Lunya - article

February | In Your Dreams


Sometimes dreams show us what it’s like to fly (albeit 3 feet off the ground). Other times they connect us to people we’ve said goodbye to in the living world. Find out what it means in this month’s In Your Dreams post (where we take your dreams and try to make sense of them).

I dreamt all my aunts and uncles from my mom’s side of the family were sitting outside on the stairs, talking and laughing. I’m there, but not really there. No one notices me. It’s a pretty big group because my mom is one of 11. As I’m looking over each of their faces, I realize my Aunt Sherie is there. She notices me and smiles, and at that point I realize I’m dreaming because my aunt Sherie died too young, decades ago when I was teenager. But it feels like she never left. It was a simple dream, but I can’t stop thinking about it. What can I take away from this?

After people we love die, dreams are one of the few places where we get to see them again. Really see them, as their embodied selves (or dream-ified versions of) and not just the two-dimensional aunt Sherie you’ve grown accustomed to in old photos. Seeing her probably brought back memories of how she moved, what her voice sounded like, how she laughed. She looked right at you, too, which is quite intimate. How devastating to wake up and be robbed of those things again.

After people we love die, dreams are one of the few places where we get to see them again.

We’re so sorry about your aunt. You have the option to take this dream as an invitation to spend some dedicated time missing her, if you haven’t in a while. In American culture, we are pretty uncomfy around death. It feels like a radical act just to acknowledge that it exists. But the Buddhists would tell you that understanding the necessary balance between life and death is a step toward peace. And who are we to argue with the Buddhists about enlightenment?

Now, we’re not talking reckless wallowing, folks. If you feel unmoored by this dream and decades-old unresolved trauma is bubbling to the surface, get thee to a therapist yesterday! But if you’re up for it, you can invite her memory in, with the aim for it to feel more lovely than painful.

How the f*ck can you do that? Well, there are no guarantees, but we’ve taken the liberty of compiling some suggestions, gathered from our own amateur field research of being human beings who’ve experienced loss. 

You might…

…do something she liked. Turn on her favorite movie or make her famous garlic bread or [insert whatever aunt Sherie’s thing was to make or eat or listen to or watch]. It’s a way to feel close to her, while also actually doing something, possibly even something new(!).

…write her a letter. Just to say hi. No one ever has to see it but you. Burn it afterward if you want, pyro.

…talk to your family. You’re not alone in your grief, we imagine. Chances are your mom and other members of your family miss her, too. They might want to talk about her just as much as you do. Tell them about your dream, if you feel comfortable. Ask for stories, and tell them yours. Now that you’re an adult, you likely have a different, more nuanced understanding of the woman she was. You might even hear new things, which is always an intrigue. It’s something like hope, that even though someone’s gone, they live on through the endless worlds left to discover about them.

ask yourself WWASD? A new mantra perhaps? Especially if you admired a particular trait of hers. E.g., if she was a thoughtful gift giver, channel aunt Sherie when you’re pulling your hair out trying to finish your Christmas shopping. WWASD? Get everyone nice olive oil, and call it a day. Now that’s a legacy…

If you’ve ever woken up from a dream like, what the hell was that?, and would like to be featured in the next In Your Dreams, contact us at with a detailed description of the inner workings of your unconscious mind. We're dreaming of hearing from you.

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