I recently did a podcast with Joshua and Shawn from Grief Dreams Podcast. Stay tuned for the details of when it airs! The entire topic is so interesting and not something I even knew “was a thing” until I came across their page after they did an interview with Serena Dyer. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the daughter of Dr. Wayne Dyer who is someone I have loved since reading his many books.
So what is a grief dream? It’s a dream you have where someone who is deceased comes and visits you. After my father passed away in March of 2016, I would beg him every single night before I fell asleep to come and visit me in my dreams. I knew it was the only way I could “see” him from that day forward and I yearned desperately to see his face, hear his voice, and just be in his presence again.
It took a few months after his death to visit me in my dreams. When he did though, he delivered in a major way.
In this dream I was in a beautiful white wedding dress. I was in the church that my dad’s funeral was held. I turned the corner to walk down the aisle and my dad met me there. He held out his arm and I reached out, holding on tightly. I examined his face with every single mole and dimple. He was healthy. He was beaming with happiness and pride. He was the happiest I had seen him in more than a year. He had his strut back, his sense of humor, and his goofy ole-self.
As we walked down the aisle, we talked about Heaven. We talked about how happy he was there and how he got to see his mom. His mom died about 3 years prior. He joked around with me, using his humor to make me feel at ease. I felt so comfortable in his presence. I felt so much peace that I had been missing for months. I tried so hard to smell him in, taking in the aroma that surrounded us both.
Once we made it to the front, he gave me a big hug and kissed my cheek. He told me how proud he was of me and we exchange many “I love you’s” before the dream ended. But before I woke up, I studied his face one last time. He looked exactly as I always remembered he did. He didn’t look like the sick, older man I said goodbye to just months before. In this moment he looked exactly like he did when I was 18 and he was coaching my high school lacrosse team.
I woke up that morning and never felt more peace in my life. The crazy part is that I knew it was a dream even when I was going through it. I knew the whole entire time that I was dreaming and that it wasn't "real-life".. Looking back on the dream, I don’t remember If there were even people in the church. It feels like we were there alone, experiencing this moment together.
Because you see, he never got to walk me down the aisle in real life. My husband and I eloped to Hawaii. I never got that memory physically. But that memory is so real for me now. Even if it did happen in a dream, it still happened for me. I still got to experience that with my dad and it was something I never knew I needed.
I never regretted that I didn’t have him walk me down the aisle. Even after he died I didn’t regret that decision. Our decision was based on what was best for us, as well as our families at the time. I love that Tim and eloped and were able to experience marriage the way we did.
The next dream I had with him came many months, if not a year, later. In this dream I was walking through Home Depot. *I’ll explain the significance later*. I was walking through the paint aisle and there he was. He was with an associate getting some help and as I walked by him I kept thinking, “I just want to see your face. Please just show me your face!”. I repeated it over and over again. He turned to smile at me just before I passed by him. It was all I needed. I wasn’t looking for a conversation this time, I just wanted to see him. I just wanted to really, really see him. And I did.
He looked healthy again. He had an essence about him that radiated his old self. This dream was shorter, as it was only as long as about 30 seconds. But I saw his face. I saw his face. Maybe being excited that I got to see his face sounds a little bit crazy, but it brought me so much comfort. I can close my eyes and see my dad's face, but to see it "for real" in a dream is so reassuring.
In talking with the Grief Dreams Podcast, I wasn’t sure what the significance was of the Home Depot dream. It took me searching through my journal to find the entry of when that dream happened. It happened right before I decided to make my family a picnic table that we could all enjoy throughout the years. I wanted to make something my kids could grow up with and knew a picnic table was the perfect thing.
That dream, in my opinion, was his way of showing me support for that project. I spent a lot of time in Home Depot over the span of a few days, trying to gather all of the products I needed for that table. I believe he was putting his stamp of approval on it, before I even imagined it in my head.
I have grandparents who have passed, yet haven’t really dreamed about them. I feel like I have dreamed of my grandfather fishing with me on his backyard pond, but can’t remember any details of that dream.
Mostly I feel like grief dreams bring a peace that is unexplainable. I believe it gives you new memories that you can hold onto, even when you physically can't have anymore. They can be as real as you perceive them to be and they can soothe broken hearts if you allow them to.
This topic really is so interesting and I am wondering if any of you have had grief dreams. I would love to hear about them! You can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can comment on this post or on my Facebook and Instagram.
I so look forward to discussing this with all of you!!