My Grief Journey Exposed in a Dream

I have had several dreams since my daughter Jeannine died in March of 2003. Through further exploration with a dear friend of mine whose passion is projective dream work, I have discovered that the lessons revealed have always been relevant to my journey.

Walking and Lost

With that, I want to share with you all a dream that I had several evenings ago. I was walking down an unnamed street which was near my place of work. It appeared to be first light; but I believe that I was walking  at either 2:00 or 2:30am. That was the time frame that came to me after I awoke. In addition, I was walking naked. I recall feeling panicked, not because I was naked, but because I was lost and didn’t know how to find my way back to my place of work. There was no one behind or ahead of me; I walked alone. After some trial and error,I did eventually find my way back.

Black and Elderly

Once I got back to work (still naked), I went to my office and saw an elderly black gentleman,whom I had never met before, sitting at my desk. When he made eye contact I abruptly moved away. I then proceeded to go to another part of the building where I saw my immediate supervisor providing assistance to an elderly woman who had been attacked by her husband, whom I deduced had a form of dementia. Though groggy, she appeared to have recovered from the attack. At that point my dream ended.


I went to work the morning after my dream. Before I left my house, I was drawn to look at my CD collection and pulled out “Wreck of the Day” by Anna Nalick. I pulled out this CD specifically for one song called “Breathe(2am).” I discovered this song several years ago after watching the movie “Griffin And Phoenix.” I played the song as I was going to work and got chills when I heard this one lyrical passage:

“2 am and I’m still awake writing a song
If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me,
threatening the life that it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd cause these words are my diary screaming out loud.”

My Truths Revealed

The chills were due, I believe, to the synchronicity that I experienced with the lyrics of this song and my experience in dream time. The title of the song and the lyric alluded to 2am, the  approximate time  that I was walking in my dream . I was also naked in front of several people at work, though they appeared to be oblivious to it.

I will definitely explore the symbolism of my dream more extensively with my friend at some point. But I want to share with you my impressions of the truths, as I see them, that my dream was trying to reveal about our grief journeys:

  • There are many times that we will feel lost and disoriented on our journeys. If we remember to breathe and have faith, we will eventually find our way again after the death of our loved ones.
  • We all have stories inside of us to tell. Once we get those stories of our loved ones outside of us, whether on paper or otherwise, it not only helps us, it helps others. Our spiritual growth is not inhibited when we celebrate our ongoing connections to our deceased loved ones. if anything, sharing our stories enhances our connectedness with others, ourselves and the universe.
  • The death of our loved ones strip us naked of our existing beliefs which are then replaced with others that help us adjust to our new reality.
  • The elderly woman who survived the attack from her husband in my dream reminds us that we may feel battered and bruised many times throughout our grief journeys, but that we can also develop resiliency as a result of the challenges we face.
  • The significance of the elderly black gentleman is unclear to me at this time. But as I have discovered we don’t always make instantaneous connections to events that transpire on our grief journeys. In time, those connections will become apparent. When we make those connections, enlightenment follows.

David Roberts 2012

David Roberts

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David J. Roberts, LMSW ,became a parent who experienced the death of a child, after his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and is also an adjunct professor in the psychology department at Utica College, Utica, New York. Dave has presented workshops at national conferences of The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents ,as well as local and regional venues. Dave was also the keynote speaker at both the 2011 and 2015 national gatherings of the Bereaved Parents of the USA. He is also a featured speaker,workshop presenter and coach for Aspire Place( Dave is a HuffPost contributor and has also written articles for several other grief and self-improvement publications. He has co-authored two books with Linda Findlay of Mourning Discoveries. One is on navigating grief during the holidays and the other is on pet loss. One of Dave's articles” My Daughter is Never Far Away" can also be found in Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories of Healing and Loss. Excerpts from Dave's article for The Open to Hope Foundation, called The Broken Places, were featured in the 2012 Paraclete Press DVD video, Grieving the Sudden Death of a Loved One. Dave has also appeared on Healing the Grieving Heart and the Advocacy Heals U radio shows , and the Open to Hope television show . Dave’s website: is devoted to providing support and resources for individuals experiencing loss.

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