little background. My husband was not supposted to die...he had what they thought was a treatable disease. He was misdiagnosed. He actually had a drug reaction to medication that they prescribed him. All they had to do was stop the medication. So since they thought he had an auto immune disease they treated him with steroids which suppressed his immune system. He got sick around Christmas of last year. He was transported to a hospital out of province (I had to beg for that because I knew something was wrong). When we got over there I was very scared. I kissed him on the head and said "I love you, Dear, Please don't leave me.". He said "I love you too, Dear, I'm not going anywhere.". Well that night he went into a coma and never woke up. Autopsy said he died of Sepsis. A month to they day after he died I had a dream. In the dream he was sitting on a bench in the hospital. He said to me, "See Dear, I didn't go anywhere...". People say to me this is him telling you he is still with you. I hope so, because I want him to see the kids grow up.

    1. Yvette, what a powerful message for your husband to leave with you, and I believe it has a lot of purpose for you. And I believe he will see your kids grow :)

      Thanks for posting.

  4. I don't often see him in my dreams, but in the last one, I found myself cleaning out our house which looked as though it had been completely trashed, and he was there beaming at me and smiling, just joyful and I couldn't understand how he could be so happy when I was alone and cleaning up all this mess. I could just feel him so happy to see me and so proud of me and in the dream I was frustrated by all I had to do and that he wasn't helping me. But, when I woke up I just felt that he knew and saw all that I was doing on my own to rebuild my life from the mess left after his death and was proud of me and happy for the life I was making and I was happy to think that he was not only at peace but some how more full of life than ever.

    1. More full of life than ever. Yes. And I would interpret your dream the same way, that he IS proud of all that you are accomplishing on your own. What strength it takes!

      Thanks for the comment.

  5. Like you, I've wished for my late husband to be in my dreams, so I could see him one more time. It's only happened a few times in the 5+ years he's been gone. I've wished and prayed for the dream you had - where he would come and tell me that he's happy that I've found someone else but that hasn't happened for me.
    I do believe that dreams are a way for them to communicate with us. I'm happy for you that Jeremy has been in your dreams so much recently.

    1. You know, I don't think Jeremy ever came to me in my dreams when I begged for it or prayed for it, I just realized. I feel like it was always in his timing, not mine. How frustrating that is, but I pray that you will find your husband again soon in your dreams.

  6. In the early days, I dreamed almost nightly that matt and I were together in various scenarios: I knew he was going to die, and he did not. I tried to tell him it was coming; he didn't believe me. I had to keep saying, "it's true babe. I was there. I saw it happen." Those were intense.
    More often now, he is - as you described - part of my dreams, I know he's there, but he isn't usually directly in the "action." Sometimes - a lot lately, now that I think about it - in the dream, I'm dreaming about someone who is supposed to be him, but clearly is not. In the dream, I often lean in to the person (who is usually a bit of a jerk) and say "you're not him."

    1. You know that no one could ever replace him.

      Those early dreams sound intense, I had a similar one where I could foresee Jeremy dying and kept telling him not to go, but he just said he'd be fine and he had to. It was awful.

      I have noticed once or twice now that Jeremy and Steve are sometimes interchangeable in my dreams, which I can only describe as disturbing. Not that they are the same....but that I'll start my dream off doing something with Steve and next I turn around and it's Jeremy. I'm not sure what's that about.

      Thanks for sharing your insight and experiences.

  7. About a week after my husband died, I dreamt with him. He started off looking sickly, as he was when he died. He was alive though and home and I was so happy that he was alive. He would smile at me but never uttered a word. Then in the dream I was using the bathroom, and it woke me up because I HAD to use the bathroom. I was so upset because I lost the dream. When I went back to bed, it was about 6am. I fell right to sleep and YES, the dream literally picked up where I left off...and in the remainder of the dream he evolved from the sickly man to the healthy man that I met. I did all the talking. He'd just smile at me with this tender loving look in his eyes. In the end, a young boy came up to us and told me "Felix has to go now." and I hugged him to me, cried in his chest and begged him not to go. But he kissed me, smiled and let me go, walked away with the boy, and several other children started to walk with him and pulled him into a light. I woke up. It was about 9am. I was shaken but I also felt like that was his way of telling me he was ok.

    I would dream with him from time to time. His one year was in September. The night before Superstorm Sandy hit, I dreamt with him, this time he was with me and another person (I do not know who) and he was telling this person that he is 36 years old. I stopped him and told him he's turning 38 in November, and that he's been dead for over a year. He looked shocked when I told him it's been a year. His mother told me she dreamt with him that night too.

    Then about two weeks ago I dreamt that he was never dead, but that we separated and he moved to the West Coast. We hadn't spoken in about 2 years in the dream. Then he was in NYC visiting, staying at a hotel. I called him up and when he realized it was me on the phone, begged me to come see him. It was a beautiful, loving dream after that. I woke up so heart broken. It stayed with me the entire day.

    I do believe that in the dreams our loved ones are reaching out to us to let us know they are ok and to also let us know that we can be ok wtih being "ok". They are just too vivid to NOT be signs from them.

    1. I agree, I can't believe that there isn't something significant and meaningful about our dreams.

      Oh, how I wish I could pick up a dream where I left off - especially with that kind of ending! Glad you were able to feel that your husband was OK.

      Thank you for sharing.

  8. I've always been jealous of people who dreamed about their husband. I wanted to be with him even if in my dreams but any time I did dream about me he would be telling me he was dead and I would hate it. Then it stopped and I never dreamed of him and I longed to. Then just last week (he passed 3 years ago) I had a horrible dream about him where I was trying to tell him he needed to relax and rest and he was ignoring me (which he would never do in real life) and I wanted to tell him he was dying and would die in 5 weeks and I needed him with me. I kept starting to tell him and would stop myself. He was acting like a jerk (again, like he would never ever do in real life) and I woke up sobbing. It took me all day to get over it. Last week was our wedding anniversary and this was a few days before.

    1. Oh, those dreams are heartbreaking. Someone told me once that colors and numbers are significant if you can remember them from a dream. I say that because you were specific about "5 weeks" - could that mean anything?

      Prayers for you to have a peaceful dream of your husband soon. Thank you for commenting.