Inklings of Mortality Part One


Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

The last dream I had this morning, in the midst of my first alarms, was of a conversation with someone who casually mentioned that someone very close to me had died.  It was one of those awkward moments where the person speaking doesn’t know that what they are saying is news to the person to whom they are talking.

In dream interpretation, at least some streams of thought, one might suggest that this dream could be interpreted as foreshadowing.  I am, however, reminded of the last episode of the first season of “Sherlock” (called “The Great Game”), where James Moriarty, his arch nemesis, is talking about their game of cat-and-mouse.  Holmes interjects, “Lots of people have died,”  and Moriarty harshly retorts, “That’s what people do!”

People die.

So if it’s not foreshadowing, what might it be?

A read through?

A dress rehearsal?

A reminder?


In the dream, the speaker casually mentions that someone with whom I’m close is in the hospital and then that her husband, with whom I am also close, has died.

This is devastating news, and yet perplexing.  I have just (in waking life) spoken at length to this person in the last few days.  I have received no sudden phone calls.  This person is not (really) dead.

And yet, in the first moments of my waking reality, hearing this news cleaves me to the core.  I am mute with grief.

I hit the snooze buttons, lie back for a few moments more of what?


I have just been told that someone has died.

Drifting in that twilight sleep, between the first and second alarms, I am sobbing, or perhaps because I am not yet really awake, I dreamed that I am sobbing.

In any case, it felt real to me.

I have no retort to this.

It was a kind of “dress rehearsal,”  because that’s what people do.

My morning yoga & meditation was interesting.  I couldn’t keep my mind off of the dream.

Death of a loved one is often devastating.  The last conversations had.  The things left unsaid.  The experiences you didn’t get the time to have together — and the ones that you did.

How will I respond when I really receive that phone call?  Sure, dying is what people do, but when it’s one’s own father, or mother, or brother, sister, lover, or friend, it’s different, right?

I’m not sure that it is different.  What’s different is the rawness of the emotion if one is close to the person who has died.

“People die, that’s what they do,” but when it’s my _____________ (fill-in-the-blank), it is, finally, real.


  1. Ingidisa said,

    August 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

    What of the other elements of the dream? What did they tell you of the nature of the “death?”

    • greenfae said,

      August 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      I often have very vivid, well-defined dreams where lots happen. This was not one of those. Literally, the only thing I carried away from this was the notification of death and my immediate and very visceral emotional response to it. I was disconcerted by the news to the point where it woke me up, and frankly, the nature of the news rather overshadowed anything that had come before it in that dream sequence. My reaction to the news was vivid and emotional, but I believe it mostly occurred in the dream as well. That is, I cannot be entirely sure that my sobbing response did not occur mostly within the context of twilight sleep. My waking mood was somber, edgy, emotionally vulnerable, and a little raw. I did title this part one, though, because I intended to use it as an intro to a longer meditation on death, mortality, and emotional release. More on that to come.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for offering a response.

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