My brother passed away – why aren’t I dreaming of him?

by mlennox on November 13, 2010

This has been a difficult week for me and my family.  While back in New York City celebrating my mother’s 75th birthday, my brother, sister and I gathered to put together an evening of what would amount to some of her favorite things: the opera (I am a 3rd generation Met subscriber), good food (does anyone NOT like good food?) and having her three children together at the same time.  Since the oldest son lived in Albany and the youngest moved to California, this is not always an easy feat.

Just twenty-four hours after this truly delightful evening of celebration, my brother returned to his Albany home, slid onto his couch to watch some football and went to sleep that night and never work up.  He died two weeks shy of his fiftieth birthday.

I share this with you here because this blog is ultimately about dreams.  Your dreams, my dreams, friends dreams.  And dreams are intensely personal.  There is no way to share about my dreaming experience without bringing to the process my life laid bare.  So here we have it; my brother has died suddenly and unexpectedly and I am craving some dreams that will help me feel connected either to him directly, or at least to the psychic process of grief and loss.

So far – nothing.  Of course, my sleep has not been very deep or satisfying and that may have something to do with it.  And I assure, I will post about any dreams I do wind up having the moment they appear.

Meanwhile, I went to the dream dictionary in my up coming book, Dream Sight and decided to share the term “Siblings” with you here.

Siblings

Universal Landscape:  Character aspects related to waking-life siblings.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you dreaming of your own brother(s) or sister(s)?  Do you have siblings in waking life or were these dream characters?  Were the siblings in your dream related to each other but not to you?

Personal Focus:  All people in dreams relate to some aspect of your own personality.  If you dream of your actual brothers or sisters from your life, the character aspects that they represent as part of your psyche should be investigated in the same manner as any person known to you who appears in a dream.

However, because of the powerful dynamic of family systems, the relationships between siblings will connect to various roles each member of the group often find themselves locked into.  When a sibling appears in a dream, there is a great deal of complexity to explore; from your current relationship, to your childhood history and even how parenting styles impacted each family member.

With careful and unbiased investigation, a sibling dream can offer a penetrating snapshot of where you are in your development as an individual, separate from the limitations of your personal history.

If there is little or no complication associated with the sibling you dream of, treat the interpretation process the same as with any cast member in a dream using the character aspect technique.  If you have no brothers or sisters in waking life, the character aspect of one appearing in your dream will be based primarily on the context in the Dreaming Lens.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

David November 13, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Michael,

So sorry about your loss. Thank you for continuing this work as you process your grief. It’s inspiring to read.

David

mlennox November 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm

David,

I appreciate you acknowledging this. Dream work is so very personal, it is important to me to share my own process and be willing to expose myself with people who look to my writing for inspiration. As that bald guy with the bad toupee company says, “Not only am I the President, I’m also a client!!

Thanks for reading. And feel free to share!

All best,

Michael

Jill Geddes November 14, 2010 at 3:27 am

Michael,
I am so sad to hear about the sudden death of your brother. After I lost my mom last year I longed to dream of her. I wanted her to appear in my dreams. She never did. Until recently. Now almost a year later it was her voice I heard, calling my name very loudly that it woke me up. I ‘m sure at some point when some time has passed you will dream of him. But for now listen to the universe because he is all around you.
Take care,
Jill

mlennox November 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

Jill,

What an inspiring story!! I am sorry to hear of your mom’s passing!!

much love,

Michael

rick November 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

im sorry michael.
50 is a big point.
do you feel he is at peace?
your journey is powerful to me.
we are in synch…..
do you feel it?
if you need me, i am here
love always,
rick

margaret January 3, 2011 at 12:29 am

My 26 year old son died Oct 5 2010. I had a dream about him the other night that I was leaning over his coffin and he sat up and as I held on to him, he slowely got out of the coffin. He was asking me what had happened and what we were doing here. He pulled up his shirt and saw the staples from surgery that had been done on his lung. He asked about the operation and I tried to explain everything to him. He then saw the undertaker come into the room. My son pressed his head against me as if he needed me to protect him. The undertaker told me that we just needed to get him back into the coffin and then we could put the top back on. My son seemed very innocent and childlike in this dream. i got the impression that I needed to protect him. I would love to know what it means.

mlennox January 5, 2011 at 1:49 am

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Children are not supposed to go before their parents, it’s not in the natural order of things.

With regard to the dream, I’d say that based on both the symbolism in the dream and the time-frame of where you are in the grieving process, this dream is about taking on the reality of his passing. The first stage of grief is often to be in shock (Elizabeth Kubler Ross, a specialist on the grief process referred to this initial stage as that of denial). It makes sense to me that at about three months, the shock is lifting and you are now dealing with the reality of his passing. That the dream has him in his coffin and shows the evidence of his surgery, we know that we are firmly in the realm of his illness and his death. The undertaker is a character aspect of your own personality, probably the part of you that can pragmatically handle the details of someone’s passing without being emotionally overwhelmed. This part of you dispassionately understands that your son is gone and that his rightful place is back in his coffin. That you feel your son to be childlike and innocent in the dream may be expressing the intimate nature of the relationship between mother and son that never truly goees away. And if the dream gave you the sense that something needs to be protected, perhaps it is his memory that needs to be tenderly cared for and protected, for that is what we have left in grief when a person passes away and we are left behind to go on without them.

I hope this is somewhat helpful and again, I am deeply sorry for your loss.

monica August 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

dream with my brother, that pass away on my birthday, 8/1/ he passed away five years ago. and a dreamed that he was crying and did not have shoes walking on the street, following me, what this means.

mlennox August 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

This dream images reminds me of the way grief follows us around. Your brother in your dream is the part of you that is sad at his passing (he is crying). He has no shoes could relate to him being more in the spirit world than in the world of the living.

Anna Cole March 24, 2012 at 4:29 am

I lost my husband unexpectedly back in January 2008. I have not dreamt of him…ever. It saddens me very much. I just want to see his face and hear his voice. I look at pictures and think of him everyday. We have a daughter together. I just want to dream about him. Why would I not dream of him?? Is there anything that i can do so I can dream of him while I sleep??? Please share any suggestions. Thank you so much. Also, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. :(

mlennox March 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

My heart goes out to you with such a loss. I completely understand your desire to dream of your husband and your dissapointment over that not happening. I wish I could give you a good answer as to why you don’t and/or what you can do to encourage that to happen. Dreams are ultimately a complete mystery and there are no set rule and guidelines about how they work. And the mystery of death and the “other side” is even deeper and more inaccesible. The only thing I can offer is that you continue to hold the intention of dreaming about your husband, and that you do your best to hold this intention with loose, unclenched hands. It would not be helpful to focus on it as a function of intense need; that only creates stress and sets you up for dissapointment. In fact, your best course of action might be to let go of the idea of dreaming of him, for very often when we release an idea, only then can it manifest. I am sorry that I can’t be more helpful and I send you all blessings on your journey and the journey of your daughter.

Carol Oschmann May 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

My experience with death has been quite different. They come when they are ready and, since they are not dead but in another world, can bring much comfort to the loved ones here on earth.

mlennox May 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

How interesting that you would say that your experience with death has been quite different. Based on what I’ve written and what you’ve written, I’d say the experiences are quite the same.

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