Woke up this morning with an intense sense of relief. I had another dream…
I dreamt I was in some sort of big guest house, with family members, friends, and my kids. It was night time and I wanted to shower, but a friend was using my shower. So I walked down the hall to another bathroom.
When I undressed I noticed that my knee was feeling sore, and when I looked down at it, I saw that an eye had grown on it! It just stared at me blankly. I felt scared, but not panicky. I noticed that on the same knee another, smaller eye had also developed.
When I looked at my other knee, I saw that there were two eyes there too! But neither were as big as the first eye I saw. I felt really uncomfortable, and I was thinking to myself that I have to get that sorted – right after my shower. In the dream I had a good sense of what the cause was, but I don’t remember now what I thought it was. My diet maybe?
As I was about to shower the lights turned off. I went out in the hall to check what was going on, and it seems the electricity was out in the whole house. When I went back into the bath room I felt a hand brush against the back of my knee. When I looked behind me there was no one there.
Now I really felt scared. I woke soon after.
Needless to say, I’m going through some sort of process. And no doubt I’m feeling some sort of fear. But it’s never there during the day or when I’m conscious. I’m not at all the nervous, worrying type. But I don’t know what happens to me at night – or to be more precise, in the very early morning.
I remember many years ago I saw a documentary about a nasty type of cancer, that apparently grew eyes and even teeth inside the tumour. The doctor in the documentary said that they usually don’t show the cancer to the patient after surgically removing it, because of how freighting it looked. Am I subconsciously afraid of cancer, which my late father suffered from?
I don’t think so. Though of course matters are in the hands of God, the chances – I think – of me getting cancer are fairly low. During my father’s illness I (and many other members of the family) became semi-experts on cancer, and how to heal it naturally. We watched lots of DVD’s and read several books. One of the things I learnt was that the average human got cancer about eight times during his or her lifetime. And if the body was healthy, and the immune system strong, the body would always get rid of it. The cancer only stays if the body is unhealthy, and the immune system weak. Generally speaking, I’m in excellent health. (For more on these cancer views click here and here)
So why did I dream of this if I wasn’t scared of cancer? Why eyes? Why my knees?
Who knows? Maybe it was just one of those scary dreams that don’t make sense. I guess I’m still grieving, and that’s how grief and fear manifest themselves sometimes.
And for those well-intentioned religious advice givers, these fears have nothing to do with my Faith. I spent a fair part of the evening yesterday in deep prayer, trying to capitalise on the Ashr Awakher (last ten days of Ramadan). And yes, I do read Al-Ma’oothat regularly.
My sincere condolences to you and your family. Your tribute here to your father already says that you are a worthy son.
I can relate personally to losing one’s father, as mine just passed in February; and professionally, as a psychiatrist who helps with normal grief reactions (almost the same as clinical depression, but for the persistent self condemnation, not just self recrimination), and abnormal ones (longer than 2 years, unusually severe, more than passive suicidal ideation).
I can well imagine how difficult it must have been to go through these times of loss and mourning with the negative side of fame. Fortunately it seems the positives outweighed them for you.
My worst grief came 1 month after my father died. The protective shock of the death had worn off, and I just felt myself sinking into a black hole, despite my awareness and efforts not to. It took me 3 days at the bottom of the well to start to turn it around, and about another 3 to get back to normal grieving–as painful as that is.
“Anniversary reactions” of new mourning are common, and so are the inevitable sudden reminders, inexplicable feelings of sadness, and non-linear process of grieving.
I wish you and your family the ease of your memories and shared loss to aid in this most difficult of experiences.
I found this quite helpful. And I found the phrase “non-linear process of grieving” quite insightful. I think I’m going through non-linear grieving, because I’m feeling worse now than when he first passed, God rest his soul.
But I’m not in despair. I have no regrets whatsoever, and just like my late father, my faith is unshakable. I accept God’s will without question, and wait patiently for the pain to ease, one day at a time. And I know some days will be better than others.
Thanks for listening.