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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blind Spot

There was tension.  Uncertainty.  I was with family, and shocking news had just been delivered.  One of our loved ones was believed to have died.  An accident.  A fatal accident had occurred. 

I felt my heart ripping into pieces. Pressure clutched my chest.  I felt short of breath. Agonizing.  I uttered inarticulate words, making no sense to the few that may have heard my anguished voice.  Nothing made sense.  My pain was too great. I could not focus.  I gasped, struggling for air—and for life.  

A cry of my despair echoed throughout the room as I stared in disbelief at my loved one’s body lying inert on the hospital stretcher.  Feeling close to fainting, I gasped—until my terrified eyes were finally torn open, wide...  
I abruptly woke up. I realized I had been dreaming.  A bad dream that seemed to last for  hours. 

Now awake, I reflected on the dream.  Emotionally, my pain had not subsided with each lucid minute that passed.  My loved one had tragically died ten years ago, but the dream brought back the agony as if news of the death had just been delivered to me. 

The grief is not over and it never will be.  Losing a loved one will leave its scar for lifetime. 

Approaching grief management under the Kübler-Ross’ model of the Five Stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) can be helpful in the process of healing.

But there will always be a blind spot. An emotional blind spot.

Specific events or situations can trigger those painful feelings manifesting itself in a dream; a terrifying, vivid dream like mine. Thankfully, I can find solace in my   awareness that events of the past are tempered in my spiritual beliefs, and strength to withstand unexpected moments of sorrow.   
My life goes on, enlightened with the certainty that the memory of my lost loved ones will forever be carried in my beating heart.  And the hope that they will be waiting to meet me once my heart grows still. 

After analyzing my dreadful dream, I hopped out of bed, energized by thoughts of having another delightful day in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where my husband and I were spending the weekend. 

I walked toward the window, feeling the crisp mat of new carpet under my bare feet.  Our room—room 608— was very clean and stylish, a clear sign of a recent renovation. 

I gazed out the window, mesmerized with the stillness of the quiet morning and misty cool breeze that wafted down from mountainside across street, boasting stately fir trees still adorned with traces of snow.  

I directed my view down to the streets.  I loved the captivating architecture of the historic buildings.  I thought of the natural spring water—that gives the town its name—flowing out of the ground at a temperature of 147 °F.  I indulged myself in reading of the town’s intriguing history of gambling and gangsters.

“Are you ready for breakfast?” My husband voice displaced my thoughts of the town and replaced them with visions of a delectable meal.

“Sure!” My voice carried with it the relishing thought of breakfast at The Pancake Shop across the street.

As we waited for our breakfast, I reached for my cup of coffee. I loved watching the way the steam swirled around the brim of the cup.  Even more, I loved the rich and warm coffee aroma drifting from the cup. 

“I had a weird dream last night,” my husband mentioned to me.

I stared at him, unsure if I had understood him correctly.

“A weird dream?” I inquired, narrowing my eyes.

“I dreamed that my dad had died.”  He whispered, as he grabbed his coffee. “Just a bad dream, thankfully,” he said, taking a quick sip.

I blinked, speechless.  Scenes from my nightmare flickered in my mind. I took a deep breath.

“Yeah, good thing it was just a dream.”  I regained my composure.  I lifted the cup to my lips, taking a generous sip of my black coffee.  My mind flooded with intriguing thoughts as I envisioned my next Google search... 

Hot Springs Arkansas haunted hotels


Rita said...

Wow! Dreams like that can leave you shaking. I've done that before and I know how I felt. But to have your husband do the same thing the same night??? Enjoy your trip in spite of it all! I really enjoyed reading your post.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Doris,

So sorry for finding out that you lust your husband due to a fatal accident.
No matter how long time passes by but emotions are embedded forever deep inside our hearts; like you wrote till your heart falls still.
That is strange that both of you had such similar 'unconsious mind' experience at the same time. That means you're a great match with lots of depth.
Enjoy your new love and your everyday job in which you lay so much of your soul as well. You are a very special person; but than -- no wonder with great guidance from above...

Lots of love,


Libby said...

Doris...how strange!! I'd be all over the internet trying to find out if it was a haunted hotel too!

Jennifer Hillier said...

This gave me shivers.

A beautiful post.

Jules said...

I know you know that death in a dream rarely means death so I'd forget the haunting. BUT the fact both your husband and you had similar dreams; that indicates a true soul journey of two.

But I'd check out those hotels just in case :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Nikki (Sarah) said...

Eliz. K- Ross is my hero for many reasons...not just her work on grief but her view on psych patients...she proved that showing love and acceptance to even the most damaged patients helps more than forcing them to comply with reward programs. Great post.

cyclopseven said...

Dream is indeed a mysterious phenomena. Various researches done tell us that there are many factors which result in us dreaming of things or events which took place in our lives recently or long ago. Emotional disturbances is one factor, food, some health problems and the innermost silent yearnings for something in life too can trigger dreams. But, beyond that there are dreams which happen without any reasons to relate to. These dreams sometimes indicate some future events or incidents, be it good or bad. It is some sort like paranormal stuff.

Well written. From suspense to pleasure.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Doris .. very strange as you say - and both of you .. interesting to hear if anything comes of it ..

I was wondering if you were going to see a dead body in the street below, or perhaps it was the mortuary across the road ..

Really intriguing post/story .. have a good weekend though - Hilary

Unknown said...

What are the chances!?! Wow! Great writing!

DUTA said...

I seldom dream and when I do, I dream about beloved ones that are no longer with me as in your story.

I find it interesting and helpful your mention of those five stages of "grief management" and of the "emotional blind spot".

Anne Gallagher said...

Wow, both of you with such similar dreams. Usually death in dreams means new life. Could anybody you know be pregnant?

Anne Gallagher said...

PS Sorry I haven't been by in a while, I've been working, crazy busy on my latest WIP. And I do miss your posts.

Deb Shucka said...

Hi Doris,

I'm here from Anne's blog. She's right, you can really tell a story. I found this post to be particularly poignant as I recently lost someone I love. The concurrent dreams are amazing! I'll be back.

MTJ said...

Hi Doris,

I hope you and your husband are enjoying your vacation in Hot Springs. It is a place I've visited only once, but I have fond memories.

I use to have troubling thoughts of my brother who was murdered. Those thoughts have now been displaced with the memories of his life (and not his death). Like you, I am hopeful that he and others, "will be waiting to meet me once my heart grows still."

Blessings and peace.


A Plain Observer said...

that blind spot, I know that place well. I have been there numerous times.
Grief never totally leaves and anything at anytime can bring us back to that blind spot

Kittie Howard said...

Wow, that's amazing! Both of you had such similar dreams. Yipes, kinda scary. Some cup of coffee!

You write so beautifully, with such emotion the reader is sorry when the story ends.

Enjoy Hot Springs!

Amrita said...

Well expressed Doris.

I 've had these dream moments too, times so vivid that I' ve spoken out loud.

We our safe in Our Father 's care.

Anonymous said...

Wow Doris, that really was strange. Dreams can certainly seem so real and haunt us for a long time. But, your reflection on how there is always a blind spot is really beautiful. That, I believe, is one way of keeping them alive, to know that we will always carry a part of them with us.

K. Tree said...

What is it about vacations and bad dreams? Everytime I get any extended time away from work I start having nightmares. Probably because I need to process things I don't give myself time to process otherwise.

Hope you enjoyed your time away.

Anonymous said...

Death in life. And in our dreams. How ironic that you both had a "weird" dream. Life is filled with ironies, if our eyes are open to see them.

As always, this is beautifully written, filled with emotion and then with beautiful photographs. There is so much beauty in the world, and you find it in so many ways.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. I read them to Jen so she knows you, too. You're a dear friend!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

That was an interesting scenario. There is no doubt that great substance can be found in SOME dreams. I have had some incredible dreams that - I assure you - were not mere dreams but downright spiritual experiences.

However... most of the time when I learn of someone's "passing", I'm quite jealous!

It's funny how so many people love to praise the glories of Heaven and yet will do anything - spend every penny they've ever saved - to avoid GOING there.

I'm not that sort of hypocrite: I know that a Heaven awaits me and I can barely wait to get there.

The last time I cried over a death was Mother Teresa's passing. And I wasn't crying because she died, but because I knew how much this sad Earth would miss her presence.

I love God, and I wish He would take me away from "this world" yesterday!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Mary Aalgaard said...

Congrats on being a Best Blogs on Social worker blogs. Your story is intriguing. And, bazarre! That you both had disturbing dreams the same night. Something must have been in the air.

The Old Silly said...

Startling and sobering coincidence, the dual dreams. Well written account, though - enjoyed reading this post very much from a writer's viewpoint. Emotionally I can relate because I lost my dad 11 years ago now and STILL miss him dearly.

Sweet blog, Doris - I'll have to come back!

Marvin D Wilson

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I have been trying to locate a photograph on the Internet to show to you but have been unable to. So I'll just describe it instead...

After you left a comment on my "Hank Williams Junior" dream blog bit, and I came over here to see what you were referring to when you said that you had also just posted something about a dream, I was IMMEDIATELY STRUCK by your photo at the top of this post.

I mean the one looking down a hallway. The reason it surprised me so is this: On my blog bit about the Hank Jr. dream I posted a photo of an old album cover ("Habits Old And New"). Well, you would have no way of knowing this (unless you happen to also own that record), but on the back of the album's booklet is a photograph of a hallway. It looks just about IDENTICAL to the photo at the top of your blog bit. Only difference is that it shows the dark silhouette of Hank Williams Junior standing in the center of it.

I wanted to find a copy of it to link you to because I figured it would really make you go "Wow!" But I've finally given up.

Anyway, just another strange "coincidence", I thought: that you should leave a comment for me about a dream description, and that you should have one of your own, and then the "Hallway" photos connection on top of it.

I know coincidences do happen, but I think there's often "more" to it than just random chance.

This was a very nicely written post! Good work!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Sistergirl said...

May the Lord be your strength.

Michelle in a shell said...

I'm sorry about your loss and you're frightening dream. But I'm glad to run into another Elizabeth K-R fan. "Tunnel and the Light" changed my life.

Michelle in a shell said...

I'm sorry about your loss and you're frightening dream. But I'm glad to run into another Elizabeth K-R fan. "Tunnel and the Light" changed my life.