Sunday, May 12, 2013


Seth and I at Tulum in Mexico, 2007.

Last weekend I flew to Lake Tahoe to photograph a wedding.

I have had a long time extreme fear of flying. During the weeks leading up to the flight, I was anxious about the flight.

The trip came and went, and I found myself flying back home. As I was flying home, I realized that I was not afraid of the flight. I realized that during the flight to Tahoe, I was not anxious at all.. and I wasn't anxious that I was trapped in a plane, a billion miles above the earth.

The realization that I had no anxiety over the two flights caught me by surprise and made me ponder.

Where did my fear of flying go? When did it go? How is it possible that an extreme fear that I have had for years and years, is suddenly gone?

I started thinking about when my fear of flight started. I remember when it started.

Early in my relationship with Seth, we both started having a reoccurring nightmare. The nightmare was always so real and always the same. Seth and I would be flying to somewhere tropical. For some reason, the plane suddenly crashes into the ocean, and we were left in the middle of the ocean with just one flotation device (the seat) to share. The other passengers were always fighting, trying to take other peoples flotation devices, and there was always the same man.. this man would try to drown me and try to take my flotation device. Leaving out the gory details, Seth would kill this man in a very violent, but necessary way.. it was this man’s life or mine. We would take the flotation device, and start swimming away from the plane and fighting passengers. Leaving us alone in the ocean.

The dream would always end with us swimming and swimming and swimming, then waking up in a pure panic.

Seth and I shared this reoccurring nightmare. The details were always the same. The only difference was there was my perception of the dream and Seth’s perception of the dream.

We shared the same nightmare through our entire relationship. Every couple of months, one of us would have the nightmare.

I thought it was ironic that two people could share the same nightmare. I eventually thought.. what if this is our destiny? What if this is the way we would die?

Every year Seth and I would vacation in Mexico. Every time I boarded the plane, I would think of the nightmare. The ocean, the tropical place, the plane crash.. my extreme fear of flying etched it's self into my soul.

I have been thinking about some of the stories my widow friends have told me.. it involved my widowed friend having a recurring nightmare of finding their husband deceased  in a certain way. Then in real life, when their husband passed away, it happened the same way they had dreamed about for years. I have several widow friends that have had this experience.

I have been thinking about my fear of flying and the reoccurring nightmare.

I realized I haven’t had that nightmare since Seth died. In 33 months or 1,020 days, I haven’t had the nightmare that chased me for 10 years.

The dream and fear of flying died with my husband.

But why?

Since my flight, I have been wondering if this was mine and Seth’s destiny. What if he altered destiny with his suicide? 

Where does that leave me? Alone in the ocean? Fighting the man in my nightmare alone?

Maybe that’s why my fear of flying and nightmares have stopped. Maybe that is no longer my destiny.

Maybe my husband’s suicide changed far more than just my present. Maybe it changed my destiny.

I may never know the answer to my destiny, but it does make me wonder.

Now if I die in a plane crash, you will be left with things that make you go “hmm..”


  1. I was going to ask in the group if anyone had a reoccurring nightmare and if their spouse had the same dream,Richard and I were married 8 months when I got pregnant,while pregnant I had a the least 10 dreams-I never told anyone I was having because they were very bad and my late husband had 3 dreams and after his 3rd dream he was crying and told me what it was...It was the same exact dreams I was having...He saw our baby in these dreams & saw how she looked when she was around 6 months and everyone was saying to me in these dreams"Wow,Amelia looks like her daddy may he RIP!"...We were both having dreams he died when she was a baby and that she looked just like him and I eventually got remarried in these dreams....Freecked us both out and we had prayer many times and got told it was Satan trying to scare us,No it was not it was God letting us know that Richard was going to die when our baby was 16 1/2 days and she does look so much like her daddy,its not even funny...

  2. Perhaps the man trying to take your flotation device was the inner struggles your husband battled. Just a thought.

  3. Stephanie - I'm so very touched by your story. And even more so by you realizing it was a positive source helping you prepare for what feels utterly unacceptable and impossible.

    Dreaming a future exactly as it will happen is very rare. Dreaming is in a symbolic way is more common. I.e. dreaming of death personified as an attacker, or dreaming of ocean symbolizing the ocean of feelings, and also loneliness, and also spirituality...

    Most often, our dreams provide ways to cope with our present life and our past.

    Melinda, your posts opens to many big questions and destiny is one of them. Who knows to which degree our lives are predestined and why. We may never find out. What we can do is make our mind up with regards how to live the life that is ours, no matter how it unfolds.

    Thank you for sharing your dreams and your life!

    Many warm greetings,


  4. Incredible and incredibly sad. I lost my husband to suicide too. Rarely, before he died, did I ever dream about him and always thought it odd since I have always been a dreamer. The two times I dreamed of him, he was leaving me. I remember telling him of this and he was taken aback as we were deeply in love and there was no reason to think he would ever leave. But he did, in the most horrific way.

    After he died, I was looking at our his high school yearbook and found what I had written there 25 years before. Although it is a commen expression, it is nothing I would normally say to anyone. But the entry I made all those years ago names the exact way he took his life. I don't think this is a coincidence.