JANUARY 2014 ~ When Kevin and I agreed to do the expanded edition of Dreaming Kevin, I knew the editor in me would insist on another proof reading. It would be tempting to play with the wording because as every writer knows, a piece is never really finished. My favorite part of my job as the former editor-in-chief for Living With Loss Magazine, was helping a writer find their voice to tell their story. Reading the book again with my editor skills, I was reminded that I had indeed found my authentic voice. My grieving soul cried out for understanding, balance and reconciliation, and ultimately gave voice to the unspeakable. The voice of grief can be harsh and unforgiving, and at times, even silent, but the impact of its truth is known only to the griever. In order for the healing to begin, I had to embrace the dream symbols and images that illustrated the indescribable.
As a result, dream work has raised my awareness to recognize the triggers that incite an uprising of undisclosed grief. Thankfully now, I can revisit my story without feeling traumatized. I have integrated the experience in my life, and I no longer live there…it lives within me, welcomed, and by my choice. I am no longer just surviving the experience; I am thriving beyond it because I choose to see it differently.
Dream work is an opportunity to embark on the spiritual path of individuation for healing and wholeness. For a bereaved parent, it is an excruciating process to become aware of oneself in grief as we reconcile the fears, conflicts and challenges of the perceived loss of the death of a child.
I’ve witnessed firsthand, the transformative power of dream work as a tool for healing. I’ve met so many courageous bereaved parents and families across the country (and beyond) who are willing to trudge through the murky waters of grief, dive in and do the depth work.
In my workshops, participants often confront me with narrowed eyes and crossed arms when I talk about healing. Their pained expressions scream, “I’ll NEVER get over this!” I understand. In my early years, I would have stomped out of the room spitting fire at the mention of anything that implied I would be healed.
What does it really mean to heal? Webster’s Online Dictionary defines healing as: to make sound or whole; to restore to health; to rehabilitate; to cause and undesirable condition to be overcome. The list goes on and yet there does not seem to be a definition sufficient for the newly bereaved or grievers in any phase. Do we take the word “healing” literally? Why does it trigger such volatile reactions of resistance in some of us? Where do we hurt the most? Where do we want that healing to occur? In our body? In our mind? In our spirit? Can it occur in one and not the other?
Every time I make that choice to see my dreams and my fears differently, I am in a state of healing. Healing the wounds of grief that reside in my body, in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul, can be achieved by changing the perception I have of death, loss, pain, and suffering. By setting an intention that I want healing to occur, I become open to it. By being open, ready and willing to change my perception of how that healing is going to occur I become receptive to it. Being receptive gives me the capacity to accept the presence of the Divine with humility and gratitude to make space for grace to move freely in my life and create healing. That healing brings my relationships with my family, friends, co-workers, my community, and my deceased loved ones, into balance.
My response then can be of nurturing and acceptance rather than reacting or defending. Then, if I choose to reconcile the death of my loved one, I can begin to integrate this present reality with a renewed sense of energy and confidence and I can find meaning and purpose in my life.
However you choose to perceive and define healing, remember this: the word “healing” expresses a mode of being, a process that is ongoing, lifelong. For those of us reconciling the death of a loved one there is no “ed”. We cannot change the fact that our children or loved ones died but we can change our perception of the experience and see it differently. Perhaps, it is time we redefine healing.
We all have the opportunity to choose how we will react or respond in the aftermath of our children’s or loved one’s death. We also have a unique set of circumstances about the death that require different expressions. More importantly, we always have choices –sometimes not the choices we want or like –but we always have an opportunity to choose Love over fear in any given moment. If we are willing to see our grief and our dreams differently, we can release the narrow parameters of love and build a continuing relationship with our deceased child or loved one that will celebrate them and bless our lives.
I believe that Love overcomes virtually everything. Whatever the question, Love is the answer! I have not only survived this uncharted journey of more than twenty years, I thrive on Love. There is no other way. Love is the truth and the life we seek. Love is the way.
Dream work is a transformative tool for bringing our dreams of the night and our waking dreams of the day into the light to see them differently –making connections with personal and archetypal symbols from the inner world to develop creative solutions for our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being in the outer world. I heard a calling from my interior world and responded. I believe you have a calling too.
After much soul-searching these past 23 years, I affirm that I am a dream worker –a seeker of light, truth, possibility, and hope; a facilitator for peace, grace and transformative healing.
I am passionate about encouraging more dialogue on how our dreams reveal the hidden issues that block the path of healing during a range of life transitions from birth to death. Projective feedback and discernment bring forth an “ah-ha” response –a reliable indicator that something must be true about the dream (or the nightmare) for the dreamer. The fact that the image or message is remembered, confirms that the dreamer is ready to confront it. Witnessing a shift of perspective on any level continues to affirm for me, the validity of the tool.
So, know that my story is my own and your story is your own, and we will recognize and embrace one another in each. Don’t be blinded by someone else’s extraordinary experiences and dreams or be intimidated by mine. Examine your own dreams for the extra-ordinary within! Bring your story from the inner world to the outer world where it can be illuminated, acknowledged and validated. In doing so, you give the community the gift of your experience, empowering yourself and others with insight and reflection to encourage personal change and spiritual growth. In turn, the potential for changing perceptions about death and loss also spread to the greater community. This raised consciousness enables us to explore creative approaches to grieving and model an authentic path of healing.
Dreams and Blessings,
Copyright 2014, 2024 Carla Blowey; Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing; Dreaming Kevin Publishing.
Companions on the Journey