Do the Dead Miss Us?

I had an odd dream last night. The setting wasn’t very detailed — just a simple bed in the middle of an empty white room that my waking self doesn’t recognize. I was lying in the bed, the white sheet pulled up to my chest. My deceased life mate/soul mate walked into the room wearing only white underwear. I got the impression he was coming from somewhere else or someone else, and that we weren’t still together. He stopped by my feet, gave them an affectionate rub, then came around to the empty side of the bed. He bedlay on the bed on top of the sheet, cuddled up close to me, and said softly, “I miss you.”

I woke, and tears came to my eyes. I’ve been keeping myself busy lately, and haven’t been thinking about him much, and the dream reminded me how much I missed him. I lay in bed waiting for a full-blown grief upsurge, but after a minute or two, I simply went back to sleep.

This is the closest I’ve ever had to what I would consider a “visitation” dream, and it’s left wondering if it was some sort of real encounter.

In various updates about grief on this blog, I mention that I talk to him, and I always make a facetious remark about his silence, such as this comment in a letter to him I posted a few days ago: so far you’ve been mum about your situation. Just one more thing to hate—the silence of the grave. (Well, the silence of the funerary urn.)

Could the dream have been an attempt to contact me? I don’t really believe it, but still, this is the first of the handful of dreams I’ve had about him in the past three and a half years that ever mentioned how he might be feeling. Could it be that the dead miss us as much as we miss them? Could they be feeling as amputated as we do?

Whatever the truth of the dream, it adds one more facet to this strange and incomprehensible state we call grief.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

21 Responses to “Do the Dead Miss Us?”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I had a similar dream not too long after my grandmother died. We were sitting in a parlor-like room and she told me she was doing well. I told my grandfather not too long after I had the dream, and he was very touched to get the message.
    And if life’s taught me anything, it’s that the dead are never as dead as we may think. I’m glad you got a message from beyond, Pat.

  2. Auntysocial Says:

    Personally (and this is just my personal belief) I do think we get visits from loved ones who aren’t with us here anymore but don’t think it’s because they miss us if you will – more a case of them showing up and letting us know they’re OK and still around.

    I never met my father in law as he died when my husband was just seventeen. Despite this, I’ve had two or three vivid dreams about him in which we just chatted and he asked after his boys, their Mum etc. The last one ended with him slapping me hard on the backside and saying “Tell Mark I did that – he’ll think it funny” which I did – and he did.

    Oddly enough, the way I explained about how his Dad talked, looked, dressed and what sort of personality he came across as having made his ears prick up in a way that told me I was probably very accurate although he just said it was probably a coincidence and whatnot. My husband is an engineer and man of science. You die and that’s it. There are undoubtedly times when I know he’s been thinking “God that’s weird” but hasn’t said so because, well – because he’s a man of science. That dream was definitely one of those times I knew I’d touched on something and quite possibly given him some level of comfort / reassurance or just relief but I know how he generally feels so didn’t push it.

    However, I lost my Dad last year and have been utterly haunted by nightmares ever since in which he shows up but is still dying, looks awful and it’s sometimes terrifying beyond words. A few months after he died, my sister in law had a vivid dream in which she could hear her name whispered from somewhere off in the distance and then realised it was my Dad. She said he looked really well, gave a little thumbs up and quietly said, “Just letting you know I’m OK – honestly love, I’m alright” and then off he went.

    I didn’t / wouldn’t dream of saying it to her but I was so mad, upset and disappointed that I don’t have nice dreams about him like that. I cried all the way home in the car thinking, how come she gets the thumbs up and I’m being tortured every night??

    Shortly after, my husband – the man of science who only usually remembers any of his dreams when he’s running a fever – woke and said “I dreamt about your Dad last night. It was really good to see him actually”

    I think the dreams we have like this are probably more of a reflection on our state of mind than anything. I’ve had enormous guilt and a hard time accepting and dealing with Dad’s deal and wonder if because I’m not ready to handle it whilst I’m awake and keep shoving it aside, I’m still struggling to handle it subconsciously when I’m sleeping.

    Thought it was really nice my husband and sister in law had such a nice dream though and do reckon it won’t be long before the dust has settled in my mind and I get a good old “thumbs up” too.🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have a hunch you’re right and the dreams are more of a state of mind. I recently talked to someone who lost a brother he’d been close to, and after five years, he still has unsettling dreams, while his sister, who had almost no relationship with the brother, never dreamed of him.

  3. authors promotion Says:

    I have almost all the people I loved there up now Pat and I am miles away from their graves.Always I was thinking that they watching me and still care about me and many times I have them in my dreams telling me something or another.Maybe its true or maybe not but for us who miss them is a sign that the relationship is there,in life or death.

  4. Holly Bonville Says:

    I have had plenty of dreams, but none with a visitation. I would love to have some sort of exchange instead of the one way conversations.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’ve only had a handful of dreams, and most were unsettling. I have a hunch this dream shows more my acceptance of the situation than anything since it was so simple and brief and didn’t bring on any sort of grief upsurge.

  5. leesis Says:

    Study it Pat. Study visitations and reincarnation and near death experiences and ‘psychics’ from ancient to now. I know your brain will reject the crap and there’s no doubt a lot of crap is out there. But in amongst it you find some interesting, confronting, awesome stuff that’s satisfactory both to the intellect and heart and whilst it’s hard to find definitive answers the questions that logically open up are inspiring.

    • Joy Collins Says:

      I agree, Pat. Look into this further. There is a lot out there. It just might comfort you. And do they miss us? I think they miss what we have in this solid world. I know they can still see us and know what is going on with us. But I imagine it must be frustrating to not be able to interact as we used to.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Actually, I have studied the subject, spent most of my life studying such things and what I discovered was not an indication that consciousness survives death but proof of the power and mystery of the human mind/brain.

  6. Juliet Waldron Says:

    There are so many of these stories, that a part of me gives them credence. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio…” Just had a dream of my recently deceased sister-in-law, sitting in her wheel chair. Several other women and I were nearby, and we were discussing how brave she’d been in letting life go when she knew her time had come–a last gesture toward controlling her own destiny. I awoke teary and remembering her smile–for she always loved being the center of attention. I have a vision of her now, sitting in some sort of off-white waiting room, enjoying the fact that people still talk about her.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Since evertying is energy, it’s possible that we felt some sort of unfocused energy that our brains interpreted as these visitations. In my case, what I found curious was his saying he missed me. I sure hope he has better things to do than visit me in dreams!

      • Linda Mae Reeb Says:

        What better use of his higher purpose than to comfort his loved ones? I think you underestimate our eternal connection to each other as one spirit. Just because we don’t pay attention to messages from heaven, doesn’t mean they aren’t there, guiding and supporting us.

  7. Lorraine Says:

    pat,it has been one year and nine months for me.one night i had a dream i was lost.Albert came in with a GPS which was not working,he said nothing,but set it up and fixed it.THen I wolk up.I would love to see him just once.I would love to hear his voice.Sometimes I feel like a rock in the back yard,pull it up and there is the hole.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s a good description of the terrible and lonely state of grief — a rock with a hole beneath it.

      I’m to the point where I don’t notice the hole as much. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s easier in a way.

  8. Linda Mae Reeb Says:

    My dad died in May 2011 after fighting lung cancer (never smoked) for 4 months. Only 10 days later, we found out my mum had terminal kidney cancer. It was completely devastating and my mum just withdrew into a sad, sad place. She was still physically OK, but unable to face going back to their home alone. She was staying with my brother. A few nights later, I had a vivid dream in which I was standing in a crowd. My brother was there and when he stepped aside, dad was there behind him. I called to him 3 times before I woke up in tears. I didn’t tell mum as I thought it might upset her. But a few days later she told me she had had dream and she was in their bed, looking out the door and there was dad, standing in the living room, just staring at her, saying nothing. I told her about my dream then. I also told her I thought dad was waiting for her at home and she should go back. Which she did and was at peace there for the next few months until she became too unwell to care for herself. The night dad died, my moblie phone turned itself off and then back on again with no one near it. I got a new one a couple of months later and put the old on in my bedside drawer. 6 months later on the morning if mums funeral, I opened that drawer to take out a necklace of mums to wear, and the old phone was turned on and working! You’ll never convince me dad isn’t inside using my phone to contact me, or that he wasn’t visiting us. The same night he died,my daughter(then 10) heard trumpet music and fairy bells tinkling several times, even when we were awake and confirmed we couldn’t hear anything. Dad had slept in her room after chemotherapy a few time so I could nurse him. I believe he was passing by us with the angels as the guided him from this life. I’m not superstitious. But this is too much to be our imaginations or coincidence.

  9. Lourdes Arce Says:

    My better half, my beloved husband Frankie’s 1st year of passing was on Thursday, Feb 27. It’s doesn’t seem possible that it has been a year. How have I been able to go on without him? We were married 42 years! I feel like an essencial part of my being is missing……how have I been able to go on without him? We complemented each other…we were so in love even with our inperfections. I pray that we will meet again!

  10. Rosie Gibson Says:

    if i have dreams, i never remember them. My daughter gets visitations quite often from my husband (her step father) Sometimes I feel my husband is in the room with me. I so miss his humor and everything else about him. He was killed on the job Oct. 2012. It was beyond belief. It took almost a year before I could even talk about it. It still has emotional pain and sorrow. He is my soul mate

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I can’t imagine how awful it must have been to lose him suddenly. It’s beyond belief, as you say. It’s nice that you can feel him in the room. I hope it brings you comfort.

      • Rosie Gibson Says:

        thank you Pat…today, for some reason, seems to be a very very down day. It’s bleek outside and that doesn’t help any. I’m much better on “sunny” days..


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