Living With Dreams

 

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” 
James 4:14

Thirty-nine years ago today my father passed away suddenly, less than a day after we buried my thirty-two year old brother-in-law who died of cancer. When you spend a week and half sitting in a funeral home making final arrangements for two people of your immediate family, life has a way of changing you. Not immediately, and sometimes not even in ways you can understand or explain. But it does change you.

It’s hard to believe so much time has gone by and even more difficult to think about everything they missed and everything we missed sharing with them. We lost a part of our future and past in a matter of days. I don’t know if we ever really recover from loss or just throw a blanket over it to allow us to function each day. We carry on, we laugh, we welcome new family members, we enjoy life because there is no other choice. We live for the living and for ourselves. Still, there’s always a hole, always moment in days where we stop and maybe smile at a memory or what they might have done or said about a family situation. Or the way life has changed so much over the years.

Here’s the strange part of the story…

A couple of weeks before my Dad died, I had a dream. In my dream, I saw him in a coffin at the funeral home, exactly as he appeared after he passed away.
Ten years earlier, my grandfather, (my father’s father), died unexpectedly. A couple of weeks before he died, I had a dream. In that dream, I saw him as he appeared in the coffin. My grandfather lived in Brooklyn so I had never been to that funeral parlor. And yet, when I walked in, everything was as I had seen it. In detail. I remember it very clearly.

A couple of days after my father was buried, I told my mother about both dreams. For obvious reasons, I had never told anyone about them before. She wanted to know why I didn’t tell her. She wondered if there might have been something we could have done if she had known. But as soon as she said the words, she understood.

You can’t alter your life chasing those types of dreams, just like you can’t alter your life chasing what might have been. There’s no time for that, no secret recipe for the secrets of life.

So hold the ones you love close. Those that are here and those who are not. And if the ones who are here don’t understand, hold them closer.

 

 

 

 

67 thoughts on “Living With Dreams

  1. Kate Crimmins

    I am dealing with some traumatic issues now so this is poignant. An incident changes lives and even if someone doesn’t die, everything is different. I also had a dream about my father’s death but it was early in the night that he died. I woke up and everything was ok until a few hours later. I was 10. He died unexpectedly at 55 so there was no reason for me to have that dream. It happened again with another relative and I developed a fear of dreams when I was young. That hasn’t happened since I’m an adult although I’ve lost friends and family members. Great post.

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    1. George Post author

      Thanks, Kate. My first dream with my grandfather happened when I was 19. After my father, like you, I was afraid to dream or afraid a dream would come true. I haven’t had one since but still wonder why and how it happened.

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      1. Kate Crimmins

        I didn’t understand it either. I didn’t tell my mom. She was so upset that I didn’t want to further upset her. As I was older I wondered if I had overheard the commotion (he died in his sleep) of my mother frantically calling the doc but the dream happened earlier than the event. It will be a mystery.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thechickengrandma

    I believe there is much more in this world that we cannot see or understand so your dreams make sense to me. I totally understand about when people pass away there is always a hole in the place they used to fill. My Grandma passed away when I was in high school and there are so many times I think of questions I would love to ask her.

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  3. murisopsis

    We are shaped by our experiences – and I love the conclusion “You can’t alter your life chasing those types of dreams, just like you can’t alter your life chasing what might have been. There’s no time for that, no secret recipe for the secrets of life.” This is wisdom that many need desperately to hear!!

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    1. George Post author

      You’re right, we are all shaped by those things in life that affect us and alter our thinking or approach to life. We never see it coming and sometimes never realize it until much later.

      Like

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  4. Miriam

    What a poignant and beautiful post, that brought back memories of my own. So many mysteries within our dreams, so much we don’t understand. I guess what’s important is today and holding those close that are dear. Beautifully written post George.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Lynn

    It is so hard to understand why we lose some loved ones at such a young age while others live on to continue life even if it means living with very little quality. Each loss shapes us as we move through own life, reminding us of how very precious time is.

    I am so sorry you lost both your father & your brother-in-law in such a short period of time George, how hard that must have been for you & all who loved them.

    Keeping you in my heart my friend. 💕

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  6. aginggracefullymyass

    What a terrible loss you and your family suffered 39 years ago. I am so sorry… I wonder why you were gifted (for they were gifts of sorts) with those two prophetic dreams? The older I get the more I realize life and death is a deep mystery and that we only know a teeny, tiny bit of what there is to know. Yes – we need to love ourselves and those around us…. It’s really the only job we have when it comes right down to It! Thank you for sharing your sad, beautiful story.

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  7. Dewy

    I dreamt my grandmother was happy. It was a family gathering and she was all dolled up and happy.
    And I’ve never seen her dolled up. She died the next day. Not unexpectedly as she has been dying for months.
    The dream jolted me to go visit her that morning and she left us that evening.
    It was like her trying to tell me please let her go..

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  8. JT Twissel

    Two weeks before my father died I had a dream that I died. My sister’s best friend was washed in a rafting accident and her body wasn’t recovered until two weeks later. The night before her body was found both my sister and I dreamt of her. So it happens. Two in a row is hard to take and you’re absolutely right – changes your perspective.

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  9. Ann Coleman

    I’m so sorry for your loss, even though I know it’s not a recent one. You’re right, you never really get over it, you just learn how to move on and to truly value the people who still have in your life. And through this post, you helped remind everyone else to hold our loved ones close. As for your dreams, there is so much we don’t understand about how things work yet. You may never know the reason for them, but I believe there was one. Thanks for this post, George!

    Liked by 2 people

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  10. roughwighting

    This post touched me in many ways. Brought me back to my dad’s death, over 10 years ago. I didn’t dream it, but I understand what you mean when you say you think about all you missed having your dad/brother-in-law in your life, and all that they missed.
    I believe in the power and the wisdom of dreams. Many times they are symbolic, so I think you were right to not tell your family of your dreams at that time. Perhaps your dreams were prophetic, or perhaps they were preparing you for what was to come….

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    1. George Post author

      Those dreams bothered me for a while, as much for what happened after as well as the possibility of it happening again. I believe dreams sometimes serve a purpose but the specific details of each was the thing that surprised me most. There is so much of this life we just don’t understand.

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      1. roughwighting

        I’ve wondered why dreams/the future/most extrasensory perceptions are so inaccessible to us, but then I realize if we had those capabilities (understanding our dreams, accessing extra perception), we’d probably not be joyful day to day. So, I’ll take joy and keep the ignorance. ;-0

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hugh's Views and News

    I’ve never had any dreams like the ones you had, George, but it just proves that there is still an awful lot we don’t understand or know about our lives and those of others. Of course, there are many dreams we also wake up from and don’t remember, so maybe I have had those dreams but just never remembered them.
    Any death of a loved one is a terrible event, but when they happen so close together, it must make one feel as if their world is falling apart. I’m glad you still think about the happy memories, though. We have to hold on to those to help get through the rest of our own lives.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Hugh. Yes, there is so much about this life we don’t understand and I suppose dreams and their interpretations or message, if any, are one of them. Like you, I do t always remember a dream or at some point during the day something will trigger it for me. Very strange stuff.
      Everything that happens to us seems to shape our lives and lead us to who we are. That was one of those moments for me.

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  12. Annie

    Thank you, George, for sharing something so personal (and perhaps painful). It seems you always arrive in my inbox at just the right time, even if I don’t know it’s that time. I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandfather and dad. God bless.

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  13. candidkay

    Oh boy. That’s a heavy burden, having dreams like that. As is being in a funeral home for a week straight, coping with two deaths. I wonder what it means that you get a bit of a warning . . . a chance to say a proper goodbye?

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    1. George Post author

      I don’t know, I don’t think I viewed it as a way of saying goodbye but maybe I just tried putting it aside. My BIL was pretty sick at the time and my father was unexpected so maybe I thought one had something to do with the other. I think about it sometimes and I still don’t understand.

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  14. Sorryless

    George,

    How beautiful and poignant this is.

    I believe in visions as well. There may be no explaining them from here, but they mean something. And it’s in these visions we might find comfort in the idea that there is something else. At least, that’s how I feel.

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  15. Ilona Elliott

    I understand this George. The feelings about the experiences you missed out on with your loved ones who left. And the questions you have about your prescient dreams. When I was nineteen my parents went away on vacation. One night I went to sleep weeping with the most ominous certainty that something terrible had happened to them. The next morning I found out my mother had suffered a stroke the day before. Thankfully she did recover.

    I believe that our spirits are energetic entities that sometimes behave in ways we don’t expect or understand. Like Sorryless, I believe that this speaks of greater things that we cannot express but that hint at the existence of something mysterious and beautiful waiting for us when we leave these mortal bodies behind us. At least that is what I’m hoping for.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Leona…I’m glad to hear that your mom recovered after that stoke. Some things are just not explainable and I think sometimes we spend too much energy trying to figure them out. Maybe one day, as you suggest and I believe, we will understand.

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