What Dreams May Come

Last night I dreamt that my family and I were standing outside our house (only, because this was a dream, it wasn’t THIS house, but rather the one I lived in from age 11 until I got married).  We heard that scary cracking sound that lets you know that a big tree branch is about to fall and quickly we all ran for cover, and then watched as an entire giant tree fell directly on the house.  Instead of knocking a hole where it fell, though, it FLATTENED the entire house like a pancake.
I love analyzing dreams and this one is an interesting mixture of what had happened to me yesterday and deep psychological stuff.  William had been begging me to watch the extended edition of   The Fellowship of the Ring with him, and I obliged him last night.  When the Nazgul enter Bree, they knock over the gate, flattening the porter.  Later, Saruman orders the destruction of Isengard, and enormous trees are soon toppling all over the place.  Hence the visual images of the dream.
Lorelei and I were selling cookies at Walgreens yesterday with the Brownie troop leader and her daughter.  I mentioned something about our fire, and the little girl had questions, and we talked about it for awhile, especially about all the things we lost.  Finally, I’ve been reading a book in which the main character’s loss of her home due to fire is a pretty major plot device.
An aside:  You probably won’t have noticed this, but it is pretty damn amazing how often people’s houses burn down in books.  It’s also unbelievable, from one who’s been there, how the incident gets glossed over in the rest of whatever book as the romance or whatever made them need to burn down the house in the first place continues.  The loss (except if a death occurs, of course) gets talked about for a couple of sentences and then everyone moves on.
Since I’m still dreaming about houses being destroyed, I have obviously not moved on.  During our conversation yesterday, Lorelei’s troop leader shared with me that she knows someone who 30 years post fire can’t bear to talk about memorabilia or pictures.  It’s just too painful.  That’s not me, but I understand.
In last night’s dream, Lorelei and William were concerned about their things being destroyed.  I, on the other hand, just kept saying, “Thank God we did not go in the house.”  I don’t remember feeling upset about the destruction itself at all.  A few months ago I dreamed our house burned down.  My mother had to break the news to me and I was like, “Are you serious? Again?”  What I remember feeling in that dream was not loss but embarrassment because people would probably be tired of helping us out by now.
I’m still not sure whether my current detachment from/reluctance to acquire material possessions is positive or negative.  Maybe both?  Anyway, writing about it helps me work it all out, so I hope I’m not boring you yet.
fire do not crosswhat remains

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  1. Hi, Leslie: I came across your blog through the blog group on FB. I’m so sorry for your loss and my eyes are welling up as I read back through your archives and read the stories of your loss. My husband and I lost our home to a wildfire in 2007. So, I understand. Everything from that point forward (and I mean everything), is forever identified as “before the fire” and “after the fire”. For example, “before the fire” I loved to shop. Now, “after the fire”, it’s a thankless chore. Even though we have “recovered” from the fire 6 1/2 years later, fire identifies me, haunts me, propels me. I, too, am a blogger and while our blog (I blog with my niece) is primarily a lifestyle blog with a focus on food, I have a category in our blog where I wrote a 20-part series on the loss of our home on the 5th anniversary of the loss. Yes, it took me 5 years to write that story. 5 years of grieving. I used to love to make different things – crocheting, sewing, painting, scrapbooking. I haven’t been able to create any type of “craft” since the fire. Too painful. Instead, I took up blogging – my new craft. This year I launched a series on our blog called “Resolve to Be Ready 2014”, which is FEMA’s campaign. Every month I post about things all of us can do to prepare for emergencies. These posts are on a board on our Pinterest page. Normally, bloggers aren’t encouraged to “self promote” in the comment section of another’s blog, but emergency preparedness is so important to all that I hope you will forgive this shameless plug. If we, as a community, can help even one person be better prepared for a catastrophic loss, then I feel we have helped. Thank you for sharing your story. I know how hard they are to write without crying as you write them. Not sure that we ever get over it; instead we just learn to let go and move on…

    • lesliesholly says:

      Wow, thank you for this! Don’t mind the plug at all and I am definitely going to read your story as well. It’s comforting and validating to hear from others who have been through it. We of course were lucky not to have been home when our house burned. I can’t imagine the terror of a wildfire. 🙁

  2. Deborah Cruz says:

    I am so sorry that you went through this and that it is still appearing in your dreams. We all process differently . I understand. I have been dreaming of miscarriages for over a week now. It’s awful and then I remembered that the 2nd anniversary of my own miscarriage is approaching ( May 1st) and it must be weighing on me more than I realized. Sorry, you are going through this loss. Lots of hugs. XOXO

    • lesliesholly says:

      Thank you, Deborah! I’ll remember to say a prayer for you on May 1. I miscarried my last baby in May six years ago so I understand. It isn’t something you “get over.”

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