Dream Gates

Marc Chagall, "Night Visitor"

“I’m forever meeting my husband in my dreams,” she told me. “But he died three years ago. I keep telling him, ‘You’re dead’, but he won’t listen to me.”

I asked where her dead husband appeared, in these dreams. Sometime he appeared to her in the house where they lived together. Quite often she found herself traveling with him to places she had never been in regular life. “Mostly Hawaii,” she clarified. “He always wanted to go to Hawaii when he was still alive. He was always bugging me to go to Hawaii on vacation, but I wouldn’t hear about it because money was always tight. He threatened to go to Hawaii by himself if I wouldn’t come, but he never did.”

She paused, thinking about a recent dream in which her dead husband had been sporting an aloha shirt, toasting her with a mai tai under the palm trees.

“He doesn’t seem to know he’s dead. I told him, ‘You’re dead because I spent all your insurance money.’  He still wouldn’t give me the time of day. Do you think he’s stuck? I’m tired of telling him he’s dead.”

As we explore the dream, I had no sense at all that her deceased husband was stuck. He seemed to be very much alive, and highly mobile, in the reality he now inhabited. He was getting around, seeing the sights, having a good time, catching up on things he missed when he was in this world.

I noted  that the word “Hawaii” is a contraction of “Hawaiiki”, the Polynesian name for the happy place of the ancestors, the desirable afterlife.

“Our dead are almost always alive in our dreams,” I observed. “And that’s because while their bodies are alive, their spirits are alive somewhere else. If I were your husband on the other side, and you kept telling me I am dead, I wouldn’t take you seriously either. I may not have a physical body any more, but my spirit is alive and in traveling mood.”

After further discussion, she agreed to sit down and talk with her husband. She would make a little ceremony, using a photograph and a personal object, putting out things he liked to eat and drink. She decided what she most wanted to say to him is, “I’d like to go to some of the places you can go.” She smiled as she picked up her things. “Wow. I guess I’d better start packing.”


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