As I reflected on what to write for this section, it occurred to me that with my 64th birthday fast approaching I would soon be the age my mother was when she died. I also reflected on the fact that it was my husband’s death in 1997 at the relatively young age of 48 that had set my life on a completely different trajectory than the one it had been on. Loss and death had haunted me all my life and I had coped with the grief as most of us do in this society, by pushing it out of awareness as quickly as possible and getting on with life.
With my husband’s death, the ending of this phase of my life contained within it so many losses that it would take the next fifteen plus years to fully process them, a task which included a futile attempt to recreate what I had lost by getting married again. That marriage, in spite of holding great promise, lasted only twenty one months and the ending of it presented the opportunity to finally and fully process all that had gone before.
Being on my own for the first time in my life at age 52, I began at last the process to, as is written above the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, ‘Know Thyself.’ Dreams became a vital part of that process, as it was about the time of the breakup of the marriage that I happened across the dream forum mentioned on the home page.
In order to live life fully, death in all its guises and myriad forms has to be fully accepted and integrated into the fabric of our lives. I had been stuck in a pattern of resistance from my early childhood and it was my husband’s illness and the spectre of his impending death that catapulted me, albeit most unwillingly at first, into confronting what I had been avoiding dealing with all my life.
The dreams started around the time of my husband’s death but I’d had two interesting experiences during meditation some months before, which undoubtedly had kick started the process. I have posted these in the ‘Dreams’ category under Dream, Vision or… What? Part One and Part Two. I had been introduced to meditation through Roger’s involvement with the Cancer Care Centre and had no expectation other than relaxation, so was taken completely by surprise by these unexpected events.
It is only in retrospect that I would come to fully appreciate the paradigm shift that had been initiated at that time and will probably never really understand the dynamics of what had occurred but what was eventually demonstrated unequivocally to me is that even in the midst of what is dying, there is an invitation to life. It eventually led me to deeply question the nature of life and death and the conclusion I have come to is that the line between the two is blurred indeed and probably even non-existent.
Dreams are an apt metaphor and working model for that twilight zone, being as they are a state in between the deep unconsciousness of dreamless sleep and waking consciousness.