The night after her funeral, I dreamed about my mother-in-law. She was sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard of the house where I lived till I was ten years old, and she was protecting us from pythons.

I have no idea how pythons got into my dream. They’re not normally found in the Chicago area, where we had been for the last two weeks. And I hadn’t seen any movies or news reports lately about python invasions, although I did watch – quite some time ago – a nature special about pythons in the Everglades, and what a danger they were to the ecosystem.

I also don’t know what my mother-in-law was planning to do if any pythons actually showed up. I just knew in my dream that that’s what she was watching out for, and protecting us from. Because that’s what mothers always try to do – protect their families as best they can.

A few days after the funeral, my husband had a dream about his mom, too. In his dream, she was lying in bed, dressed all in white. “Are you at peace, Mom?” he asked her, and she smiled up at him. “Yessssss,” she responded, drawing out the word the way she used to do whenever the question she was being asked brought back a happy memory.

It’s not uncommon for us to dream about loved ones who have passed away, especially if the loss is recent. But I still dream every so often about my dad, who’s been gone five years, and my sister, who’s been gone more than ten. And even my mom, who died almost 50 years ago, when I was 18 and had just started college.

Dreams of people who have passed away can be satisfying or unsettling. They can be clear or confusing, realistic or random. But no matter what else they bring to us, they give us a little more time with our loved ones. And that is something I will always treasure.

September 1, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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