Imagine if every time we fell asleep we found ourselves in a dream with them. Where we could still be with them, living as though nothing had changed. No fear of falling asleep but rather looking forward to slumber. They still breathe, but only in your dreams. Would it be enough? Recreating their lives, your lives together. Purely with your imagination. This is the story line of a movie I recently watched called Inception. And unless movies don’t affect your grief I don’t recommend watching this film. Although it was a good film, it set off suppressed emotions with my grief and I spent the night in pain, wishing I could dream of him. Wishing that he would come back, pleading with him to come back.

For months after he passed away I would cry to him each night “please visit me in my dreams” “I could live like this, if I could only see you, speak to you and hold you”. Even if only in my dreams. I would know it was him and not just a figure of my imagination. As crazy as it sounds I was content to have a relationship with his spirit so to speak for the rest of my life.

Of course things didn’t happen the way I wished them to. Each time I saw his face in my dreams I woke immediately, then would cry wishing I had never woken. I have dreamt of him only a handful of times since he passed and I’ve accepted that I don’t dream of him often. I grew used to the disappointment of another night spent unable to dream of him. That was until last night when I found myself in despair and anger that I cannot see him again.

This film also bought to the surface my guilt, that I should have been there that day and please no one tell me “it’s not your fault” because I do know this. But still guilt lingers. There are things I wish I did and didn’t do that day. Things that if I had of listened to him when he said “just stay a little longer” “don’t go to work today” he would still be here. I let him down that day and I am yet to forgive myself for that. I know he wouldn’t want me to feel this way, but I do and nothing anyone says will change that. I should have paid more attention. With time my guilt faded but now it has resurfaced and I’ll give it my all to shut it out again, not to feed it with unanswered questions.

I know he wouldn’t want me to live that way.

There are a few other reasons I carry guilt. Choices in his life that he made months before he passed. But choices that he wouldn’t have made without my influence. Decisions that played a part in the way he passed away. I cannot change what happened and I have accepted that now.

Although this movie sent my imagination and subconscious (of a life longed for) into a spiral of thoughts, the fact that we have the ability to imagine at all is something to be marvelled at. Through meditation to calm my thoughts and a long letter to John I managed to place those thoughts away again for now. I believe that what we imagine for our lives, the thoughts and actions that we put out into the world, eventually become our world. So imagine something beautiful within yourself and for yourself. If you find that it’s easier said than done, begin by realising that you are a reflection of the beauty you see in others.          


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  • Janelle
    commented 2017-03-07 20:09:55 -0800
    Beautifully written. I just lost my fiance and brother in a tragic car accident. The sorrow bounces back and forth to each of them. The fear of knowing that my beautiful child will not grow up with her father leaves my heart in broken pieces.I dream and find only peace at night. I will stay strong for my daughter but the night they died a piece of me died with them.
  • Joe Goldbacher
    commented 2017-03-04 08:56:26 -0800
    Marissa – people told me that it just takes time. They said to wait a year and things will be OK. Not for me. You said it’s been 5 years for you. It will never go away for me but I have learned to accept it. It’s been 8 years. I have kids and I realized that as time passed I was holding on to the past but they were looking to the future so our connection was weakening. If I wanted to stay close to them I had to turn my head around, get involved with their lives. I did and I am. I’ll never forget my one true love. I can visit the past in my thoughts but I live in the present. I hope you can get there some day, at your pace.
  • Marissa Hutton
    commented 2017-03-04 07:55:37 -0800 · Flag
    I have to admit, I found Inception very confusing but I watched it with my late husband years before he got sick and died. We were told “You may have to watch it twice to really understand it” but we never got around to doing that and now that I’ve read your post, I don’t want to because this time, he won’t be sitting next to me for the “Aha!” moment of clarity.

    I’ve been wishing for almost 5 years to dream of my husband but it rarely happens. When I do, I wake up really fast and cannot get back to the dream. I end up crying myself back into a dreamless sleep. I have other people tell me that they dream about my husband all the time and while I’m happy for them, it sucks for me. He was a rock for many people but I still don’t understand why he comes to them when they’re stressed out and not to me! I try not to let the jealousy take over my thoughts and instead, I try to imagine how he looked in their dreams. I can then feel the calm that they felt and I can adjust a little bit better to what they experienced. Since I’m not dreaming much about my husband, I just use my imagination and live vicariously through the dreams of my family and friends.
  • Joe Goldbacher
    commented 2017-03-04 05:40:25 -0800
    Hi Kaiti. I have had only a few dreams of my wife since she passed away. I even had successive dreams that picked up where they left off a night later. Usually I would find myself awakened with my arms wrapped around myself clasping opposite shoulders and then I would bring my knees to my chest, wrap my arms around them and sob. I found no solice in what anybody told me. It’s a lonely trip. I’m sitting right across from you.