Dreams

Dreams have fascinated mankind since long before Joseph’s dreams in the Old Testament saved Egypt from an agricultural disaster. Dreams continue to fascinate us, though there is no settled scientific or psychological agreement on exactly what they are.

When my wife was alive, we often told each other our dreams the next morning. My dreams were usually vivid but brief and absurd. My wife’s dreams were amazingly detailed, complex, and long. Here dreams seemed pointless like mine, but it was fun to see where our minds had taken us while we slept.

For many widow-men, dreams are especially interesting because we sometimes see our wives in them. Two elderly widow-men with whom I have corresponded about this book have told me that they often dream of their deceased wives. One of those men had been married sixty-seven years, and his marriage continues in his dreams. The other had been married for fifty-three years before his wife died and he remarried. Even though he remarried and his second wife also died, he says he invariably is with his first wife in his dreams. It’s not surprising if we sometimes dream of our departed wives, since our lives were so closely bound to them.

I do not believe my dreams hold any prophetic power. My dreams amaze me, but usually not for their insights into tomorrow’s events or into past events. The things that creep into my dreams usually seem random. They are sometimes very detailed and deal with things I have never seen, experienced, or thought about before. Other people say they receive guidance or insights from their dreams that are helpful in the present. One person I know prays before bed for dreams that will bring insights about her past and help her resolve lingering feelings of false guilt.

I seldom dreamed about my wife in the first year after her death. To my surprise, I dreamed about her more in the second year and even more in the third year. My dreams of her are usually very brief, and they mainly convey a feeling of her presence. Sometimes I see her doing things she never would have done in real life, like over-salting her food. Twice my dreams were quite complex and contained separate dreams within them.

Do you dream about your wife? Are the dreams comforting?

Unlike most of my dreams, the ones about my wife do seem to convey a meaning or a message. These are not prophetic messages about the future, but they almost always convey meaning about the past. In my dreams I sometimes see my wife close up: I see her skin color and texture, her hair, her mouth. Sometimes I dream of her saying something, but usually I just feel her presence. In those moments, I feel restored to my marriage. For me these dreams are affirmations of my marriage, almost like Joseph’s New Testament dream of an angel affirming that he should take Mary, the mother of Jesus, as his wife. In those dreams, I feel married and assured of her presence and that assurance often remains when I awaken.

I hope your dreams of your wife like a pleasant gift. Maybe your dreams are sometimes prophetic, providing insight for something in your future or a new understanding of your past.

You may be wondering if my dreams of my wife are romantic or intimate. I have had only one such dream and it was more than three years after my wife died. When I mentioned to one of my daughters (a mother in her thirties) that I’d had a romantic dream about her mother, she covered her ears and shouted, “TMI! TMI!” (Too much information!) So I stopped at that point, and I’ll stop here for your sake too. (In fact, that dream was so many years ago that I couldn’t tell you now what it was about.)

If you can remember interesting dreams about your wife that you want to savor in the future, make a few notes where you can find them again.

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