Dream a little dream

Am I the only one who dreams of people I’ve loved after they die?

I suspect not.

I was 20 years old when my sister died. I had dreams about her, with her in them, almost every night for months. They were always a melancholy sort of dream. I knew she had died, but she was back with us, for only the day, or the hour, or some other very short, well defined period. Like seeing an old boyfriend you still carry a flame for, but he’s with someone else now and you want so much, but you know you’ll never have it. I woke up from the dreams feeling happy to have spent time with her, but heartbroken that it was so ephemeral.

My dad died 14 years later. I was older, an adult. I kept waiting for the dreams to come like they did with my sister, but it wasn’t the same. I dreamt of him rarely and the tone was different than with my sister. They were more like memories. Which meant that I’d wake up without the old flame feeling, but also wondering why they didn’t come more often.

My mother died almost a year ago. Yet again, the dreams of her are different. I dream of her once every few weeks, and in them she is alive. But not alive like with my sister where it was temporary. No, she is alive as in not dead. As in, the report of her death was a mistake. She has been alive this whole time. The first time I dreamt this, even in my dream I was thinking – then whose ashes do I have? But the worst is that she is angry with me for what I have done with all her stuff. You mean I sold her car?? I spent money on what!?!? What is she going to live on now that all her money is in my name? How do we get a death certificate reversed?

I wonder why the dreams of the people closest to me are so different, and if it reflects my own age or development when they died, or my relationship with them, or some combination of both. Mostly I like dreaming of my family. It’s nice to see them again, even if it’s brief and with the knowledge it’s not real.

What about you? Do you dream about loved ones who have passed away? What sort of tone do your dreams take? Do you like dreaming of them or does it disturb you?


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