I had an experience with my husband, Rusty, that I thought wasn’t possible.
It happened after a very intense and emotional day. My older brother had died of suicide at the age of 39, and we had just attended his funeral. We stayed at my mom’s house in her guest room. She had a sleeper sofa that faced the bedroom door. Rusty was sleeping on the right side, and I was on the left, which was more in line with the door.
That night I dreamed that I was back at the funeral home. There were a few pews, and the rest of the room was filled with folding chairs. I was in the front row, sitting by myself. There were 20-30 people there in the dream, some were sitting and some were milling about. I was either waiting for the service to begin or just taking a quiet break.
I remember sensing someone in the room and turned my head. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was run. Somehow I realized I was dreaming and had the foggy memory that I was at my mom’s house lying down on the sleeper-sofa, but it was located in a house with a big doorway and a long hallway. I imagined flying out of that bed (which would have been incredibly unsafe) and run as fast and as far away as I could. Surprisingly, I physically bolted up and Rusty threw his arm in front of me to stop me. “I hate it when you do that!” I yelled and he gently pushed his arm against me to encourage me to lie back down. As I was lying back down, I was thinking, “Noooooooo…..” I knew I wasn’t awake enough to stop the dream. I went right back to that dark and disturbing funeral home.
The next morning when I woke up, Rusty asked me if I remembered what had happened the night before. I said, “Yes! You stopped me from running out of bed and then when you put your arm out and encouraged me to lie back down I went right back into a bad dream. I didn’t have a chance to wake up enough to stop it from happening.
Then he said something that was unbelievable to me.
“Julie, I was there.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I was there, in your dream. That’s why you wanted to run. It was at the funeral home. You were sitting in the front row in a pew, and you turned and saw me. That’s when you wanted to run. You yelled, “I hate it when you do that!” and you were referring to me being in your dream.”
“I remember that, but I didn’t remember seeing you. I thought I was saying that because you were putting me back down on the bed and I was going back into the dream.”
“No, you said that immediately, as you were sitting up.”
I was shocked. Was it possible? He confirmed it by describing my dream exactly. And I was sensing someone was there, but didn’t remember why I wanted to run so badly. And the fact that I said, “I hate it when you do that!” implies that we’ve had that experience before.
He said it was eerie. Things were dark and gray, and nothing like his dreams. It was a very strange feeling, knowing he saw what I saw. I guess it almost felt like a violation.
It happened one more time that we are aware of. One morning he said, “I think I was in your dream again last night.”
“How do you know?” I asked.
“Because it had that strange eerie and gray feeling again.”
“Yeah, that’s usually what my dreams are like.”
“You were on a secluded beach by yourself.”
“Again, I was shocked. Yes, I was.”
He continued, “I thought, oh, oh, this looks like Julie’s dream, not mine. I better get out of here before she sees me.”
I felt an immediate sense of relief that I didn’t see him there. I also felt some sadness that my dream life is so strange, yet oddly grateful that Rusty could see what it was like for me at night.
I’m sure he’s grateful it’s not like that for him at night. In fact, there have been countless times he woke me up because he was laughing in his sleep. His dreams are typically a lot more fun than mine. But we all have our blessings, don’t we?
Before this experience, I never knew that we, as humans, have as varied a dream state as our waking state. People quite often share their dreams with each other, but rarely do we actually EXPERIENCE the dream with each other and actually FEEL what it’s like. Or do we?