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My Son Promised To Visit Me In My Dreams.....he Hasn't

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I lost my 17 year old son January 20, 2009 to CML (Chronic Mylogenous Leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome)...It is a rare form of Leukemia that typically effects 40 to 60 year old men. He was diagnosed in August, recieved a bone marrow transplant from his 11 year old brother who was a perfect match, yet the Leukemia took him 5 weeks after the transplant!. On his death bed 5 hours before he died, he promised to visit me in my dreams. Lately, I am not sleeping very well. I awake often during the night feeling almost like I cannot breathe. I take anti anxiety medication for when I am having trouble coping, which lately is ALOT! I have read books on grief, and losing a child, but I I just dont know if I am dreaming about him, and not remembering him, or if he thikns I am still not ready! Has anyone else had this? Is it normal not to dream of the lost child? I am very depressed lately, I am missing him so much!


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Dear Ann,

My heart breaks for you as I read of the death of your precious son ~ I am so very sorry, and I simply cannot imagine the depth of your pain.

I don't know what, if any, resources you've explored regarding grief and dreaming, and I'm certainly not an expert in dreams, but I'd like to point you to some resources that I'm aware of, in hopes that they will offer you some comfort and additional insights.

First, I want to share this passage from Louis LaGrand's wonderful book, Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved. On pages 119-121 he writes:

Seeking an Extraordinary Encounter

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.

You might also combine your prayers with meditation. If prayer is talking to the Intelligence, meditation is listening to that Intelligence. Meditation – opening your mind and heart to the messages of the universe around you – will put you in an ideal state of consciousness to receive an Extraordinary Encounter . . . if something happens to you during your prayer or meditation session, and you are not sure how to assess it, ask yourself four questions:

•Is this the kind of thing my loved one would do?

•What is my intuitive feeling about the event? (Notice what comes into your awareness – what thoughts, physical feelings, emotions.)

•Has this event brought the feelings that love has been given and received?

•Most important of all, did the experience bring peace?

If the answer to the last question is yes, you should feel confident that you're being led by a power greater than yourself, regardless of what name you attach to it. I firmly believe that peace and a sense of belonging or connectedness go hand-in-hand, and that the road to true healing lies in following that peace.

Read more about Lou LaGrand's work and writings here: Extraordinary Grief Experiences

I also encourage you to visit Carla Blowey's website, Dreaming Kevin to learn "the true story of a bereaved mother's journey to the dream time in search of her son."

If you want to explore ways you actually can work with your dreams, you may wish to read the book, Grief Dreams: How They Help Heal Us after the Death of a Loved One, by T.J. Wray and Ann Back Price. The authors assert that, "Because grief dreams are a fairly universal phenomenon among the bereaved, they offer the opportunity, when affirmed as important and properly understood, for healing." They guide readers in ways to understand and value their dreams, how to keep a grief dream journal, and how to use dreams as tools for healing. They explain that most grief dreams fall into four rather broad categories (visitation dreams, message dreams, reassurance dreams and trauma dreams), although there are other grief dream types such as prophetic dreams and dream series. The book offers real-life examples of each type, including their symbols and other important features. Wray and Price show how dreams can be affirming, consoling, enlightening, and inspiring. Grief dreams, they say on page 37, "offer a way through pain to memory and meaning." Grief dreams act as shock-absorbers, help us sort out our emotions, enable us to continue our inner relationship with the deceased, and make a creative bridge to our future: "Grief dreams often bear meaningful images of a hopeful new life for the mourner [p. 181]." The authors offer step-by-step guidance for understanding and valuing the various messages from grief dreams – even the nightmarish and shock-absorbing ones. They even give examples of how we can ask for a dream to help us, and suggest a method to use as a possible technique for inducing a reassurance dream. Following each dream story is a "Toolbox" designed to assist the reader to gain the confidence necessary to interpret his or her own dreams. "This confidence is enhanced by the easy-to-learn methods of interpretation that center on the concept that you, the dreamer, are in the best position to accurately interpret your own dreams. After all, your dreams are as unique as you are [p. 6]."

Another way to learn more about recalling, interpreting, and working with your dreams is to take an online e-mail course, such as the one offered by Self-Healing Expressions, entitled Dreams for Healing: Using Dreams as a Pathway to the Soul.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Initially - after my Grandmother passed away - I felt her with me a lot. I dreamed of her. She talked to me in my dreams. Then there was one dream where she was crying. I asked her what she would like for us to do and what she said was, "I just want to see Heaven, but I can't until you let go." That was the last time she spoke to me in my dream. I told her to go to heaven and I think she did. I dreamed of her a couple of times since then - but in those dreams she couldn't communicate with me. It was kind of like I wasn't there. Now when I do dream where she is the subject she is gone in my dreams and they usually revolve around me trying to take care of the things she took care of.

I am not sure how it works. My Grandmother lost my Aunt to AML at the age of 12. She had a very rare form as well - one that is usually only seen in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation - one that even if you got it today you would not survive it. My Grandma said she knew that my Aunt was watching out for her - at times she could feel her in the room with her.

I don't know if that helps - but you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I have no doubt that your son is still with you - he just might not be able to come to you in your dreams.

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