Those of you who know me, know how much I take note of my dreams. They are a specific source of encouragement and inspiration. I love dreaming, whether while I sleep at night or during my sacred nap time. I let my mind and my imagination take flight in ways that the laws of physics just don’t allow in our waking world.
What does this have to do with day drinking, you might ask?
Day Drinking on a Monday—whether coffee, tea, or something stronger-- offers insight on how to recover from major life losses. These include the loss of a loved one through death, divorce, abandonment or rejection; the loss of one’s health, whether through injury or illness; and finally, the loss of one’s livelihood.
As we grieve those losses and work to heal, sometimes a specific source of encouragement and inspiration comes to us in our dreams. And, in my experience, some of those dreams aren’t actually dreams, they are visits from loved ones who are on the proverbial other side. They’ve passed on.
Some of you may be quasi-agnostic, down-right atheist, or simply believe the Judeo-Christian theory that when we die we go to eternal rest—for lack of a better term, we’re put to sleep until the rapture will call us all to heaven. My experiences led me along another path. I believe that when we die, we cross over to a new existence. My grandma Betty, my mother’s mom, visited me in my dreams one year and gave me an understanding of the active new lives we lead on the other side of this one.
In life my grandmother was a quiet soul. She could disappear from a party better than anyone and it would be an hour before anyone realized she was gone. I’ve never gained that skill, much to my great chagrin. She also observed a tradition to not get involved in parenting her kid’s kids. Despite living three doors down, she wouldn’t weigh in too often about things going on between her daughter and her daughter’s kids. Which was unfortunate because my mom was a tortured soul and could have used a bit of my grandmother’s intervention. But that’s a whole different chapter on day drinking!
At any rate, when she passed on I had a perfunctory sort of grief and moved along in life. That’s why it struck me as odd when I dreamt of her one night. In my dream she arrived, looking young and beautiful, about 30 years old—I figured that out, later, I remembered some dated pictures of her. Anyway, in the dream she showed me that she has a “job” in heaven—to inspire teams of doctors and nurses as they care for their patients. I was not surprised at that since she was a nurse, herself, during her life on earth. I served as translator for her in one specific case because the team couldn’t understand her.
Later, she and I had a de-brief of sorts and I asked why I could understand her but they couldn’t. She explained that because we shared love between us, I could raise my vibration to hear her. Basically, as an evolved soul, she spoke at a higher, heavenly level that they couldn’t hear. Made sense, as I thought of heaven as being “above”, even though now I think it’s just all around us, but in another dimension.
Then she stood from her big, fancy desk. Yep, we were sitting in her heavenly office, and she hugged me. As she embraced me, she said “Don’t worry about Sam, I’m watching over him.”
Which I totally didn’t understand. You see, my husband’s name was “Sam” and I wasn’t worried about him. He was away, overseas in the Middle East, but far beyond any active fighting area and I was a seasoned military wife. I had no qualms or reservations about him while deployed. So, I just chalked it up as crazy dream #442 and moved on.
A few weeks later, I learned I was pregnant and her dreams took on a whole new dimension in my life.
So, my sister made a promise to my grandmother as she neared death—to take care of our mother. In exchange, my grandmother had a final wish for my dear sister and she needed me to make it happen. Sometime in the fourth month of my pregnancy, I dreamed of my grandmother again, she came to me wearing a flowy gown and was, again, young and beautiful. This time the message was about a special ring that she wanted to ensure I passed along to my sister. It was during this dream I knew, for sure, that these were not just dreams but actual visits from her. You see, I had that very ring in the drawer of my nightstand.
At the time, my mother asked me to get it appraised because she wanted to sell it—the ring featured a beautiful marquis-cut diamond set on a striking diagonal. It was unusual and didn’t look good on her hand. Before this second visit from my grandmother, I tried it on, too. It was just as ill-suited on me. A couple weeks after I received my grandmother’s request, my sister came to see me. I waited for a moment alone with her to give her the ring. When she saw it, her eyes lit up! She said she always loved it and hoped grandma would’ve given it to her when she passed on. I told her about the dream and gave her the ring, including the recent appraisal. When my sister put it on her finger, I swear I saw a pink aura surround her. I just knew she was meant to have it. It looked lovely on her beautiful hand.
My mother was so mad at me when I later shared what I’d done, even though she admitted that’s what grandma wanted, too. I took a deep breath and told her about the dream—rather than disbelieving me, she wondered why my grandmother didn’t visit her, instead. I bit my tongue but consciously thought about the fact she’d already been given the chance to do the right thing but didn’t.
My final dream with my grandmother happened in my last month of pregnancy. In this dream, my grandmother was old and lying in a hospital bed. My mother was curled up next to her in the bed and I stood over them, next to what felt like a member of the medical staff. I stroked my mother’s hair and told her that she needed to get up out of the bed and let her go. It was my grandmother’s time to pass on. At this moment, I specifically thought, oh, this must be an actual dream because grandma is old and not flowy and beautiful as she was in the other two dreams.
At that precise moment I knew I was wrong! She reached for my hand, now resting beside her on the bed. Nobody—not my mother nor the doctor—saw it. Then my grandmother silently squeezed my hand and opened one eye and gave me a conspiring wink. She was having a ball and playing her role up to the hilt—crazy, cockamamie soul that she now is! Oh, for however mousey, quiet, and reserved she was, in life, my grandmother is most certainly powerful, active and lives large-and-in-charge on the other side. OMG! Over the next few weeks preceding the birth of my son, I felt alternatively frustrated and then would burst into laughing out loud at her antics. She was that outrageous to me.
So, I’m in the delivery room. I’m huffing and puffing and working hard. Yeah, now I know why childbirth is called “labor.” My son has the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and we have quite a time at the moment of delivery. Just as he makes his arrival, I look up at the clock because I want to know the EXACT time and I see shadow on the wall. It’s the silhouette of my grandmother, standing next to the obstetrician who is lifting Samuel and making sure he can breathe. Then it hits me. In the first dream, my grandmother assured me not to worry about my son, who is now named Samuel, and she didn’t know at the time that I would call him by his full name.
About an hour after delivery I was able to walk into the area they were caring for him. He had aspirated meconium and was having a tough time breathing so he was under an oxy-hood. Everyone was freaked-the-fuck out, except me. And, because I was so calm, the doctor and nurses had me scoot up close to him and hold his tiny hand and talk to him. His heart rate and breathing calmed, immediately, though he was still airlifted to a neo-natal intensive care unit. I spent his first night of life away from him and at 2 AM, at peach pie with the Labor and Delivery staff who were celebrating someone’s birthday.
These staff members were great to me—still marveling at how calm I was. Yet, I knew he was fine. My grandmother was on the job. And I knew that she always would be. That belief was confirmed just a few years later, when I woke him for the day and he said “Mommy, where is my purple train? Grandma Betty came to see me and she brought me a magic purple train and we played trains.”
I assured him it was being kept safe in a magic place and then found a Thomas the Tank Engine character that was purple and bought it for him. Thanks, Grandma Betty.
My grandmother was given, I think, another special day pass to visit and my mother finally got her own dream. I think it was to assure her that heaven is peaceful and beautiful and would welcome her, when the time came. They visited family and then enjoyed an angel concert at which they invited my mother to sing with them. My mother both feared heaven, thinking she wouldn’t be welcome, and also despised her singing voice. She shared with me her amazement that her singing was not only in tune but was in beautiful harmony to the angels.
Wow. Just wow.
As I’ve mentioned at the outset, Day Drinking on a Monday comes from my experiences and other now-veterans on the front lines of life's tragedies. NONE of us are therapists. We all got knocked down in the sometimes dark and dirty game of life and found a way to pick ourselves up, dust the seats of our pants off and get back into that game.
It's okay to be in a dark place when shit rains down like hellfire upon you.
But don't wallow for long.
There are people and places counting on you.
Most of all, you count.
Just for the sake of you.
We are here to encourage and inspire one another. Sometimes that comes from those of us, here on earth. Sometimes it comes from those who love us and want the best for us but have already moved on to the next life. The veil between here and heaven is allowed to thin, now and then, so they can express love or give us important messages. Yes, sometimes a dream is just a dream.
Other times, it’s so much more.
And, it’s okay if you haven’t had—or recognized—one of these experiences, yet. Whether it comes to us as a thought or a memory that flits across our mind, or in the form of an unusual experience, or even comes to us in a dream, I know that our loved ones want us to know they are always around us.
My fervent prayer is that you get through all of this. Whatever you’re going through, I hope you get through it, that you’re healthy, happy, and prosperous—becoming an actual magnet for true love in all its forms, for joy, and kindness. To go from survivor-to-thriver as a love-and-money-magnet…that is my wish for you…for us, all.
Remember, the love you don’t express is the only regret you take with you to the other side. Be an encourager and one who works to help others, now. Love and friendship and loyalty—those are the only things that really matter in this life and the next.