Monday, December 2, 2013



I never dream of him. I can't for the life of me figure out why or how the person I spent most moments of 15 years with, the person I was closest to in my entire life, doesn't show up in my dreams now that he's gone from this earth. Or if he is, why I don't remember those dreams but I do remember the mundane, annoying, or ridiculous dreams instead.

I love science and I search automatically for a scientifically sound answer for this, but there really isn't one. I think even the science world is a little stumped by dreaming.

I do know that the belief is that the subconscious is always talking to us and processing while we dream. And that it doesn't talk very directly necessarily. It talks in symbols and metaphors and can be twisted and unreal.

So, maybe I have been dreaming about the loss and the missing him and the pain, but it hasn't showed up as him in bodily form. It was code for him. But I want him to visit my dreams. I want a little bit of him back, if only in my subconscious processing at night.

I'm losing the feel of him, the smell, the sound. I'm losing all of it. It's slipping away. I need it all to come back in my dreams so I can know that it's still there, somewhere in my brain, even it's it's not accessible during my waking hours.

My life is moving on whether I want it to or not. I'm moving farther and farther away from the last time I heard his voice or felt his hand enfolding mine.

If I could just have a dream of him, here and there, I'd know he still exists in my brain. As a whole being, a person. Not just a memory. Not just a suggestion.

I have a lot of trouble visualizing lately. When I'm awake I can't seem to visualize moments we had together or him talking to me, looking at me, touching me. I can conceptualize that those things happened, but I don't get a really clear picture in my mind of the events.

Maybe that has something to do with my dreams. My dreams seem a little out of focus and they're lacking the depth they used to have.

It's almost as though those memories are these incredibly painful bruises in my mind and to go anywhere near them is like threatening to poke hard at the bruise, so my mind protects itself by shutting those files down before I can get at them.

It seems logical that the memories would give me comfort and that I'd long for them, and I do, but my brain seems to be too skittish to really dig in and watch those filmstrips straight on whether I want to or not. A little peripheral glimpse and boom, the reel stops and the picture goes black.

It'd be nice if my subconscious mind would throw me a visit here and there. Or if it's possible for a person's soul to actually visit in our dreams, then it'd be nice if he'd show up.

I guess it's just not time yet, either way. But if my brain waits too long, will the memories be too hard to access even for dreams? Maybe just by writing this, I'll get to dream of him tonight. It would be so nice to get a message from him.

I don't think it's too much to ask for after being away from each other for so long.


  1. Thank you for this. I talk to him all the time, I know he's there and yet the tangibles are getting blurrier and farther away. I can recall the memories, but I can't live them anymore.

  2. I so know exactly what you are talking about!!! I feel the same way. Just one dream.... one night.... sigh....

  3. In her post, "Dreams and Grief: Part 2," Maureen Hunter offers some useful suggestions for increasing your chances of remembering your dreams: ♥

    1. Thanks, Marty! That was interesting. I've tried all of those things, but I stop trying after they don't work the first time. Gotta give it another go, maybe.

  4. oh, cassie, I know just how you feel, aching for a dream of your Beloved and how baffling it is when it just won't happen. my husband died suddenly last may - I found him lying next to me in our bed, completely unresponsive. we both had cancer, him first with a very rare cancer, the 2 years later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, ST IV - both cancers deemed treatable, but incurable. then we both achieved a spectacular remission; he died while in a very robust remission. 2 months later I was diagnosed with yet another cancer, nothing to do with breast cancer - I have been in treatment, and will start chemo next week.

    I have been desperate to see him in a dream; but when it appeared it wasn't going to happen, I thought there must be a good reason. as you can imagine, the suddenness, the piling on of a new cancer, and all the things we go through without the other complications has been so very overwhelming. we were extremely close all of our 45 yrs together, adored one another and became even more close during our dual illnesses.

    I have let go of my longing him to come to me in a dream. instead, each night when I slip into bed (now sacred ground), where I feel most peaceful, I take time to physically relax - and then I talk to him in my head, I tell him I love him and miss him, but here, in our bed, I feel him close to me. I tell him I am emptying my head of all thoughts, so I can be completely open if he wishes to talk to me, in my head. I force myself to make my mind a blank slate, to hear nothing in the background, and totally, mindfully think of the silence I've prepared in my head. sometimes, I nearly fall asleep! but sometimes, I can hear thoughts, just as if he is talking to me via those thoughts. what I hear is reassurance that he is with me, that the things I worry about are trivial and mean nothing, that the most important thing to always remember is that love never dies, that his death was in just a blink of an eye, and that when it's my time he will be waiting for me. he tells me is is proud of me, that I am capable and that all is as it should be. he tells me that the purpose of life is love, and everything else in the universe that is good is because of love. lately, he seems to emphasize that I must take care of myself - meaning, no worries, but continuing to relish loving and being loved with gratitude. and that we are all made of pure love, that this life on earth challenges us sometimes to "just be" the love we were meant to be, and that all that is is as it should be. he tells me he is alive, always with me, I just can't see him.

    over a period of a few weeks, I have been able to hold onto those words that form thoughts I believe are truly from him; I've come to the conclusion that being peacefully mindful of his presence is what he longs for most. not everyone experiences their beloved in dreams - maybe I am on of those. but the comfort and encouragement and overwhelming love i FEEL from him has been enormously comforting. we knew each other's minds and hearts and souls so intimately, i freely admit that the thoughts i perceive are ones of beautiful infusions of love and hope from him; but I've come to a place of peace and can say it doesn't really matter. all i know for sure is that i have given him the only gift i am able to give - all my love, and a place that is open and receptive to whatever he would want me to know. it is a breath of fresh air from the awful grief and loneliness, but i know i will still have to grieve profoundly for a long time - and grief is the boss. there can be no formula, no map, no avoidance, and no compromising. i am just content each night to get into our bed, close my eyes, and be there to listen to whatever my sweet love wants me to hear.

    1. Oh I could not just read that and pass by. Wonderful. My husband if 50 years died last year. I will do that.

  5. I will settle for a dream now that I have accepted he is no longer here. After two and a half years I'm just getting to the point of not expecting him to walk in the door or think he is at work or golfing. The only thing I have prayed for is to dream of him, just one little visit, please...Thank you for your post Cassie.

  6. O thank you for this post. I was feeling some kind of way, because I cannot remember his smell. Thirty-three years together almost to the exact day and I cannot remember the man smell, nor has he visited me one time. My daughter has seen him, other widows talk about their husbands visiting them, but I have not had one visit. I was beginning to question my love for him or his love for me. Then I think maybe he has not visited because he knows that I need to prepare for the next phase of my life and stop looking back. Who knows, but I am so thankful for this post because I now know that I am not alone.

  7. Be careful what you wish for. It's been almost four years since my husband died of a sudden illness.

    The first few times I dreamed of him it was so real that when I woke up it took me a moment to realize that he was dead, and it was like losing him all over again.

    The next few times that I remember were about him dying. Not about how he really died, but that he committed suicide. And I woke up from that dream and it honestly took me a minute to realize that that wasn't what had happened. But it was so REAL.

    For the past couple of years when I dream of him, he has left me for someone else and we have no hope of ever getting back together. I know that is my brain's subconscious symbolism at work - that he is gone and he isn't coming back. But it still hurts like hell.

    Sometimes there are worse things than not dreaming about him.

  8. My dreams about my husband have gone through phases. Phase I: I was begging him not to leave, because I knew something terrible was going to happen. Of course, he'd leave anyway. Phase 2: he would have his accident, but he wouldn't die, and I would be so relieved. Phase 3: he died but he came back and hung out with us, which was okay. Phase 4 (which I'm in now): he died and came back and wasn't dead anymore, and I was so utterly overjoyed (because he had been gone for over two years), and profoundly thankful that I didn't have to live in anguish anymore.
    Of course, the trouble with all these dreams is that I then wake up and discover that (1) he really did have that accident; (2) he really did die; (3) he is not coming back; (4) guess what - I have to live in anguish. There is no escape.
    Although it is great to have that dream time with him, the waking up is disorienting and horrible every time. Maybe your subconscious is a better guardian than mine.

    1. You're right, that waking up part is really hard. Maybe it has been a protective strategy by my brain. Who knows. I did have one of those "survived somehow" dreams and that one was hard, but I was really happy to have seen him at all. It's a mixed bag. For some reason, my dreaming mechanism is kind of shut down and numb - probably for good reason.

  9. It is driving me crazy that my husband has not visited me in my dreams. We were together 35 years. I keep talking to him everynight, asking him to please come to me in my dreams, as of yet, it hasn't happened. His daughter has dreamed of him, smelled him, and feels him around once in awhile. I keep thinking, maybe he is mad at me. I just need to see him, talk with him, and have him hold me and tell me everything will be okay, even if its in my dreams. I miss him so much, and he only died 6 months ago.

  10. Thank you so much for this. It is as if I wrote it myself. My husband passed away in Feb this year after a battle with cancer. We were married for 25 years.Childhood sweethearts. I have had the nightmares of his last days but I want the happy ones. I feel a little less crazy now knowing that others feel the same. Thanks again