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Tuesday September 28, 2004: Dreaming into Reality: Part Two


          I drove back from Colorado to my parents' home in Michigan because of three dreams about family members' deaths.  My sister had been critically ill, but certainly had not died.  My grandmother's health was going downhill, yet her doctor was sure it was nothing serious.

           Alberta was moved to my parent's home when she could no longer live by herself. I'd found a job nearby, on a noon to 8 p.m. shift, and that allowed family to keep an eye on Alberta's needs for most of the day. Still, we were all aware of the tension and anxiety building in my grandmother. She was a nervous woman by nature, and not knowing why her body suddenly was failing left too many questions occupying her thoughts. My parents reassured her of the doctor's diagnosis.  I remembered my dream, felt there was something seriously wrong, but could say nothing.

           I know anxiety makes pain worse. It makes time spent alone drag out over the hours. I wanted to comfort and prepare my grandmother, without having to relate the worrisome dream that originally sent me packing for home. After kicking around a few options, I decided to wait until Alberta had fallen asleep for the night.  I went into my bedroom, closed the door, and sat down to meditate. Sinking into stillness, I rose out of the body and traveled to the living room, where Alberta lay sleeping on the hide-a-bed.   

         Working in the dream state is delicate matter. You never want to invade another person's space; you never want to push them in directions they would resist in an awakened state. You could gently guide or suggest or present other viewpoints, but always with the awareness that you'd be creating karma for yourself by forcing an issue on another person.

        Calling to my grandmother, touching her lightly until she awoke in the dream state, was not difficult.  Surprised to see me, she was nevertheless willing to join me outside her body. Together we floated slightly above and to one side, looking back on the body which continued sleeping. I encouraged Alberta to look honestly at her physical body, to check out the conditions within, but I said nothing more.  It was evident to both of us that her body was breaking down and that the condition was serious.  I cannot remember how long we floated there before she seemed to come to terms with what she was seeing.  Thanking me, she returned to her sleeping body; I returned to mine.

           Nothing was said the next morning, but Alberta no longer seemed as anxious. Now, she seemed to settle down, determined to make the best of her situation. When my parents had to leave town for a week, Alberta was moved back across state to my uncle's home (in her hometown).  Her pain continued to worsen; eventually it became necessary to admit her to the hospital, where x-rays were taken for the first time. The news of cancer was given to the family and the decision was made to have her trusted doctor break the news to Alberta.

           He knew his dear friend too well, he said, and would only break the news if and when she directly asked him. Then he would know she was ready to hear the truth. To the family's horror, at the doctor's next visit, my grandmother asked the doctor what was wrong with her and he told Alberta she had arthritis of the spine. Then he immediately left--left the room and the state to go on extended vacation.  

         The family was afraid to tell Alberta her doctor had outright lied to her. Stunned into silence, we all began playing that wicked game where everyone knows things are really bad, but no one is allowed to bring up the subject for discussion. My only comfort was the belief that somehow my meditation/dream encounter had left Alberta better prepared for the final stages of her ordeal.

After the Fact:

            As with other inner experiences, there was no hard proof.  I could have imagined myself traveling to Alberta's bedside and imagined our encounter. That Alberta seemed calmer after my meditation could have been sheer coincidence, or she could have undergone her own turning point which just coincided with my imagined activity.

          I wanted to believe this experience occurred, a worrisome fact that should always keep one from totally embracing observations or opinions as solid realities. I still choose to consider this a valid inner experience, but with the knowledge that by doing so, I felt better. It would have been nice to have my grandmother confirm the experience, but many people cannot recall dreams, especially of this nature. 

         Perhaps it is more important that this event occurred at a moment in my life and the life of my grandmother when I needed to feel I was doing something constructive to help. If we must give up hope of a bright and prosperous future, we can still rally our inner resources to face the unknown; we can put our best foot forward, retaining the right to make choices for as long as possible. I don't consider that na├»ve or delusional.  I think it is a return to the core of human nature, and part of the essence of survival.  To be continued.....

Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 at 04:51AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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