My best friend died in 1996. More than 20 years later, I still have dreams where she’s alive. For the first 10 years or so, it was very disorienting. I would wonder for a few days if maybe they could be true. At that time, the dreams were about how there was some kind of mistake, or conspiracy, and she wasn’t really dead.
These days, I don’t have them as often, but when I do, they are usually some random activity, but she’s there. It can still be a little disorienting when I wake up. But I like to think that it’s as if her spirit is just trying to spend a little time with me, sharing an experience in my dreams, that we can’t have, while I’m awake.
Having my best friend die when I was so young definitely impacted my life trajectory. I am sure it contributes to my morbid tendancies. I definitely only write so much poetry becuase my pain over her loss and my teacher’s suggestion catapulted me into it. Once I had been writing poems, and writing to her for a couple of years, writing and being a poet just became a part of me.
Would I have written so much poetry, if she had lived? Would I have been so interested in psychology, if I hadn’t needed to work through my own grief? I wish I kept a journal of my dreams of her. I wonder if, if I could review them, those dreams would tell thier own story. Has she been influencing me through my subconscious somehow? Like an invisible angel on my shoulder, an extra consciousness, or perspective, that whispers advice when I need it? I’d like to think so, but I regret that I didn’t journal my dreams.
So if you have dreams about your best friend who died, please write them down in a dream journal. If you get several years worth, I’d love to help you analyze it and see if we can identify any themes, patterns, or messages in your journal. I did end up going after this PhD in Psychology, afterall!