Posted by: notsofancynancy | October 26, 2012

A Nightmare

I don’t usually remember my dreams but this morning I woke with a start with a nightmare about my father. He has been gone since 2001 and I thought I had come to terms with his passing. Not that I will ever get over losing such a wonderful man but I know he is in a better place as his body here on earth was troubling him so much. I knew he was done here. Why after all these years would I dream about him? I can only contribute it to the fact I am working on his story. I spent all day yesterday working on the next chapter so when I fell asleep he was on my mind. I can’t shake how desperate I felt when I woke so here I am blogging about it praying the hopelessness I felt will go away.

It started with a phone call. When I answer the phone Dad is on the other end. I start asking him “Dad what’s wrong” and “Dad where are you?” He is unable to answer or for some reason he cannot speak. He begins to cry and that is something I have only seen a couple of times in my life so I know wherever he is and whatever he is calling about must be a major event. “Dad where are you?” I scream to no avail.

Dad and Missy about 1980

Somehow I get to where he is and he is at an animal hospital with one of his favorite dogs, Missy. I end up in the room with him and he is so fearful of what is wrong with his dog once again he begins to cry. Just about that time the vet comes in with the diagnosis. “There is nothing wrong, Missy is fine.” The vet has Missy in his arms and I can see the kisses that dog lavishes on my dad’s face. All tongue and now the dog is licking Dad’s tears. We both are elated with the outcome and leave the room to take them home.

As we are walking down the hall we are met by my two sisters and brother. They were WITH Dad and had been waiting in the waiting room. I spy them and begin yelling “why didn’t you tell me?” “Why didn’t you tell me?”  In my mind I cannot figure out why they brought Dad and Missy to the vet without letting me know. It has me so upset I am furious. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Why didn’t you tell me?” I wake with a start and all I have been able to think about is “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Why didn’t you tell me?” I can’t shake it.

So I hoped that by writing this someone out there may be able to give me some insight into what this nightmare means. Why? Why after all these years did I have such a desperate gut wrenching dream about my father? Why? Why?

Wow! I just remembered that was one of the only times that I heard my dad cry.  It was in a phone call when he told me he had to put Missy down.  My dad cried when he told me. He was heartbroken. He really loved that dog.  I had forgotten that until this very minute. What does this all mean?

© 2012 notsofancynancy



  1. I hate dreams like that when they seem so real and involve our loved ones. Praying for you that you find peace in it all.

    • Thank you! I am so shaken I did not get the last paragraph over here. I just updated it. I am not even sure if I am still asleep.

  2. Thats a sad dream :o(

    • I know, right? It hit me in my weakness, Dad and dogs!

  3. As you said, he’s on your mind at the moment. Seems like you answered part of your own question in your last paragraph. Maybe writing it all down has helped a bit?

    • Yes it has. I think you are right. Its quite interesting how that unfolded..

  4. How deeply unsettling. Careful to give yourself time to wind down and clear your head before going to bed.

    • Thank you! I must remember that! I can’t take another dream like that.

  5. That’s a sad dream… memory. I don’t know what that means but I just pray that you get some peaceful time. Having been reading about your Dad and I should tell you that he is becoming one of those favorite people of mine that I didn’t have the chance to meet.
    – Manu

    • Thank you, your kind words brought a tear to my eye. Your words make what I am doing worth it.

      • It surely does. 🙂
        I am happy that my words meant something. 🙂
        Be Happy.
        – Manu

  6. Hi Nancy, I have been having similar memories about my father and the animals we had. My dad’s best friend from Emporia, Ks turned 90 on Sunday – what would have been a wonderful event, celebrated with his son in Lawrence, Ks was replaced by the unexpected death of his wife 4 days before. I put together a photo album of our families over the past week, there were so many holidays and special events celebrated over the years – going back to the 1920s. Back to the animals – going through the photos, I came across the 2 dogs my parents had before we kids were born. I realized that each time they moved (2 times before I was born and once when I was 6) those 2 dogs and the 4 – 6 cats we had later did not come along for the move. Those were very different times and maybe the pound was not instant death for animals, or maybe the 2 dogs found other homes. I’ll never know. After the age of 6, when we lived in the same house for the next 45 years, we had 1 cat and 1 dog who lived out their lives as part of out family. I remember distinctly when my father had to take Nigel, our dog, to be put to sleep due to old age, pain and arthritis; he returned very shaken and had to spend the day at home, he was so heart broken. I don’t think I ever saw him cry however. My father has been gone since 1992 – I treasure the rare occasions that he appears in my dreams and I once again hear his voice. Thank you for the post, Nan

    • Thank you Nan! Emporia Kansas? Wow that is close to where my mothers family was from. Your response also brought tears to my eye. Maybe that is what this is all about. I just needed a good cry. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. I wish I could help you with your dream… All I can suggest is that you were likely in a deep sleep but you recalled your father in a most tender of moments during his life. Can’t see anything wrong or disturbing about that…

    • Thanks Koji. It was the desperation of know knowing where he was and the fact that my siblings did not tell me he was in trouble.

      • I am not a good one to translate dreams, but I do like Koji’s interpretation. He has good insight.

      • Yes he does and I am thankful for him.

  8. I don’t know what the dream means either, really, but it’s heartbreaking! Was there anything in your dad’s letters that has you wondering? I feel for you and him both in the dream and in real life regarding his dog. It’s terrible to say goodbye to a beloved pet, and almost as terrible to feel powerless to console someone in their grief over their loss. And I’ve only ever seen my dad cry once, and it felt like the world would come to an end, it was such a strange thing to see.

    • Yes it was a very strange this to hear him cry over the dog, but with my feelings about dogs I can certainly feel what he was coming from. That is something we had in common, the love of dogs. Weird but nothing like this came up in the letters. That is why it seems so weird. It had nothing in common with what I was working on.

  9. Hmm. If I may take a different perspective at this. You said that the last time you heard your dad cry was when his dog died. Yet in your dream, the dog is alive, well and licks your dad’s tears. I think the message is that your dad is ok. And that the tears he once shed, are now being wiped away. And maybe the dog is being used because that was the event you remember your dad crying over. But now, that event, and his tears have all been wiped away. So, in a way, its a good dream. It may have not felt like it because you miss him so. But the message is good, very good.

    • Well that is a great theory! I like that and that is what I am going with! Thank you so much! I feel so much better now!

  10. Ouch.

  11. I’m sorry to hear you awoke with a panic. I don’t know what it all means. Do you wish you could’ve made your dad more comfortable? You mentioned he was ill? In your dream it sounds like you wanted to comfort him. I dream of my dad at times, but I’m always just sad when I wake up because I know then that I’m only dreaming.

    • Yes his last days he was hooked up to machines which were keeping him alive regardless of his DNR. It was a hard time for me knowing he did not want to be on the darn machines. The only way I was able to comfort him was by rubbing his bad knee. Had it been my choice I would not have let them put him on the machines. Dad and I had talked about it when my mom and oldest sister passed away and I knew that was not what he wanted. Being one of the youngest siblings I was not in control. So yes I would have liked to have been able to make him more comfortable.

      • I’m so sorry to hear that. We went thru a similar thing with my dear dad. They did what they could to make him comfortable. It’s a hard time for a family to be sure.

  12. I have no insights, but I feel so badly for you. That’s a troubling, sad dream, and I don’t feel like you are a sad person most of the time. I think at times you must just become more aware, subconsciously, of how much you miss your dad. You’ve had a lot of loss…your parents and a sibling. That sadness has to “sit” somewhere even when you don’t know it’s in the room. Our brains are really complex, aren’t they? Sometimes dreams are just a way of acknowledging our feelings. Big hugs to you! I hope the feeling isn’t too heavy for too long, Nancy.

  13. Hi Nancy. This is a heart wrenching post. I’m not much good at interpreting dreams but I have had dreams that stayed with me for days after I had them. I can’t help but feel that your cries to your dad are an expression of how much you miss and still need his guidance in your life. I feel for your grief, Nancy. My dad has been gone a long time and I miss those special times when we would sit up half the night and just talk. Sometimes I hear a good joke and still head for the phone to pick it up and call him. A father’s love is so precious. My heart goes out to you.

    • Wow your words brought tears to my eyes. I do miss him so….. and I have so many questions about his letters, you must be right!

      • You are supposed to have questions, Nancy. As a parent, I dont want my kids to know everything! I want to protect them because they are my children, even though they are grown. To have them see all my pain or doubts……………..scary.

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