Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The True Meaning of our Dreams


Almost every night since Don passed away I’ve been dreaming about him. And in all my dreams he’s like he was before the stroke, walking and talking. Not so surprising considering even my day time memories of him seem to be focusing more on our pre-stroke life together rather than the post-stroke years. In last night’s dream we were at a high school for a fund raiser and I lost Don in the crowd but I found him again by following his deep, rich voice. I’ve always loved his voice. After his stroke I couldn’t bear to part with his telephone with the built-in answering machine because it contained his outgoing message and I couldn’t erase it. I just couldn’t do it so I bought a new phone.
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At one time or another most of us have wondered what, if anything, our dreams mean. Volumes have been written to help us analyze things like the setting, symbolism and actions in our dreams. The school setting, for example, in my latest dream is supposed to represent the dreamer’s feelings of being tested. (Well no shit, Sherlock! Losing a spouse is quite a test of our mettle, and being at a fund raiser isn’t too hard to figure out either, considering Don’s gun collection is now in the hands of an auctioneer and I’m getting ready to sell his beloved sports car.) Anyway, school settings are a common setting in my dreams and have been for as far back as I can remember. I’ve also had many dreams after Don’s stroke where I lost him in random settings but my last dream is the very first dream ever where I’ve found him again. Maybe that’s not such a curious thing considering reincarnation and his ‘ghost games’ round here have been on my daytime mind a lot lately.
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I read an article a year or so back about the brain and how it stores information. The theory is that during sleep is when we shift all the events of the day to a permanent storage place in our brains to retrieve later as a memory. Only the information being stored doesn’t necessarily get stored all in one place. The brain, in theory, works much like a computer breaking up and putting data where ever it can find space on our “hard drives.” The article suggested that our dreams are really just the brain whizzing by old memories, broken up by other memories, and looking for a place to drop off our most recent data for filing. Imagine taking a magazine apart and gluing the pages back together in random, mixed up order. Imagine, then, flipping through that glued-back-together magazine and trying to make sense of what you saw. That’s what dreaming supposedly is like and if true, we can throw out all those books on dream analysis.
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That scientific theory makes senses. It really does. But how does that theory account for the reoccurring dreams and the dream symbolism that more often that not actually seems to fit what is going on in our daytime lives? Nope, I’m kicking that article's theory to the curb and instead I choose to believe my most recent dream does have meaning. And it means some day, some how I will find Don again in the great unknown. Many of us say we have soul mates but we forget that true soul mates have been finding each other since the bottom of time and will continue to do so until the planets collide. I hold on to that thought knowing my soul mate is never far away, even in death. ©

4 comments:

  1. I wrote this blog entry 7 months ago and re-reading it now gave me a sense of loneliness I haven't felt in several months. I don't know, maybe I'm just getting better at pushing those feelings deeper inside. I don't dream of Don as often as I did but it still happens ever couple of weeks. I will decide to believe that's a good thing...like he's off doing whatever people on the other side do and he's not worried about me anymore.

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  2. I'm almost at the first anniversary of Don's passing and I'm still dreaming of him every few weeks.

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  3. Oh, Jean. Isn't this an incredulous journey?! I'm a little sad that I don't have very many dreams of him. Maybe once a month. But they are always very vivid and memorable the next day. The curious thing is that I "feel" him with me all the time.

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  4. I used to "feel" Don around me all the time, too. I'd have to re-read some of my blogs to figure out when that feeling started to leave me. I miss that feeling. It was comforting. But he's gone now, his spirit. The dreams of him still visit me from time to time but it's more like one a month now.

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