Monday, April 25, 2011

Dreaming of a Better Life (or Should I Say Death?)

I know that this will be a different kind of blog from Monster Dad, and I apologize for going a bit "off-topic", but it's something I just wanted to share. If you read it, thank you. If you don't, I understand...

Like everyone else, I've had many, many dreams over my lifetime. Happy dreams, nightmares and just plain-old strange dreams have filled my sleeping head over the past few decades. I detailed a couple of my Recurring Nightmares in an earlier blog. Generally my dreams tend to be a bit too "abstract" to make much real sense. I couldn't count the number of times that I've awakened from a strange dream and thought about telling my wife about it--only to not be able to remember the details. It seems that they make so little sense that they simply dissipate into thin air almost the moment I wake up. I've thought of starting a dream journal. A few things have kept me from doing that. When I wake up I can't seem to snap into an instantly alert state that would allow me to start writing about what just "happened". Because of this I can't write fast enough to get it down on paper before it leaves my mind. Plus (and most importantly) I'm just too lazy to actually start a project like a dream journal.

I've occasionally had a dream that stayed with me long enough to remember. These seem to tend to be the more "mundane" dreams that are easier for the unconcious and conscious minds to reconcile with each other: they follow some logical or semi-realistic line, they obey the rules of physics, they seem to be rooted in reality... Of course, these are the dreams that are the most boring and least worth writing down and digging into for hidden meanings or messages.

One thing I've rarely, if ever, had is a dream that seems to have a deep, meaningful and obvious reason behind it (at least not the ones I remember). That changed last night. We've all heard about dreams where lost loved ones come back and give us a message of love or peace that helps us deal with the pain and suffering of the loss. Kind of like the "light at the end of the tunnel" stories of people who have near-death experiences, it's sometimes hard to know how seriously to take such dreams. Unless you're the one experiencing it, it seems to sound like a nice story--but you kind of wonder how much it really happened and how much the person just imagined it or wanted to think it happened. I'm not saying I don't believe any of these stories, dreams, experiences or whatever they might be--just that it's hard to think that something so meaningful and "concrete" can come out of a semi-conscious or unconscious state. After forty-one years, I've finally had my first experience with what I consider a truly meaningful dream--or at least one that I've decided had a real meaning for me anyway.

As I've mentioned, my father has been battling cancer for quite a while. This has obviously been a very stressful time for him, my mother and my entire family. Over the past year-and-a-half he has had both good and bad periods. It all seemed to be leading up to something none of us wanted to think about, but which was inevitable. Yesterday, the inevitable suddenly became a lot closer. My father took a turn for the worse. Without getting into all the specific details, it became obvious that the end was near. I went down to my parents' house to be with my Dad and stay with my mother so she wouldn't be alone in that situation. I stayed overnight and we spent most of the night trying to sleep between having to give Dad medications every two hours and listening for changes in his breathing or condition while trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. Needless to say, neither my Mom or I got much sleep.

But, during one of the short sleep periods when I was drifting into and out of consciousness I had an experience that I can only consider a dream. It seemed so real that I initially thought it actually happened--until I realized that was impossible. In the "dream" my parents were both in the bed that they were actually sleeping on in reality. I was lying on the same couch nearby that I was lying on in reality. The sounds, dim lighting and even smells in the room were the same as they were before I fell asleep. The dream was incredibly simple. Because of this (and the realistic nature of it) I initially just accepted what had happened as being part of reality. So what happened? Very simply, my Dad sat up in bed, swung his legs over the side and stood up. He was fully dressed and looked healthy and happy. I believe that he slipped on a jacket and started walking across the room toward the door. I'm not sure if he acknowledged me as he passed by me on the couch, but I believe he was smiling. He walked out of the room and to the front door and then out of the house. That's it.

I woke up (though in my sleepiness it didn't feel like my conscious state really changed like it usually feels when I awaken from a dream) and slowly came to the realization that what had just happened didn't actually happen (because it couldn't have). I'm just assigning my own personal meaning to this dream and don't claim to be a qualified dream interpreter in any way, but it just seemed like it was my Dad's way of saying that it was time to go. It was very simple, and no words were used, but it just seemed to make perfect sense. With all my heart I hope that this is what the meaning was. Maybe, just maybe it will make things just a little bit easier when the time does come that I have to face the reality that my Dad has really "walked out of the house" for the last time. I hope so...

I Love You Dad!

Rest In Peace


  1. Call me if you need to.

    Love you,


  2. Glen that was beautiful!!! Mom and I read it toghther and of course we cried but it was very comforting that you saw him all dressed up and SMILING on his way to his next journey
    Mom LOVES you VERY much you are her baby!!!!
    Love you Glen, Carol

  3. Yes, Glen... I do believe Dad was smiling as he walked through that door. It was very comforting for me to be able to tell him I love him and to hear him say, "I love you, too!" before he left for the last time.
    Love, Dyan

  4. I loved what you wrote. And I love what I hope your dream means. I am so glad that you were able, blessed to see him happy, healthy, and walk as a man out the front door. thank you for giving us a glimpse.......