Journal: Dreams of the Dead & Living Nostalgia

Posted by in Articles & Rants, Ten Minutes, Writing

I woke up after a series of disorienting and wild dreams. Dreams with long bus routes going in the wrong direction, apartments with unfamiliar people, a strong sense of panic, confusion and loss. I woke up after dreams of my grandmother needing me to set up a shower and my failure to do something so simple… pipes leaking everywhere, failure and chaos. In reflecting now, that seemed to be the theme… an inability to do things right. Failure. I remember a boy who I loved, I remember saying I always ended up with these best friends… boys like Lalo and Juan and Darren. They meant so much to me, mean so much.

This boys name was Chris and he was tall and heavy-set, and I told him I loved him, and I did… but something went wrong and instead I found myself having to love his brother, who suffered from crippling depression, and my friend didn’t trust me to take care of his brother and I knew I was in over my head.

They were strange dreams… not “bad” dreams, as much as strange… anxiety-ridden. Dreams I don’t mind reflecting upon. In my faith, we don’t share our bad dreams… and those with horror, those that make me cry out at night, that make my husband wake me because I’m talking, shouting, weeping in my sleep… those I don’t share. Those remain somewhere inside of me, forgotten to my conscious mind. But these ones, these ones that allow jinn to play the part of people I love… these ones, I don’t mind. Even when I’m failing them and disappointing them… seeing them again, close enough to touch. This is a comfort, and these I’ll ponder upon, these are worth reflecting.

My grandmother passed away a year or more ago. We weren’t terribly close, but her death stunned me. You don’t know how you’ll react until you react… and it was an incredible loss. She had become the most stable, normal thing in my life… I hadn’t realized it and I didn’t do enough to share my life with her, I didn’t do enough to make her proud… and that haunts me. I miss my grandmother… not like I miss my grandfather, but in a different, but equally painful way. Love is peculiar. Especially after the fact.

When I dream of her, or my grandfather… and I miss dreaming of him, seeing his face always makes me so happy, it brings back a strong sense of love and loss. Opportunities missed to share my life, to share her life. Never saying I love you enough, not visiting, not asking questions, not being there. But it also renews my love for her… her importance in my life. I don’t think anyone can die without us feeling some sense of regret that they’re gone… that we didn’t do enough during their lifetime, that we didn’t love enough, share enough and I accept that. Dreams of the dead and dying always weigh heavily on my heart. But I am grateful for the dreams nonetheless. Its bittersweet to remember.

On the other hand, dreaming of boys I’ve loved… and I haven’t truly loved many, but the one who really matter, who have a place in my heart. I’m never sure what to do with these feelings. Darren, Lalo, Juan… they are three of the most important and they were all so similar in character and personality. I love them all dearly, they were my best friends, my confidants, my defenders, my dearest, most valuable friends.  I have lost contact with Lalo from high school, though I look for him now and then. I still keep a bar of soap he carved me… its been maybe 16 years. I still have it. Imagine that. Darren, I miss him. We don’t talk anymore… it really saddens me. And Juan… we drift in and out, keep lazy contact. I send him the occasional over-emotional thank you so much for being my best friend, I love you even if I’m distant, never forget how much you mean to me emails… he kinda laughs at me and says I’m dramatic. I love Juan.. I miss him.

Dreams of the living. People I value and miss, but am lazy about keeping contact with or have lost contact with altogether… I guess these are dreams similar to those of the dead… a little bittersweet. Or perhaps, more so, the dreams of the dead are reminders to cherish the living. How very Hallmark of my subconscious. Like dreams of my dad, who is alive and hopefully well, and I keep saying Ill write or call… and I never do. Perhaps these dreams are supposed to put a fire under my butt, light a flame in my heart, remind me of what matters most. Those human connections… before they are lost, like my grandmother and grandfather, reminders that fade upon waking unless I stop and reflect like this.

I think that’s it. Message received. #tenminutes


Recount a dream that you have had, whether from years past or more recent, and give it significance in your life today. It can be a daydream or a night dream, conscious or subconscious. That’s up to you.

Note: It needn’t be serious, if that’s not your mood, and it needn’t be accurate or true. For example, if you dreamt recently of washing bananas, you may equate that to your subconscious telling you some recent decision you’ve made is the start of a very slippery slope and you need to change direction. Or perhaps it’s telling you that you should dye your hair blonde, lol. You can write from an entirely different person’s perspective or from the perspective of the dream itself, who perhaps feels misunderstood or ignored. Go any direction you like… all that’s required is a dream and a perceived meaning or relevance. Ready? Set. Write forth! #tenminutes