The Message Dream
August 11, 2011 in TJ's Blog
In my last blog—way too long ago—I mentioned that we would be exploring the various types of grief dreams (the visitation dream, the message dream, the reassurance dream, and the trauma dream).
I already discussed the visitation dream, a type of dream in which the dreamer merely spends time with the deceased, often termed a “final visit.” In this blog, I will discuss—and encourage you to discuss—message dreams.
In the message dream, the dreamer receives some sort of important information, instruction, or even warning from the deceased. For example, your deceased sibling may appear in a dream and warn you to take better care of your health or he or she may remind you not to forget your parent’s anniversary. Message dreams are usually brief and overt as in the following dream related by bereaved sibling, Lacey (29), about her deceased sister Amy (38):
Amy was sort of bossy when we were kids, something that persisted into adulthood—especially with me, the youngest of the three of us. I had a dream about 3 months after her death, just before what would have been her 39th birthday. In the dream, we were in the car going someplace. There were other people in the car with us, but I don’t remember who they were. Amy was driving, wearing her big sunglasses, the way she always did. She was giving me detailed instructions about something, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying and I kept asking, “What?” She reached out and turned off the radio and said—in her bossy voice—that she did “not want any tears on her birthday.” But then, she smiled and said softly, “I just want you to get me a nice card.” I had been trying to think of some way to honor her birthday—and was feeling a great deal of sadness as that day drew nearer. In the dream, I think Amy was trying to tell me that it wasn’t necessary for me to plan anything on that day—except to just remember her quietly—like giving her a card…which is what I did.
Sometimes, the message dream is a “proxy message dream” which means that the message is intended for someone other than the dreamer, as in the following dream from Dan (54) about his sister Myra (52):
I had a dream in which my sister, Myra, noticed that someone had left the gate open in my yard. She walked into the house and said to me: “Tell Caitlyn to be careful about leaving the gate open; Bailey might get out and run away.” Caitlyn is my daughter and Bailey is my black lab. When I told Caitlyn about the dream, her mouth dropped open and…I kid you not… she confessed that twice last week she had forgotten to latch the gate and that Bailey had escaped but that she was able to find him and bring him home before I knew anything about it.
In both of these dreams the dreamer reports a sense of comfort in receiving the messages from their deceased siblings. I can discuss the way in which one “unpacks” a dream and searches for meaning in the symbolic images of the dreamscape in subsequent blogs, but for now, my focus is on the message dream as a type of grief dream and the feelings such dreams evoke on the part of the dreamer. Do any of you have message dreams to share?