How Our Dreams Help Us Find Closure and Heal Heartbreak
Dreams of Closure
Life is filled with unfinished stories. You can’t always have the happy closing endings that could leave us emotionally intact. Life is messy. It can leave us confused, vulnerable, and numb. Sometimes, we don’t get answers to our questions–
I have not had a conversation with my dad since I was 11 years old. I often wonder what it would be like for him to meet the college version of myself. What would we talk about? What would he think of me? What kind of dad would he be at this age? Every few weeks, he casually enters one of my dreams. He comes back to life, and I finally get to live out memories with him, new and old. We talk about things that I don’t remember once I’m awake, but are
Dreams are filled with patterns of our emotions, thoughts, observations, both subconscious and conscious. There are dreams that are totally fun and not emotionally-jarring, others that are insignificant and relaxed, and carry a lot of emotional or otherwise meaningful weight. There are long histories of people who believed dreams were messages from the otherworldly (notably, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and Hebrew, to name a few). Others, especially pop-psychology fanatics, assert that dreams hold symbols that speak volumes about one’s mental state. Regardless of the framework of understanding people have in interpreting dreams, the commonality among all people seems to be that dreams can be emotionally stimulating experiences.
Through dreams, sleeping becomes an extension of real life. You have 7-9 more hours a day to live through experiences that have real emotional outcomes (good and bad
“Our emotions don’t always know the difference between a real life
event or an event that happened in a dream. What matters is the healing we’ve gained, as a result of the experience.”
Dreams can also draft scenarios of healing heartbreak– reproducing scenarios and conversations you may never get to have in real life. They can allow you to finish a story that left you heartbroken. They allow you
The night of my grandpa’s (who passed 9 years ago) birthday last year, I had a dream where he found out I was bisexual. I am not out to anyone in my family yet. I was terrified, even in the dream. But immediately, the dream version of my grandpa responded with deep reassurance and love. I cried every time I recounted the dream the next day. Dreams remind us of people from whom we’ve gained so much, whose opinions matter to us, but who we can no longer talk to. The dream helped me feel grounded. It was real assurance and love granted by my grandpa. Even thinking of the dream now feels like thinking back at a real-life, visceral experience.
Our emotions don’t always know the difference between a
Paying attention to my dreams is healing. There are professionals who can also help, coupling dream interpretations with the context of your waking life, along with years of knowledge on the human brain.
Dreams are a great way of receiving closure, healing past and current heartbreak, and more. They can grant us the reassurance we need, give us answers and endings to cliffhangers. Dreams are one of the greatest “unnecessities” of our brains and, in my opinion, one of the coolest gifts of life.
Featured Photo by Tamarcus Brown
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