“. . . Light-as-divine-guide also emerged in the dream of John Sanford’s father, when a bright light shines through from a window behind the stopped mantelpiece clock, revealing a ‘brilliant path’ that draws him forward, away from this world” (Dreaming Beyond Death: A Guide to Pre-Death Dreams and Visions by Kelly Bulkeley, PH.D., Reverend Patricia Bulkley, p.71).
We are all Candlelight
Another dream containing light was shared by a woman psychotherapy client of mine many years ago. Her mother was dying of cancer. With my client’s permission, the dream follows: “It is night and I see my mother lying in her bed. The bedroom is dark and the window is open. Outside the window, a candle, suspended in the air, is burning brightly.” I told the dreamer that it was possible her mother could die soon. (She died two days later.)
I told the client that I felt the dream implied a continuation of consciousness (the burning candle) for her mother’s spirit as her mother’s essence transitioned to the other side (out the window). Her dream and its interpretation were deeply meaningful for this woman. She felt comforted and hopeful. In this case, the dream message came not to the dying but to the living—the dying woman’s daughter.
I believe the dream’s intent was to offer the dreamer comfort and hope concerning her mother’s upcoming death as well as reducing the fear of the dreamer’s eventual death. If dreams come from God like John Sanford’s book Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language advocates, then the divine comforter was active in this woman’s dream.
The Long Story
“The unconscious is aware of death, sometimes even predicts it, and yet it presents itself as a stream of life that will not be interrupted by the death of the body. For this reason Jung once said that, ‘while we cannot be certain, it looks as though life on earth is only part of a long story, and for this reason one should hang on to life and live as though it were going to continue.’
This brings up the interesting possibility that what we call individuation may also continue in some way we cannot visualize once we leave this space-time continuum in which we must live while in this earthly, bodily existence” (What Men Are Like: The Psychology of Men, for men and the women who live with them by John A. Sanford and George Lough, Ph.D. pp.257-258).
“The American Indian, Chief Seattle, [said] . . . ‘Dead, I say? There is no death. Only a change of worlds.’” (ibid. p.258). I wrote the following poem attempting to distill the essence of this article.
Through Death’s Doorway
as I move
through death’s doorway
I step into another world
clothed in light
my new body glows
like a candle’s flame
a sense of joy
beckons me onward
I hear a distant voice
“Greetings, fellow traveler.
Disclaimer: These thoughts do not apply to suicide. My personal opinion is that suicide is never the answer.
For additional musings on death, read my article “Death: The Beginning of Life
Photo Credit: Photo by Yashna M at Flickr Creative Commons.
Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday.