Dreaming of the Dead

I don’t often dream about my deceased life mate/soul mate, but last night was an exception. Perhaps my bloggerie yesterday, where I mentioned a revelation I had while walking in the desert, instigated the dream. The revelation — that having a sign from him wouldn’t change my life, that I’m already doing the best I can to be the best person I can be — was a pivotal point for me. Or perhaps it was because I’ve been going through the movies he taped and have thrown away some I know I will never watch. Whatever the reason, it was good being with him again for a few minutes.

I don’t think the dream was a sign from him, nor do I think he actually visited me. In fact, I knew it was a dream while dreaming.

In the dream, we were going somewhere on foot, and I realized that it would be cold before we got back, so I went inside to get a coat. In my closet were two of his coats — a jacket and a trench coat, which I have in fact kept. As I was pulling the jacket off the hangar, I remembered that I had gotten rid of most of his things after he died, and I panicked, wondering how to tell him that his stuff was gone. I left the room, and met one of the moderators of the grief group I had attended. He asked how I was, so I explained the situation, then I added, “It’s a good thing this is a dream, otherwise he would be really angry.”

In the dream, I was glad not to have to tell him his things were gone, and I’m glad I don’t have to tell him in real life. Even though he told me what to do with most things, he never told me what to do with his tape collection, and I don’t know what he would think of my throwing any of them away. But he is beyond caring about such things now.

Part of me wants to get rid of everything that reminds me of him — which would mean getting rid of everything I own. But part of me thinks there might come a day when having our things around me might help connect the disparate parts of my life — the years with him and the future years without him.

It still seems bizarre to me that a person’s things outlast him. In this age of obsolescence, you’d think it would be the other way around. Besides our household goods, his tape collection, and various things I have not been able to get rid of yet, I have a great many papers  in his handwriting — recipes, the list of video tapes, a foot-high stack of notes from his studies into health and nutrition, and various other notes I come across from time to time. Oddly, for something so personal, an unexpected glimpse of his handwriting doesn’t sadden me, which is a good thing. I’m sad enough as it is.

2 Responses to “Dreaming of the Dead”

  1. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I sometimes dream about those who have died, but, like most dreams, I just accept them as reality until I wake up and wonder “what was that about?” I like the fact you knew it was a dream while it was happening.


    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It was a strange dream, but protective. The few times I dreamed about him and accepted that he was alive, it set off a grief upsurge when I found out he wasn’t. Apparently, though, I still feel bad about getting rid of some of his prized possessions, and the dream helped me find peace with the situation.

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