Monday, April 30, 2012

Love Lounge: Do you ever have recurring dreams?

I've talked about dreams before, and I've come to one conclusion: Our minds have a funny way of working things out that we aren't even aware need fixing, don't they?

I'll be the first to confess that I've always had a love/hate relationship with dreams. The rational side of me wants to dismiss them as nothing more than our brain's neurons firing while we're sleeping. Other times, though, like the past few weeks, I can't help but think there has to be some sort of deeper meaning

Yet, take a recent dream of mine. My whole family -- my mom, my dad and my sister -- is together. We know my father is going to commit suicide at the end of the day, and we also know that there is nothing we'll be able to do to stop it. So, in my dream, we must go through the day, knowing full well how it will end.

Needless to say, friends, the dream rattled me. It's played in my head at least twice this month, and each time, I've jolted awake with a feeling of panic. I've never blamed myself for my father's death. In fact, no one in my family has ever blamed themselves -- something I've always been so thankful for since playing the blame game is all too common when a loved one commits suicide. But each time I woke up, I felt the sting of those feelings...

*What could I have done differently?
*What did I miss?

Granted, I know those questions are leftovers from my dream, but why now? I took my question to the most logical place: My therapist. We got to talking about transition, and then I sort of had that light bulb moment.

My sister is graduating from college in a few weeks.

It's the closing of another life chapter, and whether I admit it or not, another chapter my father missed out on. Sure, I am so grateful for all the times we had together, but it's only natural to notice when someone isn't there to mark such a milestone with you.

And then, we got to talking about what I would say to my father if I could have one more day with him. At first, I rattle off the usual list, which includes yelling at him and telling him everything he's missed in the last 9 years. But then I thought about this: Wouldn't I really just want one more hug? One more time of hearing his classic chuckle? One more of anything?
So, it looks like my mind is at work even when I'm sleeping. What about you, friends? Do you look for the meaning behind your dreams? What have you come up with? Do you think people have the same dreams over and over for a reason?

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. Ah Melissa. :/ So sorry to read about your dreams with your dad that you lost. I do think our dreams have a little bit to do with what we're going through at a particular point in time. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. You're in my thoughts, dear.

  2. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your father. I appreciate your honesty and sharing.

    Dreams are mysterious and I try my best to figure out mine and why I had the dream in the first place. I think they say a lot about how you're feeling whether you think so or not. The subconscious is a powerful thing. My reoccurring dreams deal with the loss of my teeth!.. which is anxiety ridden. Now that I have figured that out, I try hard to find times to relax and clear my mind. Then the dreams fade. :)


  3. that's heart breaking. i have recurring nightmares where one of my loved ones dies. always a different loved one, always in a different way. it's so scary and horrible, but i know it is so rooted in my fear of loss.

  4. That must be really hard...I've had a few dreams about loved ones I've lost. I've also had some dreams about my husband not coming home from his deployment even though he's home safe. Those are always hard.

  5. I have had several dreams about my brother since he died. Actually, that is not true - I have had several dreams that he was in, but never a dream about him. He is just around, doing the kinds of things he did. I don't think my subconscious has truly accepted that he is dead. It's been four years, maybe it never will.

    Major life events are hard. It's a happy day and yet... As we move further away from the day he died it is less likely that we can predict where he would have been. But major events are a pretty safe bet, he would have been at this wedding or this graduation. The loss can tinge a happy event with longing, even if you vow not to let it.
    Here's to letting in the joy.

  6. Thank you for being so honest!

    I too have really vivid dreams like that and they really do mess me up. I have nightmares a lot and they really grip me, especially when they involve people I know.

    I'm not sure what causes them to be like this or how other people don't have them, although I'd love to know!

    Love, Elizabeth xx

  7. Your dreams and your feelings about your dad bring tears to my eyes. We recently lost a member of our family, and it's sometimes hard to believe that we'll never see her again. As Ann Tyler said in an interview after the death of her husband, she just couldn't understand where he went. How could all that life and enthusiasm just be gone?

    I have an occasional recurring dream theme -- where I'm driving my car and lose control of it. There are various permutations of the dream, but I only have it when things in my life are getting too chaotic. (Pretty obvious one, huh?)

  8. What an incredible experience to share–it's amazing that your brain was working out these emotional issues you weren't even conscious of. My dreams have often been premonitions, which can be pretty miserable!

  9. thanks for these sweet comments! :)

    christina, i've heard that the teeth dream is one of the more popular recurring dreams people have. it would still terrify me, though!

  10. Glad to hear I am not the only person who has the teeth falling out and loss of control in the car dreams! Well, not GLAD, but er, comforted.

    I have incredibly vivid dreams every night. One dream I get a lot, which is terrible, is a dream that I run into a guy from my past I never fully got over and kiss him, then wake up feeling horribly guilty, as I have a serious boyfriend. Guilty because in the dream I am really enjoying it.

    Another weird one was that a volcano erupted in my town (yes, in suburban New Jersey - who knows) and I was in the car with my parents and sister, lava rushing, and I felt so strangely comforted and told them, "I'm so glad we're all dying together so none of us has to miss each other." And felt peaceful when I woke up from what should have been a nightmare.

    I think it's wonderful that you are using the dream to explore your feelings...good work, Melissa. :-)

  11. It terrifies me, too! Every time I wake up from those dreams I check to see if I still have teeth! :P

  12. Sarah, I'm sending you hugs through the computer! xoxo

  13. just tell you my story, i know, iam super sure, that real dreams, like spiritual dreams, if you have they are like real. you can feel it. and it could be like memorys of lifes before, or whats gonna happened. so what really help is just fell free to ask for help from universe. ask universe for the power. it help. and if you wanna like clear stuff what happened already,or clear your mind, sey this if you are rest: please forgive me, and i am forgive you. this help as miracle,if you say it really from the heart. have a good dreams"0


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