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Dreams And Mixed Feelings


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Hello everyone.

I lost my Mom quite unexpectedly last summer. I am 30, she was just over 60. I am her only daughter and have no siblings, nor any other family, really. My Mom and I were friends, really close emotionally. We didn't call each other each day, and we lived continents apart. But we were very close and there are certain things I have only been able to share with my Mom. I really feel like a big part of me died along with her.

What I wanted to talk about today, however, was the recurring dreams I've been having. I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience, or if you know what this could mean. I am afraid to go to sleep because perhaps I fear another such dream. Since Mom's passing, I have seen her many times in my dreams, but she doesn't talk to me. The theme is always the same - she is alive, and somehow I have to explain to her that she was dead, OR that she WILL die soon, and I wonder how to explain to her that we sold and emptied her apartment. The dream ends there, and I wonder if there is an explanation for it. These dreams make me anxious and tense.

I did sell the apartment and emptied it rather in a hurry, within a month. I was unable to keep much stuff due to distance - kept no furniture, gave away MANY books, decorations, dishes, pictures, threw away many of her and my own papers, stuff that I would have kept as keepsakes but there was just too much. All that is left is some 30 boxes of stuff that I kept. Even that may be too much, but I can't throw everything away. That includes some dishes, books, and some of my stuff that was still there. I did throw away a LOT. I sometimes have a thought of a thing that I no longer own and sort of have to grieve the loss of it. I have mixed feelings about the stuff I kept, too. Some of it I want to keep because I think it's interesting - like my Grandfather's old suitcase and books - but then I think of how that is all past, gone, and how that is also connected to bad memories. And I don't necessarily want to keep all that pent-up negative energy of years before. Does that make sense? Yet at the same time, I want to have a keepsake and think I might regret throwing it out. I had one month during which I had to throw away many things. Will these feelings change, will my anxiety subside over time? Will I be able to have those objects near me and not have mixed feelings about them? And be OK with them around?

I am most concerned about those dreams, because they keep me awake at night. This may be silly, but I am afraid of turning of the light at night because I'm afraid of "ghosts" or spirits, even that of my Mom, even if I tell myself I shouldn't be afraid of it, even if they WERE there. But it really disrupts my life - can anyone suggest how to deal with it? It is now past 3 am and I am here writing this post. I'd like to be sleeping/

The funny thing is, I was feeling fine after I came back from dealing with the apartment. Then I spent some time with friends, the holidays, and now I feel in a rut and like nothing really matters anymore. Sometimes I want to do something, like take a picture, and then I get totally disheartened, thinking I wouldn't be able to share it with Mom, so it doesn't matter anyway. And the truth is, if she were alive, I may not have shared it with her anyway... Any thoughts on this? Why does this occur? The "nothing really matters anyway" phase? And any advice on getting out of this rut?

Well, this is more than I wanted to write, but here goes. I hope some of you out there will have some answers. Thank you for reading this...


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Guest Nicholas

I think it all depends on the individual: some people dream all the time and remember them, some don't dream (or, if they do, they don't recall them) and some simply never remember them at all. Sadly I fall into the first category, I dream every night and have nightmares practically every night. Weird dreams are particular common after a bereavement and various dream analysts and psychiatrists have a field day trying to explain them, unfortunately dreams are one phenomenon we can't really control.


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I have no words of advice to offer, but to tell you I've had almost those exact same dreams and feel the same way. You aren't alone. My sister was killed in a car accident not even 3 months ago and in my dreams I have had to tell her and try to explain to her why she is dead. And the new thing is that she did die but she was able to come back to life and we all just accept it and love her and are so happy to have her back. I can't sleep in the dark...I do better at home because I can have my TV on. My roommate hates noise so I have to tough it out when I'm at school.

So all I can say is, you aren't alone.

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