In the previous post I shared the dreams of a woman in her early 70’s who was dying of cancer. At the time of the dreams she was unaware that she was ill. Nonetheless, the dreams hinted at an unfolding death process that is further elaborated upon by the following.
I’ve gone to a thrift store to visit some people. As I walk down the center aisle a white doll-like object falls on the floor. I pick it up and continue walking ‘til I come to a woman in a bed off to the right. She is a happy woman I don’t know, but she sets the doll on a revolving table next to her bed. The doll lights up, a beautiful soft light of soothing colors and I see it is an angel. I go down the aisle further and come to little cubicles with big windows and doors. The curtains are open and I recognize my mother. I wave and start to go in, but she waves me away and rolls over with her back to me. I continue past others ‘til I see a man sitting up in bed. He is all smiles and waves to me. I walk closer to the window and see that it is my dad.
This dream occurred two months before Lila’s (not her actual name) diagnosis and four months before her death. Both of Lila’s parents were dead at the time of the dream, her father for seven years and her mother for two. Now most dreams of deceased people do not represent visitations or omens of one’s own death. Often, the deceased represent aspects of your own personality that are similar to them. At other times the dead may symbolize guides or messengers from the unconscious, for the unconscious and the spirit world are closely linked. This particular dream, however, has a tone suggestive of a visitation. Although it accurately portrays her parents and her relationship with them, the dream did not mesh with the conscious concerns and events of her life at the time. It came “out of the blue” so to speak, and did not reflect Lila’s known psychological process.
In addition, the dream mentions an older woman similar to the woman that appeared in a dream discussed in the first article of this series. That woman was on a gurney trying to find her way home. Here we have another older woman—perhaps the same woman—on a bed. Lila gives the woman a doll which when placed on a rotating pedestal emits soft, colorful lights. Lila recognizes the doll to be the figure of an angel. An angel is a symbol of the spiritual realm and of the Self (personality core) reflected, in this case, by its soothing, centering effect upon the dreamer. The colored light motif is interesting because it is repeated in the following dream which Lila had a month before her diagnosis.
I catch a glimpse of bundles of beautiful colors very neatly grouped. Very pleasing. Edges not sharp and sizes unknown, but wonderful soft colors. Lots of color!
Jungian psychologist Marie-Louis von Franz points out that the image of colored lights is frequently witnessed by individuals undergoing a near-death experience (NDE). She shares the following NDE of a woman passing through a tunnel into the unknown:
I had to search for my escort somewhere in there, where the dark blue grew toward me from the opening of this tunnel. The hum became brighter and more beautiful. The colors, too, became clearer and seemed to merge into a game of a thousand colorful shades, and then fall apart again like the colors in a bouquet. Every color had a sound. And all those colors and sounds together produced a wonderful music which filled me and drew me forward. [On Dreams and Death; p. 87]
For people nearing death, beautiful and soothing colors in a dream can be an intimation of union with the Self, the healing center of the personality.
Another interesting aspect of the dream is its infirmary-like setting. Although Lila says she is going to a thrift store (a place where she used to work) to visit friends, the people she sees there are lying on beds within separate cubicles. The impression is given that this is a kind of convalescent center. Many psychics believe that following death, spirits of the departed undergo a period of rest and recovery in what are called “Halls of Healing.” The dreams may suggest that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is moving closer to her own union with the Beyond, and that she may soon be reunited with the people that brought her into the world and who greatly influenced her psychology. In a way, her life is coming full circle.
[To be continued.]
1) von Franz, Marie-Louise. On Dreams and Death. Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.1987.