The meaning of dreams when grieving?

by Vivienne

It is coming up to two years since my husband died. I push it all away during the day by keeping very busy with work etc but at night time I am having dreams about him more frequently that are very upsetting. I usually wake to find I have been crying.

The dreams are about looking for him and realising that he’s not there or him going off with another woman which he never did when he was alive!

Once I wake up I discover that I don’t feel anything again. The pain and despair these dreams cause is heartbreaking but during the day I stop myself from thinking about him because I can’t face the pain of the loss.

I presume this is all normal and part of the grieving process? My friends think I’m in denial but if I am is that such a bad thing?

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May 31, 2018
Possible denial of grief coming out in dreams?
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Dear Vivienne.

Thank you for writing to us. We are so pleased to hear that you are doing so well at work, keeping busy during the day and coping with your grief in your own way.

Yes, to dream about the missed loved one is common and it's sad to wake up and discover that the dream is reality. Two years is not a long time along the grief pathway to acceptance. My thought here is: Are you giving yourself any time during your busy lifestyle to confront your loss? Do you talk to a confidante and give yourself time to grieve in the day time?

It is very easy to push his loss aside and pretend it has not happened. The pathways of grief lead to acceptance, enjoying our life again for them and being stronger because of the love we had. Though so painful we have to confront our loss and not hide it away.

You should be proud of how you are coping and you are doing well. Don't be afraid to cry and discuss your loss with friends - they obviously care about you but an element of what they say could be true. You will confront your huge loss in your own time - acceptance will come but the pathway is very painful at times. However it has to be confronted first and all the roller coaster of emotions faced. Ask yourself honestly - are you doing this?

You can read more about denial of grief here.

Our very best wishes.

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