Do dreams have meanings?

I dreamt of my daughter twice more after that first time on 3rd January, and just the way nightmares can feel real and cause real terror, these dreams left me feeling peaceful.

In the dream on the 12th morning, I asked her, “We had burnt your body, then how are you in that same body?” She just smiled very serenely, and I hugged her. I hugged her a lot.

I asked her, “Were you in pain when you were in the ICU?”

She said, “Yes. I was almost fainting.”

She said this very simply, still smiling very sweetly. So, yes it was painful, but it was over and she was fine now. Strangely it didn’t hurt me to hear her say she was in pain, and maybe I would have never believed she was in no pain. But still, how could it comfort me to hear her say she was in pain?

Maybe what was comforting was that she was fine now.

Then a small animal appeared, with a snake in it’s mouth and the snake managed to wriggle and  escape. In this dream I was aware that  she was going to go back, and realised she could ‘go back’ (or die) with a snake bite too. I didn’t want to be taken by surprise, so we went to  my room and locked the door from inside. We sat on a mudha and I held her on my lap like a small baby, hugging her tight. I was fine with her going back, so long as I would know when she left.

The other dream was on 13th Feb, it was longer, I asked more questions, she smiled very sweetly, gave more hugs and some of it is hazy now, but it resulted in me waking up with a smile and finding the camera and taking blurry pictures of an unexpected Kingfisher from our balcony.

In all the three dreams, I was aware that she was dead and was only visiting. In each I was prepared for her to leave again.

Was this my subconscious mind putting ideas in my head? Were these Lucid Dreams’? Did I ‘will’ these dreams?

Here’s what I feel: When the pain is so wrong and so senseless, there’s no harm in it being dealt with something that seems equally illogical.

And anyway I have no choice or control in either the dreams or the pain, then why not just be grateful for the comfort these dreams bring?

Another mother blogged about how dreaming of her daughter, five years after she died, helped her, here.

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68 thoughts on “Do dreams have meanings?

  1. I wondered once if the visions one gets while meditating are real or not – and then the answer came to me. Who knows? Who cares? It works doesn’t it. So let us just be grateful that we have these things to grasp at. They comfort us and they help us.

    Me – Yes,I agree. That is all that matters. Thanks. Hugs.

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  2. My dear IHM – I believe that whatever we believe is true for us. I believe that dreams have meanings and help us deal with matters that we may not be able to focus on fully or understand or articulate in our waking hours. Your daughter had to leave so suddenly and maybe your spirit is finding a way to say farewell peacefully. May your spirit find a little more comfort and peace with each dream. S

    Me – Thank You Sioneve. Yes, this farewell was needed.

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  3. Hugs to you.
    I completely agree with this way of dealing with pain. Sometimes our losses seem totally uncalled for and too disastrous to be even confronted. The comfort of a night’s sleep and a dream is the least we can ask for.

    Me – Hugs and Thanks Deboshree!

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  4. I think that at some times our mind is more open than at others. And when this happens we become aware of a whole lot more that we usually do. An acquaintance propounded this theory that such dreams are sometimes the “glitch in the system” like deja vu in the Matrix trilogy. They afford us an insight into things that we are aware of when we are closer to the cosmos and more aware. Perhaps this is so.

    Me – I really hope so Careless Chronicles! This theory is such a positive explanation!

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  5. I feel that the dreams are so detailed and ‘logical’ — they’re not a mass of impressions but proper conversations between the two of you — that they must have some significance beyond dreams. Unfortunately, Flipkart couldn’t get hold of ‘The Swan In The Evening’, so I can’t refresh my memory of what happened with Rosamund Lehman. But I remember that she felt she was able to have conversation with her daughter and that made her death bearable for the mother.

    I’m going through a difficult time in a relationship and the person appears in my dreams often probably due to being so much in my thoughts. But the dreams are all blurry impressions and strange actions. I get nothing coherent from them.

    Me – Some parts of my dreams are hazy too, and I forget some parts (like I am not sure if we did take photographs together) but some parts are very clear, like her smile, her answers, my questions, and the awareness that she is going to be gone soon, that she is dead and even in my dream I am grateful to see her.

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    • “some parts are very clear, like her smile, her answers, my questions, and the awareness that she is going to be gone soon, that she is dead and even in my dream I am grateful to see her”

      I find this very significant. On another note, after my sister died, my handwriting became just like hers, overnight. My mother also noticed this. Our handwritings were completely different before this. It’s almost impossible to change your handwriting and I hadn’t even tried to, so I wonder now if it was a sign to us because we were so devastated by her loss. Also, I’ve had several inexplicable narrow escapes and wonder if she could have been protecting me. In one such case, I was sleeping on the floor next to a heavy wooden double bed that was standing on its side, so heavy that I couldn’t move it even an inch on my own. It was going for repairs and we had kept it like that without thinking of the risk of its falling. One night, I woke up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and found it was raining heavily, and for some reason got up and went around the flat to make sure everything was OK. This is uncharacteristic because I don’t wake up at night and rain is so normal during the monsoon in Mumbai, where I was living then, no one would get up at night because of it. Anyway, when I came back to my room, I found the bed had fallen on top of the mattress I was lying on. If I had been lying there, I would have been badly injured if not killed. I wonder to this day what made me wake up and leave my room on a night when nothing unusual was happening.

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  6. Such dreams are so sweet .. and serene i absolutely agree . Dreams are great as long as they are comforting us even if they are willed .

    Read about Shelagh too , no wonder it gives so much comfort to her mother too.

    me – Sangeeta reading her post made me realise, I am not the only one who finds such dreams comforting.

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  7. Maybe we have more choice and control than we know, IHM? How we perceive and interpret events and circumstances, how we respond or react, how we deal with difficulty and devastation…to a good extent we can choose and control it with open and willing minds. Whether there is truth or genuineness in your dreams is no one else’s business, but yours. In fact, anyone saying these are ‘made up’ is being pretty heartless.

    I’m so glad you got to hug her in your lap.

    Me – Yes Starry you are right. We do have control over how we deal with what we are given, and I agree with what you always say about ‘being open to’ whatever ways of healing comfort we are offered.
    I had wanted to hug her…

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  8. I think if they are helping you feel good, find solace and mental comfort the questions around them are hardly relevant.

    Me – Yes, that is how I would like to feel, but one does wonder Prateek…

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  9. IHM, What you say is exactly true. When you’ve gone through such a deep loss it is okay to take comfort in illogical things like dreams. My dad passed away when I was in Class 7. I have had no time with him as an adult and I ofter see him in my dreams and we are discussing the latest project I am working on or some details related to my PhD ( He was very passionate about my studies) and even in my dream I somehow know that this is just a dream and that he wouldnt be there when I wake up but the adult interaction with my dad comforts me so much that I sleep a little more and continue my dream. I wake up very satisfied. I don’t know if any of this is making sense but all I want to say is you are totally right in deriving comfort from your dreams even if you know in the dreams that she is no more.

    Me – It’s making a lot of sense Prashanti, dreams like these are almost real in the sense that one is aware that the loved one is dead, and that makes the interactions all the more precious…

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  10. I think it is wonderful that the dreams give you so much peace. As far as it gives you comfort and peace, there is nothing wrong in believing that this is her way of communicating with you. Hugs, IHM.

    Me – Thanks Smitha… Hugs!

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  11. Dreams have meanings, only when you ‘want’ them to have meaning.

    me – I do want these dreams to mean that my daughter is still there somewhere, not gone forever – not just not-there anymore… not just living in my thoughts.

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    • I wish that people would not make discouraging remarks about things they can’t know for sure. It’s not always required for us to dismiss the ‘irrational’ with rational arguments, especially it it’s giving a lot of peace and comfort to a bereaved person.

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  12. There is so much about death that we don’t know and understand..I think it’s the same when it comes to healing too. I don’t think you willed them. I think the dreams ‘happened’. I’m glad you woke up with a smile, IHM.

    Me – I remind myself of these two things too, that we don’t know much about death and whatever helps is what one needs…

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  13. Hugs IHM…I think Teju is just trying to let you know that she definitely loves you all and will be always there with you

    me – That’s what I want to believe too R’s mom!! Thank You and a big hug.

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  14. IHM she is with u always and she didn’t go far from u.She will keep on coming to u and hugging u.Hugsss

    me – That’s exactly what I am trying to believe Saritha !!! Thanks for these words. Hugs!!

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  15. You know I always say that instead of analysing each & everything in life one should sometimes just enjoy the moments as they are. The dreams I feel are helping you because it kind of gives you a contact with Tejaswee and thus gives you a kind of peace. Just abosorb those moments & stop thinking of who when & why!!

    Take Care!

    me – I agree Smita, and even though I do analyse, I don’t really care how or why, nothing can take away from the comfort these dreams provide.

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  16. I know how comforting the hug is…Its wonderful that you could hug her a lottt…

    N as long as it leaves u feeling rightfully happy n peace why should u bother what its meaning is… This is a happiness tht u soo v deserve.. so soak in it!

    Me – A hug was what I wanted to give her… Yes a hug even in a dream was immensely comforting.

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  17. I’ve never had happy dreams, but I’ve heard my friends talk of dreams, and so vividly and happily, that, even though I’ve yet to have a dream (as against a nightmare!) I do believe, very deeply in them. Perhaps it’s what we want to see, what we know will help us, what we feel will comfort us; and what is necessary for the healing of intense trauma to take place.

    I felt with you, that earlier time you wrote (on 3 Jan), and feel all the more now. She’s very much there, and happy, and finally settling some thoughts and notions in your mind… So it’s good. It’s what it is. Simply that.

    Glad you woke with that smile, and in peace. God Bless! Hugs!

    Me – Hugs Usha… I never had happy dreams either… Sometimes there were scary nightmares, or some ordinary dreams, but never happy dreams. But I also feel I didn’t need happy dreams then, because there was enough happiness around.

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  18. Hi IHM,

    I can totally understand.. When one of my dearest cousin passed away.. I always kept dreaming of her.. She was alive in my dreams and we would be hanging around the same way we would have had she been alive.. Its 4 years since her demise n i still dream of her once in a while.. sometimes its one of those times that we’d spent together and its being played out again in my head and i can hear her voice.. feel her as if she’s next to me.. I feel a lot better when i’ve had such dreams..

    Me – One of my daughter’s friends describes having such dreams. I too am amazed at how much better dreams can make one feel!

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  19. I want to hug you dear, for writing about this. This rings so true. When my mother died I dreamt of her too, within about a week. I don’t really remember the dream clearly but all I know is that it had my mother saying that she was fine and the calmness in her eyes was all that I needed. I was so young. It helped me deal with the loss so much better.

    Me – Yes it can make a tremendous difference Neena… sometimes that is all we yearn to hear, that they are fine… that’s what makes death so difficult to accept, or to understand, it’s impossible to think of them as just not being there. Hugs.

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  20. Hi IHM .. Remember me ? Anyways !!

    My experiences with dreams have not been the most pleasant … Most time I have woken up crying … because of what I see there …

    Either I see that my late mother doesnt recognise me … and is running away from me or something worser … wont type it here ..

    In short … I dont know … I want to see pleasant dreams of me and my mom … but rarely happens …

    Has happened sometimes … but doesnt register so vividly in my memory … But similar to your case … I do wake up smiling !!

    But I am still waiting for “that wow dream” to happen … 🙂

    Me – I remember you Hari. This is something I don’t understand… I wish it was possible for you to only have those dreams from which you wake up with a smile.

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      • Hi Sangeeta ..

        I do dream a lot (Cancerian) .. and also literally with open eyes !! 🙂 … And I know it works … But nothing like the “real” feeling you get when you dream while sleeping !! 🙂 .. No ?

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  21. some dreams(as in this case) are subtle expressions of the soul at the astral plane to communicate with or comfort the other soul who are on the earthly plane,and dreams are a perfect medium for that.The appearance of snake is a spiritual indication, of using dream medium to pass the message across,whether to talk ,to simply a way to comfort.While you did feel peaceful,which was the cardinal aim,it really does not matter even if these were creations of your own grieving excesses.
    Meditation would really help,as spiritualists believe that God enters easily in a broken heart ,and at an advanced level of meditation may also help you realize the causality of happenings,besides enveloping you in peace.

    Me – Thank You…
    Your comment brought some peace too.

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  23. I’m deeply interested in dream interpretation and have read several books on the subject including, Dreamer’s Dictionary, 20000 Dreams, Dreams: Your Magic Mirror, Know Your Dreams; Know Your Self, etc, and i can tell you unequivocally that dreams are just another level of consciousness, very similar to our “normal” awake state. According to Hindu belief, our life is unreal or Maya ridden; essentially, a dream state. Our sleep dream state is a dream within a dream. The only difference is that we take on the role of an observer in our dreams and feel like we have some level of control on the course of events; not so much when we are awake. Simply put, dream is a completely valid state of consciousness. It is not flaky at all.

    Your daughter is helping you grieve. In turn, you are helping her cross over to the next state. As acceptance sinks in and pain releases its hold on you, you will be at peace and your daughter will find it easier to move on. You are fortunate to receive so many meaningful messages from her.

    Me – Thank You. A friend sent me an audio clip which spoke of asking my daughter to be free and happy where ever she is, whenever I missed her. I thought that was really comforting too, because once again, it implied she is not nonexistent.

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  24. I believe our dreams are directed by our subconscious mind. I recently dreamt that my dad (who died 20-odd years ago, when I was 17) came back “home” and apart from me asking “where were you” to which I didn’t get a reply, it was almost like normal. I told him about my day and complained about a boss and he advised me to do my work to the best of my ability and not bother about recognition or praise. It seemed perfectly logical to accept without question that he was back (from the office? from a trip? – bit hazy on the details there)… but at the same time I knew that I was dreaming and tried my best to ignore a call of nature even in my sleep because I knew if I woke up, my dad would not be there talking to me. In my head I know it was just a dream, but my heart felt happy all the same. So I’d say go with your heart on dreams that bring you peace, IHM, and don’t worry too much about analysing them.

    Me – That was a beautiful, heart warming dream shyam!! You were even aware that you were dreaming! And still the dream comforted you… I wish anybody who needs them, gets such dreams.

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  25. Truly dreams are a blessing. And sometimes they are so vivid. Many people aren’t able to recall their dreams. So when one is able to remember such precise details, I truly believe it is a blessing.

    This post really moved me.
    Hugs
    Preeti

    Me – Thanks Preeti! You are right, these dreams are a blessing – all that I longed for – a hug, a good bye, and to know how she felt, seems answered in these dreams…

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  26. Well there are various theories behind dreams, but the most important things is that, if u are feeling better and normal after seeing it and if it is giving you an emotional support in moving on in life, i think there wont be anything better than that. There was a time i use have dreams which looks so real and later on experiencing the same giving a total deja vu. But then one of my uncle told me, never to take the power of our mind lightly. It doesnt always work according to our wish, specially when our subconscious mind is more powerful when we sleep and when we are going through a trauma.
    Let those dreams come, and you wont hav to worry as long as you know that its Just a Dream!

    Me – True Devil Incarnate, one does hear of the power of the mind in healing – I guess, this is one of the ways the subconscious works to heal.

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  27. I so happy for you that you got to hug Tejaswee just the way you wanted.

    Read about Shalegh. the very last quote about the people who passed away become guardian angel struck a chord with me. I think I have told you before, every time I think of Tejaswee she is in the form of Guardian angel with that radiant smile..ear to ear..with those big eyes and silky hair curled around her neck..it is really pic perfect vision. See I don’t even know her personally except through your blog.

    cherish those dreams IHM. It is exclusively meant for you

    Hugs

    Me -Thank You Shy!!!! These are lovely words… Hugs!

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  28. hi IHM …

    You know, I found peace in believing dreams meant smthg .. tho a lot of my dreams , if they mean something, would be frightening !!!!

    On Feb 17th, I dreamt of my grandparents. My granny was complaining no-1 visits their place .. and my grandfather was again n again admonishing me for my career choice … (both of whom passed away 3 yrs ago) … I told my mom this .. and she was upset coz she never saw them in her dreams ..

    and you know wat .. amma realised she hasnt cleaned pati’s house for abt 2 months now, which was not a good thing actually … and Feb17 was my grandad’s bday .. tho none of us knew the date except that he was born in Feb … so, well, if u want to believe it, dreams mean smthg … and the spirit of those who have passed on tries to communicate !

    I dont know whether to believe it or not

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  29. I like what Sandy says in her comment:

    “Your daughter is helping you grieve. In turn, you are helping her cross over to the next state.”

    It is good that this is happening. Hugs.

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  30. Dreams are of different kinds and they serve different purposes, i think you are dreaming of her because you might be trying to avoid thinking of her during day time…
    or simply because there has been a void created since you are not talking to her, and the dream is just letting you have a chat with her..
    i may sound stupid but talking to her picture when alone could help and normalise things.

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  31. I think it’s also your mind adjusting to the fact that she is (physically) gone from your life….and accepting it. Your life needs to move on… and you need to digest it. Not that she will ever go from your mind…or your heart….that’s a different thing altogether….
    Not sure if this makes sense to you….

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  32. I have had dreams and visions which have helped me in more than one way IHM. What Sandy says is right. The spirit world is very benevolent and it helps us heal . I have seen spirit guides, my loved ones who left so Suddenly that it still seems unreal. Sometime when in real time we are unable to cope with certain emotion they come to give us courage.
    Read about Gyp on my blog.

    Your daughter is a benevolent spirit guide , touching lives of those who had that same courage, love and dignity to live life on their terms.

    Its a blessing .

    As Shail says It is good that she is around to help you move on and touch some more lives with your warmth.
    hugs.

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  33. Dear IHM

    I strongly believe in the power of love. A mother shares a soul relationship with her children. And not even death can take a child’s relationship/connection, with his/her mom, away. Judging from your description of dreams, I feel that its the soul bonding between you and Tejaswee that brings her in your dreams. Its nature’s way of connecting you both…and letting you know that she is fine, whereever she is. May this connection remain forever.

    Loads of love to Tejaswee and you.

    Regards
    Shalini

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  34. I feel we dream mostly of what we want to dream about. I am very happy you noticed the Kingfisher which was rare near your neighbourhood until then, on the morning after you dreamt about Tejaswee. It is nice. I have read that the soul roams near us for a few years and make us notice them sometimes. They want us to be happy.

    Be happy always, IHM, everyone wants you to be happy like this. Take care.

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  35. Let your heart get all the comfort and peace that it can, in any way possible. There is so much that we do not know about the afterlife. Be at peace, and have more such healing dreams. God bless.

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  36. Do dreams have meaning? Great question. I think some do. As a father that has lost two children, I had a dream a couple of nights ago where I was speaking to another person about how difficult a particular task was to complete. I don’t remember the task, but the person I was speaking with said, “the task is almost as tough as burying a child”. In my dream, when this person said this words, it instantly caused me to start crying. It triggered tears for two reasons. 1. The reality of burying two children hit me. Sometimes just hearing someone else acknowledge how difficult burying a child is and 2. The fact that what ever the task was, it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as burying a child.

    When I woke up to tell my wife about the dream, I started to repeat the words “as tough as burying a child” and I started to cry when I spoke those words.

    So in this case I would say that my dreams had a meaning and a purpose. Maybe the dream was telling me I had some emotions that were still hanging around that needed to be released.

    Thanks for this post.

    Peace.

    Kelly

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    • I don’t think there is anything as tough as burying one’s child, in fact I have wished and still wish I had a million other really tough, cruel, harsh challenges to face but was spared just this one task… Just reading your comment is painful. I think nature failed miserably when it did not give grieving parents a healing gene. This pain serves no purpose, it changes nothing, it is not something we have any control over… just makes no sense…

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  37. IHM, I’m so glad for you that you found the dreams comforting. I know how that feels. I still see my Grandmother in my dreams. I could not say my goodbyes to her. The last time I met her, she had tears in her eyes and said “who knows whether I could see you again”, and I laughed telling her that she’s being silly and that of course we’ll be meeting many more times..
    but we lost her. but i see her in my dreams. n its like very normal.. like she’s around, like always.. though once I remember seeing my sister and me telling her that ‘we really thought we lost you.. thank God u are still here.. ‘ n she said, she’s always around..
    I felt that comforting. I feel really good when I see her in my dreams. I have looked up a lot about the meanings of dreams, because I see a lot of dreams. good and bad. and then I remember most of it when I wake up. so I wonder about the signs.
    But, IHM, I’ve never found any logical explanation anywhere. So now, my personal belief is that she is there for me, as always. and she is happy and in peace. and all is well. and it’s all that matters.

    Hugs to you. Take care!

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  38. i dont know if someone recommended this book to you already IHM, but i have been v. moved by this book called “the Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle… please please do try to read it.

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  39. Hey IHM!

    There’s this site http://www.dreammoods.com which interprets dreams and I’m copy-pasting it over here:

    To see the dead in your dream, forewarns that you are being influenced by negative people and are hanging around the wrong crowd. This dream may also be a way for you to resolve your feelings with those who have passed on. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes material loss.

    If you dream of a person who has died a long time ago, then it suggests that a current situation or relationship in your life resembles the quality of that deceased person. The dream may depict how you need to let this situation or relationship die and end it.

    To see and talk with your dead parents in your dreams, represent your fears of losing them or your way of coping with the loss. You are using your dream as a last opportunity to say your final good-byes to them.

    To see your dead sibling, relative, or friend alive in your dream, indicates that you miss them and are trying to relive your old experiences you had with them. In trying to keep up with the pace of your daily waking life, you dreams may serve as your only outlet in coping and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

    Hope it helps! 🙂

    Me – Thank You Elegant Chic.

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