My mother has dreams about dead people. Not just any dead person, but of her departed family members.
My mother and her siblings were raised Catholic, one of the remnants of French rule of Indochina. She’s even told stories about mean nuns during her schooling back in Vietnam. While my parents raised my sister and I in the Catholic faith, we were regaled with stories of spirits, ghosts and reincarnation. This was never odd to us. It just was.
Because my mother believed that spirits of the dead could visit us and send us signs, I believed too. Not so much as an adult, but I do believe that everything in this world is connected. It also means I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to any kind of horror or paranormal movies. Back in college, my friend Brandon forced me to see a remake of The House on Haunted Hill with Taye Diggs. He laughed hysterically the entire time, both at movie and at me. I cowered in my seat next to him and tried not to cry. Ghosts avenging their pasts? That’s some scary shit, if you’ll pardon my language. The fact that I still remember this incident, means I’m not quite over it. To this day, Brandon still thinks it was hilarious. Obviously he gets great joy from my terror. That’s why he’s like a brother to me.
When I dream, they are very vivid. I have no doubt that I inherited it from my mom. She doesn’t talk about her dreams often, but every now and again, she would tell us that a deceased family member came to her in a dream:
Your grandmother came to visit me last night. She sat on the edge of the bed next to me and told me it was time for my brother to come with her. Then she left.
My bà ngoại died when I was in middle school. We didn’t talk about her very often, but I have fond memories of her and my grandfather. She didn’t visit my mother’s dreams often. When she did visit, it meant one thing: someone in our family would soon pass to the spiritual side.
A few days after my mother told me about the above dream, my uncle passed away. It wasn’t creepy. Our family didn’t stress or worry. He had been sick. This was just the way life happened.
I think it comforted my mom that my grandmother gave her a warning. Or maybe it was a chance to say good-bye.
I’m not sure how much I believe in visits from the spirits, but my mom believes. That’s enough for me.
This post was inspired by The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, a novel by P.D. Viner. Twenty years ago, college student Dani was murdered but her killer was never found. Each family member copes in different ways, including Dani’s father who talks to her ghost. Now a promising new lead may change everything. Join From Left to Write on November 7 as we discuss The Last Winter of Dani Lancing. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.