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Why can't I dream of my wife?


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It has been almost 5 months, and apart from a few fleeting glimpses (that I remember) and a couple of very short conversations, I have not dreamt of my beloved Annette at all. All my dreams are stupid things like high school and old jobs and who knows what. We were together every day for 30 years and now my stupid brain won't even give me the pleasure of her company in my dreams!  Is it because I am still in initial grief stages still? Can anybody help with how your timeline of dreaming compared? Literally, about the only thing I have to look forward to is going to bed and hoping that I can see her in my dreams and every morning I'm disappointed, Thanks for your replies! 

James

 

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Thanks. I hope I don't start having nightmares at the six month mark. Right now, I'm not having bad dreams really at all.  But I'm so sad that she's not in them, that they're dreams about times in my life before meeting her.  I do think about her all day long, so that must be why I don't need to dream of her.

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I think that, on the soul level and in the dream-world, Time--if it exists in dimensions invisible to us-- runs differently.  There are countless stories and legends from all over the world about other dimensions and worlds besides ours, in which Time operates at other speeds.  Fairy tales, for one, and stories like The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe for another. 

An indigenous/Native American person told me that it's commonly held that after a death of such a beloved one, we are knocked a bit out of the stream of time as we once knew it.  And we do experience that, in lots of ways, but I think this person meant that literally --we're in another timeline, parallel to everyone we know.  We can see them, and vice versa, but like layers of an onion, we're one layer removed from them-- tears included! 😢  In modern slang we'd say "caught in a time warp."   It makes sense, to me anyway, that the soul of the one who has gone is out of step with us in more ways than just being physically absent.

I only had one dream that could be considered disturbing.  Many more were interesting, one was actually amusing, several were meaningful.  The rest were fleeting and fragmented and I barely remembered them.  Maybe try keeping a dream journal and see if you notice anything.  Maybe the dreams of life before her have to work their way out of the dream pipeline.  Once they clear out, maybe she'll be able to come through.

2 hours ago, nashreed said:

that they're dreams about times in my life before meeting her.

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I wondered this same thing too after George died.  I rarely dream of him, the first year I think I had maybe two dreams of him.  We were so close, always together, so I couldn't understand why!  I never did figure that out but I learned not to personalize, it's not that he didn't want to visit me, I know that, we connected on a level I've never seen with anyone else!  I'm unable to control my dreams like some people apparently can.  Here's an article that might be of help:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-control-your-dreams_n_6296526

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15 hours ago, Kieron said:

I think that, on the soul level and in the dream-world, Time--if it exists in dimensions invisible to us-- runs differently.  There are countless stories and legends from all over the world about other dimensions and worlds besides ours, in which Time operates at other speeds.  Fairy tales, for one, and stories like The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe for another. 

An indigenous/Native American person told me that it's commonly held that after a death of such a beloved one, we are knocked a bit out of the stream of time as we once knew it.  And we do experience that, in lots of ways, but I think this person meant that literally --we're in another timeline, parallel to everyone we know.  We can see them, and vice versa, but like layers of an onion, we're one layer removed from them-- tears included! 😢  In modern slang we'd say "caught in a time warp."   It makes sense, to me anyway, that the soul of the one who has gone is out of step with us in more ways than just being physically absent.

I only had one dream that could be considered disturbing.  Many more were interesting, one was actually amusing, several were meaningful.  The rest were fleeting and fragmented and I barely remembered them.  Maybe try keeping a dream journal and see if you notice anything.  Maybe the dreams of life before her have to work their way out of the dream pipeline.  Once they clear out, maybe she'll be able to come through.

Lucid, insightful, and articulate -as usual. Always a pleasure to hear from Kieron. 

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18 hours ago, nashreed said:

Thanks. I hope I don't start having nightmares at the six month mark. Right now, I'm not having bad dreams really at all.

Although the article I suggested is entitled Nightmares and Bad Dreams in Grief, it does contain some information about other kinds of dreaming, so I hope you'll take some time to read it ~ and note the additional resources listed at the base.

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Thank you. I appreciate that article.  It's just distressing that not only can I not have dreams of Annette, I have dreams where I'm with somebody else.

I almost feel like I didn't love her as much as I thought or something. How could she be so completely absent from my dreams? I imagine I think of her so much during the day, but I really need some connection to her. I feel like I'm losing her daily. I'm always looking for signs of her spirit, but I just end up feeling cold and alone.

 

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7 hours ago, nashreed said:

I'm always looking for signs of her spirit

James, I encourage you to read this article, "Am I Going Mad?" ~ Mystical Experiences in Grief, which includes the following:

In his book, Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved, grief expert Louis LaGrand encourages mourners to seek—actively and intentionally—what he calls an extraordinary encounter with the deceased loved one:
I tell every client who comes to me that there is nothing wrong with asking or praying for a sign that your loved one is okay. You will receive a sign when you need it most. Be patient. Persist. Be specific. Keep petitioning. Stay alert and increase your awareness of the coincidences, feelings, unusual happenings, intuitions, and good things that occur during your day. Give thanks when what you have prayed for arrives. Persistent prayer cannot be denied. In particular, ask your Higher Power to allow you to have a visitation dream. Many spiritual counselors believe that dreams are the easiest way for spirits to communicate with survivors (p. 119).

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I hope you read the article I posted for you, it might be something for you to explore.

Try not to put too much worth on your having dreams about someone else...all it tells me is you're not ready to accept being alone.  This is a lengthy process, so I hope you'll be patient with yourself no matter what you're going through!  Six months is one of the hardest times in our grief journey, as a lot of times support has dried up and reality has set in...give or take a month or two.

I found this on line, it seems to depict what many of us notice/feel about that six month time:

When I worked in hospice and was talking with loved ones after a death, I would offer that “the six month mark is when you may start to notice a shift in your grieving.” Typically this is because the memorial/funeral/celebration of life is over and most people have returned to their routines. All the paperwork and other “necessary” steps of dealing with death in our society have “resolved.” Friends and co-workers tend to be done asking “how are you doing?” fearing you may be truthful and say, “not well,” depending on the day, and then what are they supposed talk to you about? Then there are those people who want you to “be better already.” And others ignore you, their invitations, phone calls, texts, and emails drying up. Suddenly all that support you had early on is gone and the space you craved initially, feels as vast as a Siberian steppe. When you cry out, grief is all that rustles in the wind.

This is a generalization. Grieving is different for everyone. But it is a valid generalization based on my experience in deeply listening to those trying to understand their new life with grief in residence. It is why hospice organizations send a bereavement letter out at the six month anniversary date of a death. This lets the bereaved know grief is an ongoing journey and they are still being supported. Of course for those who don’t die on hospice, this day will go unmarked unless those grieving have the energy to notice.

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12 hours ago, MartyT said:

James, I encourage you to read this article, "Am I Going Mad?" ~ Mystical Experiences in Grief, which includes the following:

In his book, Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved, grief expert Louis LaGrand encourages mourners to seek—actively and intentionally—what he calls an extraordinary encounter with the deceased loved one:
I tell every client who comes to me that there is nothing wrong with asking or praying for a sign that your loved one is okay. You will receive a sign when you need it most. Be patient. Persist. Be specific. Keep petitioning. Stay alert and increase your awareness of the coincidences, feelings, unusual happenings, intuitions, and good things that occur during your day. Give thanks when what you have prayed for arrives. Persistent prayer cannot be denied. In particular, ask your Higher Power to allow you to have a visitation dream. Many spiritual counselors believe that dreams are the easiest way for spirits to communicate with survivors (p. 119).

That is very interesting. 

I desperately want to see Annette in my dreams, but I feel like I don't want her to "get in trouble" if I pray for her to be able to appear. I KNOW that she is in Heaven- I have never had any doubt of that. I don't want God to think that I doubt. Her faith was much stronger than mine. She had no doubt about her afterlife. I would not want to rock the boat with my doubt, if that makes sense. It would be incredibly selfish. I know she's ok, and pain free. Wanting her to "visit" me is purely selfish and I just have to wrestle with if that's right to do that.

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

I hope you read the article I posted for you, it might be something for you to explore.

Try not to put too much worth on your having dreams about someone else...all it tells me is you're not ready to accept being alone.  This is a lengthy process, so I hope you'll be patient with yourself no matter what you're going through!  Six months is one of the hardest times in our grief journey, as a lot of times support has dried up and reality has set in...give or take a month or two.

I found this on line, it seems to depict what many of us notice/feel about that six month time:

When I worked in hospice and was talking with loved ones after a death, I would offer that “the six month mark is when you may start to notice a shift in your grieving.” Typically this is because the memorial/funeral/celebration of life is over and most people have returned to their routines. All the paperwork and other “necessary” steps of dealing with death in our society have “resolved.” Friends and co-workers tend to be done asking “how are you doing?” fearing you may be truthful and say, “not well,” depending on the day, and then what are they supposed talk to you about? Then there are those people who want you to “be better already.” And others ignore you, their invitations, phone calls, texts, and emails drying up. Suddenly all that support you had early on is gone and the space you craved initially, feels as vast as a Siberian steppe. When you cry out, grief is all that rustles in the wind.

This is a generalization. Grieving is different for everyone. But it is a valid generalization based on my experience in deeply listening to those trying to understand their new life with grief in residence. It is why hospice organizations send a bereavement letter out at the six month anniversary date of a death. This lets the bereaved know grief is an ongoing journey and they are still being supported. Of course for those who don’t die on hospice, this day will go unmarked unless those grieving have the energy to notice.

Oh, people stopped caring about how I'm doing way before even 5 months. Not that I have many people in my life. I'm just getting through day by day.

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1 hour ago, Kieron said:

Day by day, hour by hour, it's about all you can do.  😕

I often think that if I had loved my wife more, I would have died when she did. I've heard that happens. Lucky people.

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I actually did pray for Annette to be able to visit in my dreams.

Last night, I had a dream that she was able to e-mail me from Heaven, and I could respond. I woke up, of course, sad that I couldn't really do that. I wonder what a dream interpreter would make of that. I vaguely remember another dream where she was a presence. So, I have hope. 

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I'm glad you had that brief respite...it's common to feel disappointed when you wake up to this reality after experiencing being with them in your dreams.  Enjoy them fully when they occur!

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

I'm glad you had that brief respite...it's common to feel disappointed when you wake up to this reality after experiencing being with them in your dreams.  Enjoy them fully when they occur!

Yeah, I think I may have opened Pandora's Box. Last night I dreamt that she was gone, just like in real life. I liked it better when my dreams were set in a time when she was at least still alive. Hopefully she can be more present in my dreams to balance it out.

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A lot of times I find my dreams revolve around some of my subconscious thoughts or fears, or things I've thought of during the day, even if momentarily.

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True- Often, a dream will begin with some stupid minutiae from the day, and go off somewhere from that. But I'm afraid I have somehow stopped being able to dream of a time when she was still alive- and this is very depressing. Before, I could at least have sleep to look forward to, where I could be in a world where (even if she wasn't in the dream) she was still alive. Now it seems the dreams have evolved to where I am aware of her loss, even if it's a freaking high school dream from before I knew her. If I could talk to her in my dreams it would be ok, but so far I haven't been able to.

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I rarely dream about George, at least if I do I don't remember them because I'm in too deep a sleep.  I posted a link about controlling your dreams, have you read it?  I haven't pursued that avenue, but many do and say it works.

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