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Strange Dreams About Death

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Ever since Dad died in October, I have had varying dreams about death. Last night, I dreamt of a little girl near my daughter's age...around 4 or 5. I was in a room full of strangers. This little girl came up to me and asked me to hold her while she was dying. I did, and she proceeded to have her last breath while in my arms. I felt love for this child, a bond. Then someone took her away. I tried to find the little girl's body but couldn't. Then I woke up. It was a very bittersweet dream.

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My dear friend,

I've just finished reading a wonderful book that you (and our other members and visitors) may find quite helpful. It's entitled Grief Dreams: How They Help Heal Us after the Death of a Loved One, by T.J. Wray and Ann Back Price. (T.J. Wray is an assistant professor at Salve Regina University, a bereaved sibling and creator of the Web site for Adult Sibling Loss, at www.adultsiblinggrief.com; her colleague is a Jungian psychoanalyst on the faculty at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island.)

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.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Starkiss here, I too have hard some very strange dreams since both my parents have died. The first dream that I had was my house burning down this is just after we sold it. Another dream I had was going over the day from start to finish of the day my mom died. And another dream I had was about a funeral and in the casket was my youngest nephew's body. I have never had very strange dreams until the death of my parents. Is this normal or am I crazy? Please help me if you can.....

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Hi All,

As I mentioned in a very long post...I have had recurring nightmares of my dad coming back from the dead. He is almost always lying in bed, in excruciating pain or unable to breathe (but w/o his oxygen tubes) with my mom bawling by his side. I am struggling for those "few more moments" that I desperately wished for, to talk to my dad again, only to know that he is suffering more...So I must tell him that it's ok to let go & that I love him. I think it's pretty straightforward. My dad was sick for 8 yrs with a lung disease. I know it's selfish to wish him alive, because he would be suffering longer. But it doesn't changed that I'm pissed that "God" (if he's listening or cares) would allow me to have such horrible dreams, when all I wanted was a few moments to see my dad at peace. I am very angry with it all. I don't need to sort out any damn feelings. I know full well what they are & what they mean. I just want to know that it will get easier & that my life will be happier & mean something again, someday. I am very analytical, & know & have read about the grief process & none of it helps. I have good friends & a wonderful husband (who lost a fiance), who have been there for me. Someone please tell me how to stop having these dreams & start feeling better. My dad would be so mad if he knew what a mess I have been. He wanted me to be happy.

To all of you, I hope your journey has been easier than mine. You are in my prayers.


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Hi Cari,

I am so very sorry about your loss, and when you face them in a dream it seems so very real. I can not even imagine what it is like to have your dad approach you in a dream. I know the day my mom died I dreamed that whole day over in my head and when it was time for her to die I woke up crying so overwhelmed with the fact she died. I can only say this I rarely have bad dreams anymore after all it has been over a year for mom's death and almost a year for dad's death. Take care and God bless Shelley

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