This afternoon I went into the bank to make a deposit and my favorite teller greeted me by name. “What are you doing this weekend?” she asked. I replied, “I’m giving a talk on Death, Dreams, and the Afterlife.” At first she had no expression and I thought mabye she had some judgments about the title, but then I heard her ask, “You mean from someone we love?” I said yes. Then I suddenly realized I needed to ask, “Have you had a dream like this?” She nodded. I probed, “Was it like a visitation?” She told me, “Yes, it felt really real.” I ventured, “Can you tell me who it was about?” “My father,” she replied, tears instantly springing to her eyes.
Such is the power of dreams from those who love us.
I use the word “from” very intentionally. I believe those who leave this plane of existence are very much looking for ways to communicate with those of us left behind. Most of us have yet to learn how to be open to messages from our deceased loved ones, but fortunately sometimes they can “sneak in” a visit while we’re dreaming. In waking reality, we might unintentionally put up the barriers of non-belief. For instance, if we think of our loved one and the sun comes suddenly bursting through the clouds, or a meaningful song suddenly plays on the radio, we might write these messages off as “just a coincidence.” However, when we dream, our defenses are down because our logical mind is turned off.
Some of you who are mourning the death of a loved one may be asking, “Why haven’t I had such a dream?” Sadly, when our grief is too raw, it somehow blocks communication. That is why sometimes a neighbor or a more distant relation may have dreams of your loved one whereas you have not (yet.) It seems to have to do with our vibration. When we are really sad or depressed, our vibration is lower. On the other hand, those in the realm of spirit have a higher vibration, and it is often more difficult for them to access us when there is a mismatch of frequency. Fortunately, as we begin to heal and allow peace and joy back into our lives, this can change.
A couple years ago, John, a neighbor in the village where I grew up, died of cancer. A few days later he appeared to me in a dream. There was no plot, he just seemed to want to show me that he was “alive,” healthy and happy. I called his mother to relay the dream hoping that it would bring her and her family a sense of peace.
When I was a senior in high school, I was stunned to learn that a classmate who had sometimes attended my church had died in a fiery car crash. Sometime later I had a memorable dream in which I was crawling on my hands and knees through a hallway that was getting progressively tighter. At one point the hallway veered in a different direction, and as I turned the corner, there before me “filling the screen” of my dream was Danny’s face, huge and shining so bright I could hardly look at him. It brought to mind stories of near-death experiences and how the souls go through a tunnel. Danny was clearly being reborn, and he was absolutely radiant and whole!
A few years ago I dreamed of my paternal grandmother, with whom I was especially close. I was riding in a bus when I heard a few crystal clear lovely chimes. I found myself turning around, and there in the seat behind me was my wonderful grandmother. She looked pretty and “shiny,” healthier and rosier than I had ever seen her. She just beamed me this brilliant smile. And although words are always nice to hear, that beautiful image of her radiant face was quite enough. I think sometimes they just want to show us that they are happy and whole, they haven’t forgotten us, and they love us.
We are often so afraid of death, and when our loved ones die, we are so bereft. But I imagine if they had one thing they could tell us, it would be this: “Don’t worry. I love you and I’m alive and well. There is no death where we are. Life continues, it’s just in a different form.”