I Can’t Carry Your Bad Dreams

And I don’t want to.

Photo by Harrison Haines via Pexels

My mom called twice this past Saturday, to tell me she’s been dreaming of my father — bad dreams and I didn’t want specifics. I can’t carry the weight of her fears about his life in my veins. I don’t want to bleed his death — don’t want to aid in the byproduct of the potentially foreseen.

My parents have been divorced since I was twelve years old. I am forty. My mom has never dreamed about my dad before, at least, not in the way she’s dreaming of him now. What does it mean when a former spouse dreams about their ex dying more than once?

According to Dream Moods, a list of explanations regarding dying in one’s dreams or death and dying of another in your dreams includes the following:

In such dreams, the death is often represented by someone else. So if you dream that someone is dead, then it means that you want to repress that aspect of yourself that is represented by the dying person. Whatever that person represents has no part in your own life anymore.

The above statement is from the section, “Death means a part of you has died.” I understand this. This is a statement I can get behind to support, but how do I convince my mother of this?

Could these dreams be the signal she needs to alert her in feeling and knowing the pieces still lingering and holding on to their past are finally breaking off — finally dying? Could she be in the beginning stages of renewal so many years beyond their end date?

Writer, Molly Longman, takes the above thought-process a bit further. “Death in dreams actually means there’s some sort of change or ending happening in your life. To the subconscious mind, this represents the end of life ‘as you now know it.’” There are several milestones that have occurred and are on the verge of occurring in my mother’s life.

She overcame hard drug abuse, is cutting back on smoking cigarettes, has cut drinking liquor out of her recreational activities, and she will be fifty-nine in September. With her being so close to sixty years old, we often talk about how hard the road has been for her — for us and we reflect on those times, grateful to be where we are as mother and daughter.


I am not a dream expert, but I have often been told that our dreams have more to do with us than anyone else and I feel as though this could be the case in this instance, but how do I approach this angle with my mom? How do I tell her the deep soul-searching she should try is probably tapping away at her psyche and she’d be wise to get ready to swim?

“I had another dream about your dad. Is he all right? Have you been keeping up with him regularly?”

My responses have been generic, but reassuring. I don’t want to get into anything too deep with her because I want to respect my dad’s boundaries. I also don’t want to start stoking any fires that have no reason to burn.

“Perhaps life is just that . . . a dream and a fear. “— Joseph Conrad

There is a thin line between listening to comfort one parent and blindly assisting them with their clouded beliefs or feelings. It is not in my best interest to give my mom any ammunition to further fuel her “bad dreams.” I want to be able to make her understand that dreams aren’t always what they seem and are often pathways to many doors we should open ourselves.

“As far as I know, Mom, he’s alive and well. Everything is okay on his end. Everything is okay.” And currently, all is indeed well with my dad.

I believe that and even if I did not, it is not my place to state otherwise unless I am told I can. My mom has enough fear within her about these dreams — I wish to aid her in finding her path away from them. “Perhaps life is just that . . . a dream and a fear.”— Joseph Conrad

If you have been having dreams of someone else dying — a mutual friend, a close relative, or one of your children, I would suggest researching the possible why of it — look into what could be transforming within you first.

I would not suggest tossing those bad dreams on to someone else. I assure you, that person is probably carrying enough, they do not need your misguided fears too.


Originally published in P.S. I Love You via Medium.

Donation

Creative content straight from the mind of an innovator trying to shift the world with her writing.

$1.25