Dreams and Random Neurons

by Lori Dwyer on July 3, 2012 · 5 comments

A few days after I post Bad Romance– by no means the best post I’ve ever written, but my personal favorite, and I think it will be for some time to come, it’s so melodramatic and feels like some kind of multi-media collage– I dream about my husband, my Man, for the first time in months.

It’s a slumber wrought on Valium and fever and a dream that feel skewed and surreal– angles are wrong, the perspective of objects of out sync with their environment. I know I’m dreaming, of course, it feels like a bad attempt at acid flashback scenery done by a HSC drama class; but Tony, he seems real– all the more real against a background of such fallible absurdity.

I’m sure, too, that this comment from Molly (hi Molly!) added its own tone to the subconscious discussion I only vaguely remember having, the details of which are smeared and fogged. But we talked, we sat companionably and I layed my head on his chest with his arm around my shoulders.

It was the happiest I’ve felt in… years.

He remembered the best bits of me, he said, the happiest stuff we had. He didn’t remember, he said, not at all, the last few weeks of his life, he didn’t remember that last afternoon at all…

“Do you remember spitting on me?”, I ask, and that, if nothing else, is clear and vivid and I ask out of curiously, not malice; and I know he will reply in the same.

It’s then that my daughter wakes, crying in her sleep next to me, half tangled in the fairy clothes she insists on wearing to bed every night, over the top of her flannelette pajamas.

I untwist her from herself, roll over and slip back into the warmth of cosy, dark slumber; but the dream does not return.


I’m not implying I had some kind of psychic interaction… but nor am I saying it was ‘just’ a dream. I believe, passionately, both that my husband has contacted me while he’s been dead; and that most ‘psychic’ experiences are possibly the mind’s coping mechanism, a psychological morphine for an overwhelming manifestation of grief.

Those believes can co–exist. I know this, because I believe both. I also know it doesn’t matter whether it was a spirit or a random firing of neurons… the culminitive effect on my psyche is the same.

I feel as if been loved, held, smiled at and treated softly; for the first time in so many long, long months. It’s balm to my soul, a break that felt like an hour but was probably only a minute or two; an action of my mind in my sleep that made me smile the next day, rather than shake my head at myself, wearily afraid of what’s happening to me, what ugly ways my cortex is reforming as it deals with all that horror.

It feels like succession of a truth I already knew… reassurance of what I already thought. Of course, if he has memory of me, he would remember only the best, only the sparkliest bits of a mostly happy marriage

When it comes to memory, we all stack the deck… especially, logically, in the Afterlife.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela (Solo Mum) July 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Lori in the first few months after I lost my dear friend to suicide, I had a similar dream.

I remember that it was just the two of us, in a dark dank kind of place.

At first it was a sense of rage from me, and acceptance of that rage from him.

Eventually his unwavering acceptance fizzled out my rage and and sat down hopelessly, he came up, put his arm around me and even from inside the dream, I was shocked at how physically 'there' he was – I felt him hold me and his physical presence was just so real – his 'mass' was that of him alive, not an image, not a partial experience – he really felt and looked 'there'.

I am so torn as to whether it was real or a way the brain copes… both seem plausible. I was surprised by his attitude, and it helped me cope… it was not ever in MY thoughts, that his attitude would be as it was… I thought if he was out there, he would be despairing at the mess he had left behind, and despairing at his lost life.

But he was accepting, peaceful, and kind of, removed from the pain… it just was what it was, to him… he was dead, it was done and kind of besides the point (though he compassionately accepted that it was not besides MY point, however he never waivered in his being totally at peace with reality). And he was just seeming to give me an opportunity of an audience to help me learn and heal.

I can explain it away as my brain being desperate to see him, to not just dream him but to 'feel' his human form again.

But I can not explain away just HOW real it was, and the content which was not (I dont think) what *I* would have thought up.

Strange. Who knows. And when we are grieving – who cares?! It can be an unexpected and lasting gift of extra time, however strange that seems.


Draft Queen July 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

(You have no idea how much this is blowing my crazy mind.)

I'm so glad you had that moment. I know that the first dream I had of my daughter, the one where I held her and got to tell her that I loved her, made a huge difference for me.


om July 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

Let's face it, if a lll we remembered were the shite moments, the planet would be empty. Glad you found some respite for your soul.


Molly July 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

Hi Lori!

I got teary reading this. I'm so glad that you had this experience. It sounds (despite the scrambledness that a fever dream can bring) like it was comforting. I realkly hope it brought you a little comfort, even if it was only for a while. Hold onto the way it made you feel, pull it up when you need it.

Wishing you all the best and only happy dreams.


Debyl1 July 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

Yes I believe these beliefs can co-exist and by doing so help to make ones life be filled with more comfort and warmth….giving more strength to carry on.xx


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