“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.” – Henry David Thoreau
After Brandon died I began to have dreams of him from every phase of his life. Mostly when he was a towheaded, sweet, little guy. I begged for dreams so I could interact with him, but sadly my dreams were mostly silent and left me with an unfinished feeling….my son’s unfinished life. Some of the dreams have been confusing, as dreams can be, and only two were so meaningful that they have forever made an impression in my spirit and soul. To me, those two dreams were from God. I woke with a deep sense of peace while in the dream state I had the feeling of joy. There was Light in both dreams in ways that were completely unexpected…never before thought of by me in my most conscious state.
According to Domhoff: (taken from About Psychology.com)
“‘Meaning’ has to do with coherence and with systematic relations to other variables, and in that regard dreams do have meaning. Furthermore, they are very “revealing” of what is on our minds. We have shown that 75 to 100 dreams from a person give us a very good psychological portrait of that individual. Give us 1000 dreams over a couple of decades and we can give you a profile of the person’s mind that is almost as individualized and accurate as her or his fingerprints.”
The night before last I had the most disturbing dream of all that it fits into the category of nightmare. It was about Brandon and that is all I can write because it was so very frightening. It was the way he looked. There were no words except mine and I cannot recall them. I have not uttered one word about this dream to anyone not even my husband. The image, however, will stay with me always unless God answers my prayer to erase it forever.
Dreams have been written about since biblical times. Angels appeared in dreams to announce divine events. Daniel was a sought after interpreter and prophet. “God entrusted Daniel with the ability to understand and interpret dreams and visions. And this divine ability served him well many times during Daniel’s service to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.” (Sharefaith.com)
Oh how I wish I had a Daniel to interpret my dreams…even the nightmares. I have not come up with anything conclusive except my own understanding which is just as good as any other theory that I have discovered while googling…even those who devoted their lives to psychology seem to be guessing.
Taken from an article on About.Psychology.com
Other Theories of Dreams:
“Many other theories have been suggested to account for the occurrence and meaning of dreams. The following are just of few of the proposed ideas:
- One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream 5.
- Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to ‘clean up’ clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day 6.
- Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment 7.
- A contemporary model of dreaming combines some elements of various theories. The activation of the brain creates loose connections between thoughts and ideas, which are then guided by the emotions of the dreamer 8.
My own theory has been to realize that we cannot control our dreams. We cannot make them happen by wishing for them. We have leftover stuff in our brains that somehow need a place to make sense and they arrive in our dreams to try to do that, while never making sense at all sometimes. Our fears and our hopes are a confluence of events, merging and conflicting. Even when we want so badly to have dreams, so we can connect to our loved ones who have died, we may or may not. Those dreams that we have wished for may end up being those we wish we had never dreamed…the nightmares that fill us with disturbing dread. I also believe that just as much as God can influence our dreams, the devil may, as well. Who knows “what dreams may come” when they are subject to the chaos and tragedy of our lives?
“Unlike Freud, who often suggested that specific symbols represent specific unconscious thoughts, Jung believed that dreams can be highly personal and that interpreting these dreams involved knowing a great deal about the individual dreamer.” (About Psychology.com)
Jung’s theory makes more sense to me than any of the repressed theories of Freud’s. Grief, shock, disbelief, seem to be the impetus for the dreams of my subconscious and conscious state of mind. I don’t have control of either. My mind is a receptacle that harbors both purpose and recycled trash. They coexist in a most vulnerable place. Their tentacles are far reaching and find place in my very conscious state of being…like it or not. I am a victim to the repercussions of dreaming. They go into my day, both the good and the bad, and I am troubled by the latter.
Perhaps this statement says it best: “A dream is a work of art which requires of the dreamer no particular talent, special training, or technical competence. Dreaming is a creative enterprise in which all may and most do participate.” – Clark S. Hall
I conclude that the devastating image of my nightmare had more to do with not ever seeing my son after he died. I was told there was no disfigurement so the nightmare makes no sense. Perhaps, it was my latent fear of his beautiful face and blue eyes being injured forever…that mortal wound that took him away from us. I want only to remember him as he was the last time I saw him alive. I want control over the uncontrollable…even in my dreams. But if that were to be, my son would still be alive.