Reprinted from the book, Special Dream, by Luellen Hoffman, following the death of Robin Williams
Introduction: My husband suffered from what is now recognized as an obsessive-compulsive bipolar disorder. Greg committed suicide in 1987, when he was thirty-two years old.
In his unfortunate brilliance, he was able to hide his problems from the psychiatrists with whom he worked at a well-known university hospital. Greg’s inner turmoil was tragic. It was during the year after his death that the following dream gave me much reassurance.
The Special Dream: I am sitting at our old oak table in the dining room area. It is daytime, and there is natural light streaming in from the window. Greg appears, wearing a red and black plaid flannel shirt, which is wrinkled. I notice this instantly, because he was always so concerned about everything being ironed and perfect. He is also wearing faded blue jeans that are ripped at the knee.
His appearance makes me feel comfortable, and in this dream he is a regular person – not like he was in life, someone who had to “look perfect.” He is barefoot and smiling and joyful. Seeing him smile is something I hadn’t seen for a very long time. “I am healed!” He exclaims. “I am all better. Look at me!” I look at him as he dances around in glee.
In my dream I am aware that this is the Greg I loved, and I am aware that all his pain and misery have fallen off him, and he has entered into a place where he is whole. I do not speak to him, but I am watching him in gratitude – deep gratitude – to see him happy again. I can feel my love reach out to him, surrounding him, and there is a sense of oneness and joy. I am aware of a physical joy in my body, as well as in my emotional being.
When I wake up, I am still wrapped in that splendid embrace in the knowledge of his healing. I feel like I am in a magic land and full of wonder. Then it hits me that Greg is still dead and gone, and my joy turns to tears and I weep into my pillow for a long time. Over time I begin to understand that even though he is no longer here, on this earth, he is truly healed. It was through this dream that I gained comfort and reassurance that Greg is now whole.