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

David J. Roberts, LMSW, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, when his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and an adjunct professor in the psychology and psychology child-life departments at Utica College in Utica, New York. Dave is a featured speaker, workshop facilitator and coach for Aspire Place, LLC. He is also the chapter leader for The Compassionate Friends of the Mohawk Valley, whose mission is to support families who have experienced the death of a child. Dave has also been a past national workshop facilitator for The Compassionate Friends and a past national workshop facilitator and keynote speaker for The Bereaved Parents of the USA. Dave also co-presented a workshop titled “Helping Faculty After Traumatic Loss” for the Parkland, Florida community in May of 2018,in the aftermath of the mass shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School. Dave was also a keynote speaker at The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Remembrance Weekend during in June of 2019 in Ponte Vedra, Florida .Dave has also done numerous workshops at the local and regional levels related to transformation from grief and loss. Dave has been a past HuffPost contributor and has also published articles with the Open to Hope Foundation, The Grief Toolbox, Recovering the Self Journal, Mindfulness and Grief, and Thrive Global. He is currently a regular contributor to Medium. 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 Paraclete Press DVD video, Grieving the Sudden Death of a Loved One. He has appeared on numerous radio and internet broadcasts and Open to Hope Television. Dave was also part of a panel in 2016 for the BBC Podcast, World Have Your Say, with other grief experts, discussing the death of Carrie Fisher. Dave’s website: www.bootsyandangel.com is devoted to providing support and resources for individuals experiencing loss.

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