“In My Dreams”

I’m cold.  So cold I’m shivering and shaking.  I hear something running.  A furnace?  A faucet?  A waterfall?  Slowly consciousness starts to make an appearance.  I realize it’s raining — hard.  And I really am cold.  Of course I have to go pee after listening to all that water.

So I got up.  Went to the bathroom.  Looked at the clock.  5:00 a.m.  Too early to stay up.  I put on a long-sleeved shirt and curled up again in my too-big king-sized bed and let the sound of the rain lull me back to dreamland.

I’m at my former in-laws’ home.  It isn’t a place I’ve seen before.  It’s a different house.  My father-in-law is there.  He sits back and observes more than he participates, his crooked little smile on his face.  My mother-in-law plays the part of the queen bee, as always.  She’s an attentive hostess as she sees to her guests and keeps the party flowing.  She’s always done that so very well.  They seem happy, my in-laws, and contented.  Mother-in-Law brings out some photos she’s found while cleaning.  She wants to share them with me because my children are in them.  We enjoy sharing times past.  Happy times.

I stirred.  Then sat up.  I looked at the clock.  It was almost 8:00.  Late.  My first instinct, first thought, was to call my ex.  No, I realized, that wouldn’t do.  Maybe an e-mail.  No, maybe not.

I wanted to let him know that his dad is okay.  You see, his dad died not long after we separated.  I wanted so much to comfort him back then, but was not allowed to do so.  He wouldn’t allow it.  I’m still not allowed.

Isn’t it interesting/strange how our dreams try to help us finish what our real lives can’t accommodate?  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it serves only to recall and exacerbate the pain.

“In My Dreams” by Emmylou Harris.


24 thoughts on ““In My Dreams”

    • I seriously considered sending an email but he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to hear from me. I don’t know whether it’s really him or if it’s his significant other. It doesn’t sound like the D I once knew. I think I have to just let it go.


  1. I do have meetings with my dead parents, and people I no longer know. As you say, it is srtrangely comforting. In life there seem to be so many unfunished conversations, and situations, and dreams do bring closure to a few of them.


  2. I guess the “let’s sleep on it” has some value after all. The subconscious gets to go to work and we get to dream. Somewhere between the two we get our answers. They might even be answers to questions we didn’t know we were asking. Your compassion and caring is/was wasted with your ex. He didn’t want comfort from you, to be comforted? That may just be a BIG clue right there for you. Its him, not you. Don’t stop dreaming!!!! or writing! I love the post it was touching and thought provoking, thank you. And…I’m sorry that the wisdom gained while sleeping is wasted on one that is so hard to reach. Not everyone is like that.


    • Hi Rose. I think you’re right about him, not me. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who told me that very early in the separation–“It’s not about you and it’s not about the OW, it’s about D.” It’s been a long road getting that message from my head to my heart.

      Thanks for your comments.


    • Thank you, Susannah. I believe that we do our best writing when we dig deeply and keep it honest. That isn’t always easy for me. Sometimes it’s hard for me to avoid telling too much. Most people don’t want to read too many gory details.

      Dreams are so personal and I seem to be back in “dream season” again. Maybe I’ll come up with another one to write about soon.

      I find your writing very straightforward and easy to read, not mention interesting. I wish I could write as often as you do.


  3. I don’t have too many dreams I can readily identify as reality-resolving ones, but there are a couple that come to mind. One was during a period of my life in which I held much anger. I dreamed I’d said hateful words and the world turned into a horror novel full of horrible things. In the end, I found the person to whom I’d spoken the hateful words and apologized. The world reverted to its normal splendor immediately, so that I awakened with surprise, thinking how powerful are the words we use in and outside of our heads.

    I remember a dream my sister described too. A member of our group of friends shot his ex (wounding her) and her boyfriend (killing him) before killing himself. My sister was angry for a long time, but she had a dream that helped her let go. I can’t remember the specifics but the sense of peace in how she described finding him in a dream–no longer troubled, no longer mired in tumult–is impossible to forget.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to reflect. And many many wishes for weekend (and enduring) happiness to come.


    • Hi Deb. What a remarkably revelatory dream your anger dream was. I think that sometimes our dreams can help us become who we’re supposed to be if we’re open to it. It’s wonderful when the dreamer solves her own problem within the dream. It’s a powerful lesson IMO.
      Your sister’s dream is the kind I hope to have after losing a loved one. It doesn’t always happen. I still haven’t dreamed of my mom. I would like to. I keep thinking, “Come on, Mom, speak to me.” Maybe she will soon.

      BTW, I enjoyed watching the CBS video of your beloved. He’s a cutie.


  4. HI Pat. I like that you resolved your issues with your Dad after his death. And yes, I fee comforted when in my dreams I am visited by my late husband. I do feel the love at those times.


    • Thank you, Rachel.

      I remember how relieved I felt when I dreamed about my dad. He was an angry, sometimes violent alcoholic. I had several dreams about him being drunk and mean. Finally I had a dream about him in which he was a calm, normal, sober man. I was so relieved. I realized he wasn’t capable of being “normal” except in
      death. After that all those unresolved issues I had with him just went away. Closure.


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