I have often heard throughout my life that it is common for the spirits of deceased loved ones to visit us in our dreams in order to tell us something. After Grandma died, I impatiently looked for signs of her presence in my dreams and in my physical surroundings, but found nothing. None of my dreams in the six months following her death ever featured her in any way, which I thought was odd since she has been on my mind every single day since she died. After awhile I began to wonder if she was even out there somewhere or if she just didn’t think it was necessary to ever visit me.
Then a few nights ago, she finally began to come visit me in my sleep.
So far there have only been two dreams in which my grandmother has appeared, and they are very different from any other dreams I’ve ever had. In these dreams, I am physically conscious and very aware of the fact that I am dreaming.
The first one occurred the other night. In that dream, Grandma was down here with me in Florida helping me pick out a new kitchen table for my home. I don’t recall her speaking in that dream, and it seemed as if there were other family members present, too. I recall someone else–possibly an aunt–showing me a large wooden table and advising me to remove the center leaflet and push the two outer ends of the table together in order to make it fit in my small kitchen. At one point in the dream, I turned to Grandma and said, “I know that this is just a dream and I don’t want to wake up, because I know that when I do you will be gone again.” She didn’t say anything; she just sort of smiled and turned to look at someone else–possibly my grandfather who was in the background overseeing everything–and then the dream segued into something else.
The second dream occurred tonight, which is why I am sitting up writing this blog entry in the middle of the night. This dream was very vivid and was very HARD for me. This dream affected me so profoundly that I couldn’t go back to sleep after I awoke from it. In this dream, I went back to our home in Illinois and let myself into the house. I knew that Grandma wasn’t there anymore, but I just wanted to be in my house again because I missed it. The inside of the house was still pretty empty and the new owners weren’t living in it yet. It looked as if my family had recently been in there clearing more things out of it. I was standing between the living room and the dining room near the doorway to the attached garage, and I looked down and noticed a few of Grandma’s old striped floor rugs from Walmart and a decorative throw blanket lying on the floor next to a vacuum cleaner. I picked up the rugs and blanket and folded them up. I planned to take them with me when I left the house and keep them as mementos and use them in my own home.
Then I went into the kitchen and heard some noise coming from near the back door. I looked out the kitchen window and saw Grandma in her usual work clothes walking across the patio from the back door to the other detached garage. I watched her open the garage door and walk up the steps into the garage. I knew she was an apparition, because I could see through her as she was walking. Although I knew she was a ghost, I wasn’t at all afraid. I was just excited to see her again and know that she was there. When she emerged from the garage a moment later and began walking back towards the back door, I ran to intercept her at the back door.
She opened the back door just before I could get to it and stood there holding it open for me. She acted as if she wanted me to just walk on past her even though she knew I could see her. But I refused to just walk on by. Instead, I stopped and tried to touch her and talk to her. She motioned and tried to tell me that she didn’t want me to touch her while she was still “see-through”, but she wasn’t able to speak. She was trying to talk, but she could only make garbled grunting noises and couldn’t get any actual words out. Then after a minute she was able to speak, very faint and hoarse at first but then finally in her usual strong booming voice, and her body became physically present like mine. She put her arm around my shoulder and hugged me and said “Do you need something? Can I get you anything?” I answered, “No, I don’t need anything. I just want to talk.” Then I broke down sobbing and told her how much I had been missing her and how there were so many things I had wanted to tell her but wasn’t able to anymore. And she said, “Well I know…we all have. [meaning the entire family] But you’ll just have to find a way to get through it.” Then she continued, “Do whatever it takes to help you feel better again. Go talk to someone if you need to.” Then I suddenly woke up, and I quickly noticed that I was still crying and my face was completely wet with tears. While I was crying to Grandma in my dream, I was actually crying in my sleep, too.
I wasn’t able to go back to sleep after such a profound and emotional dream like that. I got up and wiped away my tears and blew all of the snot out of my nose. Then I took Lexi outside with me, lit my mermaid candle lantern, and sat outside in the dark on my balcony with Lexi for awhile and processed my thoughts. When Lexi was ready to go back inside, I came in with her and sat down to write this blog post while every detail of that dream was still fresh in my memory. And I’ve noticed that Lexi is acting funny in here now. I keep hearing strange little sounds in other rooms, and Lexi keeps raising her ears and looking around corners as if she expects to see someone else there.
I know without a doubt that Grandma came to see me to tell me that she knows I’ve been missing her but that it is what it is and nothing can be done about it. What she said to me in the dream is exactly what she would have said to me if she were here talking to me in person again…same wording, same tone of voice, everything. As painful as that dream was for me, I’m just glad to know that Grandma is aware that I’ve been missing her so much and that she hasn’t forgotten about me.