Friday, October 7, 2011

A premonitory dream which turned out to be something totally different

A man in his early fifties dreamt the following which he claimed told him about his uncle's death in advance hence it was psychic.

I see my cousin Gary from far. Though he could be my brother Mike. Actually he is my brother Mike but when I approach him there is a real sad expression on his face as if some one has died. And though he is Mike, the sad expression is that of Gary [which the patient had seen on his face, few months ago, when his mother had died].

The next day we got the phone call that Uncle Joe died. Since Gary is Uncle Joe's son the dream was telling me that Uncle Joe has died, for I never dream about Gary.

I asked him if he was expecting Uncle Joe to die. He was a little wishy-washy on that. For admitting to it meant giving up a little of the glory of having dreamt something before it happened, but being an honest man, the patient admitted that Uncle Joe recently had been very sick, and was refusing food, bath, change of clothes, or even shifting from one particular spot where he had stationed himself. Furthermore, for some time, he was preoccupied with his experience in Pearl Harbor, where he was one of the three members of a ship to survive the bombing. In the days before his death he would sit in one spot refusing to budge, re-experiencing that fateful day. He had been heavily decorated for that survival and it had become the defining event of his life. Patient had correctly sensed his Uncle's approaching death in his clinging to the moment when he had once before successfully defied death.

So the premonition was about a death which was not at all unexpected.

When asked if he could think of something that would account for appearance of Gary in the dream, about whom he never ever thinks in his waking life, and he recalled that his sister had mentioned that she was throwing a party where all his cousins including Gary were invited. He had not been invited because she had taken for granted that he will not come. He avoids all social events unless he has absolutely no choice. So here was the link to why he saw Gary in such a sad state. The idea that Gary would be laughing and enjoying the party at his sister's while he would be sitting sullen in his condo had provoked the wish for his cousin to be miserable. It was saying in the language of dream that you got invited by my sister while I did not but don't feel too uppity on me because you had to suffer the death of your mother which made you so sad while my mother is still alive. [The patient lives with his mother].

So the sad expression on Gary's face in the dream was not just to get even with him for being invited to a party where he was not but it was also representing the reaction of a dutiful son to his mother's death.

So the sad expression was representation of how a person would feel at his mother's death and not a sign from the spirit world that Uncle Joe had died.

The patient admitted that it was not that he had the dream and knew that it meant that Uncle Joe had died but when he heard the news that Uncle Joe had died he recalled that he had had a dream that predicted it. So the dream was in amnesic state till he had actually heard the news of the death.

But why would he dream about Gary's sad expression at his mother's funeral which had occurred a year ago? And why the sadness was shown on his brother Mike's face?

So I asked the patient to describe the dream once again and give as many details as he can recall.

"I was walking on the corridor. It had blue carpet. It was not Gary but Mike that I saw first. He had silver hair over his ears. When I came close to him did I notice that sad expression and felt he was Gary."

"Where is that blue carpet taken from?"

"From the hospital. The hospital has blue carpet and so does your office."

"So is the dream saying that if your mother died you would be as sad as Gary and in fact it would get you to react so strongly that you will require to see me more often and may even require you to go to hospital?"

Patient agreed that recently he has been preoccupied with his mother's death. And since he lives with her and has to take care of her the thought often comes that he would be free of the responsibility if she dies. And the thought is very distasteful to him.

"Where is the silver hair above the ear comes from?"

"My father had silver hair just like that. And I am noticing that Mike is showing the same silver streak in his hair. And I guess I felt the same kind of sadness at my father's death as Gary did at his mother's. And I bring in Mike and my father in to the dream showing them as sad as Gary, for they will be hurt too in the same fashion, if my wish for my mother's death comes true. The conflict over which, as you know, keeps me depressed and causes all kinds of obsessive symptoms. For my love for my mother cannot tolerate the idea of her dying."

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