After we have lost a loved one one of the most sought-after signs is a “dream visit”. We hear about them all the time. But, what do we know about them from a scientific viewpoint?
Dr. Joshua Black is a grief researcher, speaker, author, consultant, online course instructor, and host of the Grief Dreams Podcast. He has focused all of his MA and Ph.D. research (in psychology) on investigating dreams in bereavement (also known as grief dreams) and continuing bonds from many types of loss (including prenatal loss and pet loss).
Most of his academic research and publications have specifically been on dreams of the deceased. Dr. Black is considered one of the world’s leading academic experts in grief dreams. Due to the lack of academic research in this field, Dr. Black has focused his efforts on raising awareness on grief dreams through doing talks, interviews, and developing an online Grief Dreams course.
Additionally, he developed a grief dreams website (www.griefdreams.ca) and runs several social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @griefdreams).
Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me Dr. Joshua black, and I’m really excited to interview Dr. Black says he’s his field of expertise a very unique field. He’s a grief researcher, a speaker and author, a consultant, online courses structure and he’s the host of the grief dreams podcast. He’s focused all of his Master’s and PhD research in psychology, on investigating dreams and bereavement, also known as grief dreams, and continuing bonds for many types of loss including prenatal loss and pet loss. Most of his academic research and publications has specifically been on the dreams of the deceased. Dr. Black is considered one of the world’s leading academic experts in grief dreams. Due to lack of academic research in this field, Dr. Black has focused his efforts are raising awareness on grief dreams, through doing talks, interviews and developing an online grief dreams course. Additionally, developed the grief dreams website and read several social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, at at grief dreams. So with that, I want to introduce Dr. Joshua black. Thank you for having me today. Yeah, it’s really I’m really excited to have you here today. We had to move this a couple times because of some some things that our calendars but really afford to talk to you about this, this field that people I think know a little bit about, but not a lot about. So how did you get involved in researching grave dreams?
Unknown Speaker 2:09
Like, it’s it’s a very interesting story, that, you know, it came really after my dad died, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, that was my focus for my entire life. I like since I was a kid, I remember my dad telling me how that that was the best job to have because it has a good pension, and it’s pretty well paying paid in Canada anyways, it’s where I’m from. So I spent my whole life really going towards that. And then the fourth year, it took five years to finish my undergrad, the fourth year, my dad died, and it changed absolutely everything. And so the first time I really experienced a death, a significant loss in my life. And it was completely devastating for me. Like I remember getting that phone call, he was supposed to pick me up, it was around my birthday. And we’re supposed to go to a hockey game together and just never showed up. And so I just thought he slept in, he had some health issues, where it minimize what he could do. And so I just figured, oh, maybe he was just you know, had migraine or something he just couldn’t, couldn’t come. So I didn’t think anything of it. Two days later, I got a phone call from my aunt, who basically said that, you know, they found my father dead in his apartment, and, and he was just claps on the floor. And for me, like the amount of emotion that came out, was so scary, because one of the reasons because I was I still am a guy. But at that time, I really, I didn’t feel comfortable crying. So I tend to not cry. I don’t know when the last time I cried probably when I was a kid. And so those emotions are coming out, I haven’t felt those in for a very long time. And they just kept coming, the tears kept coming and like the, the negative thoughts and the of the future of like not being able to do stuff with them and not having any more memories. That really scared me and a lot of ways. And I had to sit with that. And I sat with that for about three days, I decided to do a eulogy, which was interesting in itself. I recommend everyone to do that. But yeah, I kept crying on stage for a good like five minutes before I could speak. But the emotions like I couldn’t believe how much emotion was coming out. You know, with that, and one of the reasons I should say too, because me my dad had a rocky relationship throughout her entire life. And one of the reasons was he had a he drank a lot to cope with his emotions. And so he had a lot of trauma he never actually worked through. And so I was scared him for the majority of my life. And we just never, you know, clicked kind of thing until after my mom and him got divorced. And it was about that year and a half there. That’s when we started rebuilding our relationship. And he acted a lot differently to me, I think, and I think there’s a story in that for me because I think that’s where the pain was coming from. Because if it was if I only thought if he died, maybe You know, two years earlier, I wouldn’t have felt like that would have been like, okay, you know, okay, so had a lot of resentment, a lot of pain for him, but because of the friendship that we’re really building, and he’s becoming the father always wanted kind of thing as a kid. And then for him to just die like that. It was it was such a shock. And it brought up all those, all those emotions. I remember wanting to after I get got the news, I want to do something special for him. And I was actually really considering dropping out of school and going to Israel, which was a trip he wanted to take me on the following year. And I was really grateful looking back now I had a partner who calmed me down and was pretty supportive to say, you know, let’s wait until you finish you’ll have one year left the school, let’s you know, finish that. And then you can decide on if you should do that or not. And so I’m so happy for that. Because it it’s amazing, the irrational decisions we can make, you know, when we’re in a state of grief, so I’m just so happy I had I had, you know, some support around me at that time. So anyways, I did the eulogy. I went back to school the next day, and all my sadness was gone. But the crazy thing was all my happiness and joy was gone, too. And so I was living in this weird gray state where like, there was no color left in the world. And I was in that state for about three months. And I couldn’t tell you, I tried everything. And nothing really gave me joy they used to. And so I just thought, well, this is life. Now. This is what grief is this is life. And it wasn’t till I had a dream, my father that everything changed. And so this is where my love for that topic really started. And so the dream was, I was just in my room was very, wasn’t like a bizarre dream at all, like I was in my so in the dream, I was in my room, and everything in my room was the same way. It wasn’t waking life, which is, you know, very unique in itself. At that time, a lot of clutter everywhere. So that is amazing details.
Unknown Speaker 6:56
Yeah, sure. And then a lot of other dreams that I have heard, you tend to be like, you know, weird stuff going on. So you’d wake up, you’re like, oh, that was a dream. But this was it. It was very realistic in that way. I saw my dad at the end of my room. And he looked so healthy, like I never like it wasn’t even a memory because I never even seen him like this before his energy was very light. As I said he a lot of trauma and issues going on, and waking life. So we always had this heaviness to him, where he just never dealt with his stuff. And but here he felt so light, like his energy was just so beautiful. And he just looked so healthy. And I walked up to him and I said, I’m gonna miss you acknowledging loss. And I said that I loved them. And then we hugged, and I woke up. And when I woke up, it was the most crazy experience because everything changed, the color was back into the world. Like, I don’t know, I didn’t know, I remember sitting at the edge of my bed and saying What was that? I wasn’t turning the dream. But I felt something changed in me because of the dream. And I still sit in the mystery of that moment. And I hear it a lot from other people where the dream itself changes people. It’s not really the interpretation, I can help in many different ways. But the dream itself had the power to change, like, where I was in my grief. And so I was able to have this joy back and I was able to regulate my emotions, I could have tears, you know, when I thought about him and stuff. So it was really a beautiful, whatever, that was a very beautiful point in my life, because I don’t know where it’d be, I’d probably still be in the gray. And I’d probably be doing something differently because of that dream. I then finished, you know, school, within probably, I think six months after that. And I applied to be in Teacher’s College, which was my goal the whole time. And the moment I got an interview to get in. I just felt something wasn’t right. And so I turned it down, which was for me looking back one of the craziest decisions I’ve made because I had nothing going I had no plan B there’s no plan B, I was going off a feeling and especially after grief. I don’t know why that was because I feel like I’ve been misleading in many ways. But you know, looking back, maybe because my dad was dead and to have that pressure to do it, that unconscious kind of pressure. But at the same time, I think there’s just another path that was just being led for let out for me. I just didn’t know what that was. And that following year was just as scary as to grief because I couldn’t find work and when I did find work wasn’t fulfilling. I’m like, is this life you know, is this life after you know, doing your your undergrad? I’m like, this isn’t what they told me. Every all the jobs I wanted you to masters for I’m like, I don’t want to do a masters. Right? Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 9:37
I don’t want to do any more school. And so I saw I worked you know these odd jobs and I want to find some meaning. So I went and volunteered at a hospice to help with the bereaved, and I did one on one support and group support and group support. And they had these questions about these dreams. So some people were sharing these positive dreams. Other people were asking questions why they didn’t have dreams other people want to know What these negative dreams meant. And you know, I didn’t really know, I didn’t know much about dream research at that time. And so I looked at the research, I still had an account for my school. So I looked at the publications that were available, and there wasn’t anything when it came to these types of dreams that I could provide them to give them any kind of understanding. And I was really shocked by that, because, you know, I thought, you know, most SUVs researched a lot, you know, a lot of people are just almost like cleaning up the trail, like the the laneways, Pat, like paved, and they’re just like, every research study is just moving a little, like an inch forward. Exactly. But there’s like nothing, it wasn’t a dirt road, I can really go off of it. So I couldn’t give him an answer. And then I had this moment where I was like, could I like, as I knew the impact it had for me, and their questions really interested me? and thought, like, could I research this topic? Like, is that a possibility for me? And then in my mind, I’m like, well, you have to know stats, you have to know research methodology, I’m like, I don’t want to know. And I didn’t want to be a researcher and for a lot, so I was really scared to pursue that, that goals. But finally, I settled down the nerves and said, you know, what, you know, why not give it a go, what’s the worst can happen, you know, I don’t get in or I go, when I fail, at least I tried, I can say I tried, you know, like, and so that’s really, so I had to, like, have courage to even, like, pursue this. And I did. And what amazing was I actually got through, and like, without some challenges, I gotta say, I want to quit many times, and the support of, you know, my friends, and the people who follow the topic and my platform were really helpful and encouraged me to how much this was needed. And so when I was at the, like, the lowest points of my, I guess, you know, masters or PhD, I had that to go off and say, you know, we got to keep persevering this, you know, like, we got to keep doing this. And so it spent a lot of time extra time, I felt like, I was like, two years behind everyone else tell you truth. Because everyone wanted to be a researcher, like, when I asked my colleagues that are in their masters, they like, Oh, I knew, like when I started University, so like, they already had this plan, and they really valued, you know, stats, and we said methodology. To me, I want to be a elementary school teacher, which I took those courses, but I didn’t, you know, like, I just got enough to get the good grades, like I didn’t retain any other information. So I had to learn all that over again. And then when I got my PhD is less like, was like, super smart. And I had a really sort of, you know, up my game on that too. And you know, but I made it through, you know, at the end of the day, I made it through. And by the end of that fourth year, I was at par with everyone else, if not, you know, in the sense of what I was doing a little bit, my career trajectory was a little different, because a lot of people want to be to do a postdoc, and to do all this other stuff and want to get into other areas. I’m like, this is the only topic on a research I get, I don’t want to be bothered with anything else other than this. And so I really directed a lot of my focus on doing talks and set up the website and the podcast, rather than, you know, do more research studies outside of my field, which a lot of my colleagues are doing at that time. So I just had a different kind of, I think, plan on why I was researching the topic, and then what I was going to do with it as I move forward. So that’s where it all sort of happened. And when I was in my Master’s and PhD those years, that’s when I really realized how vast The topic is like before. I’m just going off a couple of questions. Once I got in, and I started seeing the different biases, the different ways people see these dreams, started collecting the dreams and doing the research. I’m like, wow, this field is phenomenal. And it really, you know, changed the way I viewed these dreams in many ways, but also the way I approached them with people. And I think that’s one of the most important things of why I’m doing these talks is to validate the importance of this within the grief journey, but also how to use the sermon and provide a safe space for people to actually share these experiences.
Brian Smith 13:47
Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. And I think it’s it is such important work that that again, I don’t know, there’s been much research done on it. I haven’t heard of any. And I know that, you know, when we have these dreams, and some of us do. And frankly, some of us say they don’t. Everybody wants to you know, I I’ve worked a lot with parents who have lost children. And we’re like, Why can I get more dreams? I want to I want to dream visit you know, it’s such a it’s a but people like so I want to just back up for us. And maybe you can find it what is actually a dream because we don’t we know we go to sleep we have this thing that we feel but what is a dream.
Unknown Speaker 14:21
A dream is really any thought feeling or seeing that you sort of remember when you wake up and so that’s sort of the definition of a dream. A lot of people think when it comes to dreams, it only happens in REM state but it’s not actually true. We actually dream throughout our sleep so and non REM and REM there are differences in the quality of those dreams. So usually non REM dreams are more bland. And in the REM dreams you get more of the emotion that’s going on but at the you know, near the end of night it’s not as as true. And the other interesting thing is in REM you tend to remember more dreams. So a lot of people would say if you remember a dream, it’s probably from Rome because if you wake someone up 80% of them Time, they’re going to be dreaming in non REM, it’s around 50% of the time. And so there’s just a little difference there. We don’t know where these Greek dreams fit in personally, like, you have to catch it in the lab to sort of understand where these powerful dreams come in. It’s probably around but you know, like, at the end of day, we just don’t know. And I think that’s the mystery of this topic, because they do act differently than other dreams. A typical dreams anyways, so there is this mystery of what actually is going on in the brain when these happen. And so yeah, that’s, that’s basically a nutshell the dreams, and I should tell you some dream research. So when it comes to dreams, 10% of the population doesn’t remember dreaming, even though for our knowledge, everyone is dreaming. It’s just the remembering is the issue. And so on average, one to two dreams a week, the public would say they would remember. And you can, you know, change that based on which kind of we can talk about that more, but you can increase your frequency of dreams as you move forward, just by valuing the topic. So you know, keeping a dream journal, listen to this, and you know, talking about your dreams with others, if you’re really trying to tell your mind that these are important. Now, our culture is really bad at valuing dreams. So why would you remember them? Right? And so there’s different ways to remember dreams a little bit better? We can go over that, you know, if you want to, but yeah, right. Yeah. Okay. Well, I
Brian Smith 16:17
do want to interject here, because my wife was one of those people for a long time would say, I don’t think I dream, because I don’t remember my dreams. And then after my daughter passed, and my daughter or the daughter was talking about dreams, and I was talking about dreams, and we do all these reading about dreams. Now my wife is remembering her dreams a lot more often. Because it’s what you’re saying that valuing the dream makes a difference.
Unknown Speaker 16:38
Yeah, it’s so amazing to and like, the more you you value it, the more you read through your dreams down, the more you can have and like, the more you just remember anyways. And so like I remember, like just trying this out, like research has shown that just by doing that, it increases your recall rate. And so for me, I usually have, you know, maybe three dreams a week, and I remember started doing this. And within a month, I was having three dreams a night that I could remember. And so I finally said, you know, this is enough like this is because it kept waking me up and write down. And so finally, I’m like, I’m only writing down like the ones that I feel are more meaningful. And so then my the rate of recall actually decreased, so you can increase and decrease based on that too, right? So interesting. Wow. Yeah. Which is really interesting. And so what I want to sort of say, when it comes to dreams, most people, on average, most people will have negative dreams. And that’s just because a lot of times we carry our stresses or worries to bed, or, or watching the news, or we’re watching a horror film or something that is going to be creeping into our dreams. And after trauma, what’s interesting is that these dreams become even more consistently negative. And so you would think after grief would be very similar in the sense that people are going to be having a lot of nightmares or negative dreams, if you just look at the pandemic right now. And there has been research to show that there’s been an increase in nightmares, increase of negative images from people, and you can just sort of see how that reflects the stress of individual and given a pandemic is a very stressful time, for many reasons. Financial is that you have the grief stuff, someone dies, you have work you have catching the virus in your own death and mortality, your loved ones, your mortality, there’s so much stress, people are dealing with even having to homeschool your kids like I can’t imagine what that would be like. But you know, like, you’re going to bed with all that. And so dreams reflect our waking life. And people just need to understand that connection. Because there’s a lot of clues and a lot of things that you can learn from your dreams. If you know how to sort of understand your dream language, I think that’s the most important thing is that everyone has their own unique language when it comes to the dreams as much as we want a quick fix. And we want to just google you know, what does an elephant mean? And then take that to mean what your dream means. It’s not the best way of doing it, you’re just going to sell yourself short. And you’d probably be led in a wrong direction. So like everyone’s like symbol of an elephant be different. But there’s also a story that goes along with the elephants. It’s very rare. You just have an elephant you wake up, you’re usually riding the elephant, you’re going around and meeting people or whatnot. Right? So there’s a story that goes along that helps people understand what the dream itself is trying to convey to the dreamer. Sometimes it’s very passive, and it’s just, you know, working through the emotions of the day. But a lot of times, it’s you know, there’s a lot of problem solving in there and basically allowing you to see what you’re working on still. Because the mind is so great at tricking you to think you’re further than you are in life. And you know, yes, sometimes I’ll give it I’ll give an example. That’s just in the pandemic. You know, when they like that it was that crazy. Everyone was buying toilet paper. Yeah. So around that time, I was like, Oh, I got this. I’m okay. I’m not too stressed. You know, like, I have a smile on my face. I was going through life. And then I had this really crazy nightmare where I was in my house I grew up in and there was a chandelier being taken down. And when I was taken down, I took some of the glass And I started eating it and then I having sort of having like a panic attacks, I realized that glass was stuck in my throat and I couldn’t get it out. I woke up with just a deep sweat. Like, like for me like the last time I had it was probably like maybe seven or eight years ago like I nightmares that I pretty cognitive my emotions and waking life. And so I tend to work on them in waking life. So it doesn’t have to affect me so much in my dream world. But anyway, so that was a such a big trigger for me that there was something I didn’t I wasn’t catching I wasn’t seeing Hmm. So I really had to look at that because I’m like, I thought it was fine. Like what’s going on? And then I realized, like, okay, let’s, if this was someone else’s dream.
Unknown Speaker 20:37
I can look at this. I’m like, okay, what’s the chandelier? Well, a chandelier provides light to a large space. I go, what’s similar to that that’s going on in my life right now. And so I started thinking, I’m like, Oh, the news does that the news provides stories to a country, right? And so for a large space, I’m like, so I’m breaking off and must be reading a lot of it and jesting it. But what am i ingesting is actually caused me great pain and suffering. I don’t know about it. I was like, this makes sense. Because what it was doing at that time, as much as I felt calm, I was reading a lot of news throughout the day. And that was actually very detrimental to my mental health. And I didn’t even know it. And so I really had to take a step back and say, Okay, why are we looking at the news? Oh, to feel safe, how many times you need to look at it to feel safe. And I’m like, okay, maybe you know, once or twice if it’s gonna happen, Betcha it’s gonna be like the headliner, you don’t need to go on to like, you know, 10 different articles to understand. Toilet paper is running out like this, right? And so I made a list when like, how can I actually problem solve this? So like, Okay, what do I need to feel safe? And so you get some extra food and that sort of stuff? And like, Is there anything else that you need? And it’s like, no, so then, okay, so then the, the need to, to look at the new so often wasn’t as important for me. And so it was just maybe once or twice in the morning, I would look at an article. And that was it, I wouldn’t look at night. So that was the big thing. Like, dude, I really stopped that. And I never had an experience like that, since I haven’t had a nightmare since that day. So it’s just really understanding that, you know, there’s a lot of knowledge that we can gain about ourselves, I always like to say dreams can be our best friend, who is, you know, can tell you the truth when you don’t want to hear it. I think that’s sort of, you know, what a best friend supposed to be anyways, is to really give you the heads up and when you’re off the off off your rocker and, and thinking that you’re going north, but you’re really going south.
Brian Smith 22:29
So is the dream, our subconscious trying to communicate to our conscious mind? Is that what it is?
Unknown Speaker 22:34
Do you think? Yeah, right. But I know other people who have different theories of you know, based on their religion, and based on their belief in the afterlife and stuff, they may see it as differently. But yeah, for me, it’s just like, it’s a guidance. If it comes from inside or outside of me, it doesn’t really matter. Like, I’m not too concerned, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna use it.
Brian Smith 22:51
Yeah, well, that’s a good point. That’s an excellent point, you know, because the thing is, you know, as we talk about dream visits, you know, people will say, Well, I just have my normal dreams. And then I have my nightmares. And then I have my grief dreams, or my dream visits. And they’ll say, it’s a totally different quality of experience. It’s kind of like the way you described the dream with your father. And, and you wake up and you feel there, it’s reminds me when people have Indies, when I say it just changed my entire perspective on everything.
Unknown Speaker 23:22
And many of those dreams can be like that. And it’s also you know, it’s important to say, we talked about these positive drains a lot. And I think a lot of topic, a lot of the conversation does go there. But there’s a lot of negative frames that also happen that also have very similar qualities to some of the positive dreams are very vivid, they’re very real, they’re one on one, they may not give you a positive feeling, but they stay with you for their entire life, too. So sometimes a lot of people who are spiritual take those as a haunting, and there’s cultures that believe that that is a negative visitation. So as much as a lot of you know, press goes to these positive dreams, there is a lot of negative dreams. And just in my study, I just sort of state so when I looked at sort of how frequent these these are, and just the general public, I found that’s one of the amazing things I found was like how common they are. So after spells a loss within the first year to is 86% of people had a dream of the deceased after pet loss, it was 78%. And after prenatal loss, it was 58%. And then there was a study done with children 55% had a dream after their parent died. And so it’s it when you start looking at those numbers, you realize how common these actually are, then when you sort of look at are they positive or negative experiences. Because if you remember when we talked about just how common negative dreams are, in general, then after trauma, you would think a lot of dreams after grief would be negative to so especially deceased in it. But as you’re saying, this is where it gets interesting because it goes against typical dream research that most these dreams are positive. So when you ask someone, you know, the content, if you ever had a positive dream and you sort of give a lay on with that. means around over 90% of people say they have at least one positive dream of the Seas when it goes to negative around 30%. And of those 30%. What’s interesting is that those individuals will also have a positive dream at some point. And so what it says to me it probably is going on is that people are having more negative dreams in the beginning. And as they work through their trauma and their grief, they’ll have more of these positive dreams moving forward. We don’t know that for sure. We need to do more longitudinal research for that. But that is what I’ve heard on my podcast a lot. And what I’ve just heard with talking to other people, but yeah, there’s something there and I think within so within those beautiful dreams, so they’re acting differently than normal. And as you said, like a lot of them have this very beautiful space that is being provided with just love and peace. Like it is absolutely amazing. Like the deceased will say, amazed, like really why stuff. They really help the dream out in many different ways to feel loved to deal with some of the problems that we’re facing. But just the presence of love is one of the things I find is the most remarkable because a lot of times we seek that in life and never achieve it because we have so many worries and so much fear that is just under the surface. But in this dream, it’s like, none of that matters. It’s like all you have is this space of love, and what that can do to someone. And so when we when I look at my dream, yeah, I realized the importance of being able to say goodbye to my father, because his death was sudden I realize that the saying I love you as important aspect of that dream, because I never said that to him. And probably since I was six. So it’s something that I needed to say that never got a chance to say, Well, he never said to me too, so let’s not put the blame on me. Eric, yeah. And then the third thing was this peace, that peace in the dream was different than any other dream I had. Even the dreams that are positive, I have don’t have that level of peace in them. So there’s something else going on? That’s probably very beneficial to us as we move forward through grief.
Brian Smith 27:03
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I was we’re doing this or talking about this. I was thinking about recollection of dreams. We talked about how you can actually recall more dreams. But do we have any idea why we recall some dreams and don’t recall other dreams? or Why? Some people seem to recall a lot more than than other people do.
Unknown Speaker 27:21
Yeah, when it comes to dream recall, there are theories out there. Because we can’t see each dream, it’s very hard to understand why remember certain dreams over others, especially when it comes to this the deceased. A lot of people will say, you know, you remember dreaming because the vividness of it. So the more vivid a dream, the more emotional dream is, would be different factors. If it’s in RAM, you may have a better if you’re waking up in RAM, you may have a better chance of catching that because RAM is very similar to our waking state. And so it could be you know that but yeah, so there’s little, there’s still a lot of mystery on it. But when it comes to these streams, it’s very interesting because they tend to come up at very important times in people’s lives. And so I’m not sure if they’re just not remembering the dreams or they’re just not occurring, right? That’s a question that we won’t know until we be able to see dreams in general. It could be people are dreaming of deceased more than they’re actually remembering it and that’s interesting. So then then it’s like why remembering certain dreams at certain points in our life over others.
We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at WWW dot grief to growth.com www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th calm or text growth gr o w th 31996 if you’d like to support this podcast visit www.patreon.com slash grief to growth www.patreon.com slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution and now back to grief to growth and yeah,
Brian Smith 29:21
you know it’s interesting because I in the community I run a lot of people believe that we actually leave our bodies every night and we basically astral travel and we meet with our guides and our loved ones and stuff like that and we don’t recall that so we’re we’re kind of back and forth between you know two worlds and so when we you know have these these grief dreams we call them dream visits that we believe that we’re actually with you know our loved one again but with the great dreams or have you noticed any like common Natalie’s with the dreams versus regular dreams and give you some examples for me. It seems like they’re usually once I have the really short. They’re usually not they’re not very long. And when I would see my daughter, I would always know she’s not supposed to be here. So I get very excited because I you realize, you know, this, this is supposedly happening. And then it would be somewhat lucid because I would know I was dreaming. And then I wouldn’t want to wake up. But I would always I would get excited, I’d wake myself up. Some of the things that I went through is, Is that normal? Do other people have that?
Unknown Speaker 30:22
I’ve heard that. Yeah, they definitely do seem shorter than other dreams, even just the word count that I’ve collected, like I’ve collected over 1000 dreams. And just when you compare that with other dream research, it tends to be a little shorter. But that also could be you know, what people are writing, because when I captured the data, I didn’t go after a dream sample, which most people would in their research, I would have to recreate sample. So a lot of people you would assume are not dreaming Theseus, so they’re not, you know, wanting to talk about their dream. So maybe that’s reason why it’s a little shorter. So it didn’t didn’t add enough detail to the dream, they sort of just cut to the chase of maybe what was most important to them. So yeah, we don’t do more research on that. But yeah, a lot of people will say that, you know, they’ll know the Sisa data, they’ll know that they’re dreaming. It’s not as common as I think. Like, like, for me, like I knew my dad was dead, but I wasn’t lucid in the dream. Like, I didn’t realize it was a dream. In that moment. A lot of people are like that, where they could acknowledge the person’s that but they won’t say this is a dream and become that lucid. What was the other one? You’re saying?
Brian Smith 31:24
Well, I would say, it’s short, it’s lucid. And then I was for me, I would like always get excited about seeing her and wake up. And I didn’t want to so I’m like, yeah, so I started actually trying to, when I was in it, say, okay, just don’t get it. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 31:41
And that’s just love right there. It’s just excitement. And, you know, at the end of the day, you know, the dream may have ended, even if you didn’t get excited, but at the end day, it’s just something to smile at. But that’s how much love you have, you know, for your daughter, maybe last year, and for you to sort of take it as a visit. It just makes it that much more special to you believing that it was her right. And so, you know, there’s just something to smile and say, Oh, right, okay. Like, like, how can you change that without like, trying to decrease the outlay. I think that is one of the most important parts of the dreams, just feeling that and that’s just love coming to the surface, you know?
Brian Smith 32:13
Well, like you said, there is that and you can’t really even describe the feeling of love, but just one of the things, you know, when you have it. And I found that when people have that, though, and I know a lot of people have had these types of dreams and like, you know, I could just feel the love, you could feel that they’re okay. It’s just that reassurance that they’re okay, that we’re going to be okay. But it’s interesting, because we, a lot of times people will take those positive gyms we visit but then the negative dreams will say, Well, that was just a dream. But is there something to be learned from the negative dreams also? Of course, yeah. Well,
Unknown Speaker 32:45
first is using discernment, right? Some people who, as I said, will take those dreams as a visit also, depending on where they’re where they are. Right. And so it’s it’s really understanding, like when we call things a dream visit, it’s just really understanding that that actually complicates a lot of things, for people in many different forms. And just for before I go on the negative frames, people, just in my own research, when you look at, you know, who are having these dreams, like that was one of the common concerns that why I started the research was you know why some people are having these dreams and other people aren’t. And so the spiritual people would always put themselves down if they haven’t had a dream. And then they’ll be jealous of others. They’d say, oh, maybe he didn’t cross over properly. Maybe he’s mad at me, because I had to like maybe sell the house or something. Yeah, or couldn’t give them that type of funeral that he wanted. Or maybe, you know, the afterlife is they forgot, they forgot about me kind of thing. And so I want to give a scientific explanations, sort of understand that a little bit more. And so what I found and in replicating the research, is that dream recall was the most important factor. So what it’s saying is that people who remember more dreams in general, remember more of these types of dreams. I think that’s interesting. For a lot of people, when you start asking them, if they didn’t have a dream, you know, what the recall rate is, usually it’s pretty bad and pretty poor. And so I usually connect the dots for them. And for them, you can see this weight goes off. And because all those reasons, negative reasons where they put on it, it are now sort of this valid, and now because the research people can hold on to that and say, Oh, I just didn’t remember maybe the dream that I did have. But within that study, so in both studies, I looked at spirituality, because a lot of people thought, so I wasn’t gonna put it in, but people sort of made me put it in thought that people who are spiritual will have more of these dreams. I guess it’s a good theory. Anyways, it’s not true. So people who are spiritual or not, are both having similar dream experiences. difference is, is in the content. So maybe in a spiritual person, we’ll talk about the afterlife, or they’ll talk about, you know, I don’t know what heaven looks like or what death is like something like that. We’re in people who are not spiritual, they won’t but they still have that loving quality. They’ll even say they’re okay, like they still have those kind of comments that still say that they love them, but they just won’t have that other stuff in it. So, you know, but for those people what I want to sort of mention, you know, when we label these as Maybe a dream because it’s a somehow we can put off others. Because if you’re not spiritual, your guard and your wall goes up the moment you hear it’s a visit, and you don’t want to share those experiences anymore. And so I really tried to get people to understand that, you know, there, it’s the quality of the dream, I think the most important to ask and then ask how they feel about it. Because some people based on their culture, religion, that is not that would be frowned upon, in many ways to call it a dream visit, right. But it’s a great moment together, and whatever you call that living in the mystery of that moment, and that in itself can allow people to share these a little bit more freely, because most people hide them if they don’t get asked. And I think that’s why people thought it was rare. But you know, for a spiritual person, they’ll let you know right away if they think it’s a visit, because you know, like, they’ll say, just the wording they use. I think that’s beautiful. And I always I never discourage that, because I’ve seen in even in my research, how these dreams help people believe more in afterlife and help people regain their faith, which is really rocky after someone dies. I understand sort of, like, How could this happen. And so you sort of see how it’s beneficial for people. And when it comes to these negative for dreams, these dreams has been shown just in my research when they’re distressing, that they relate to trauma symptoms, and they also relate to unresolved feelings of guilt or blame. And so a good example of this is just understand, like dreams represent our waking life. So a good example was a widow her said like her husband died. And she had this dream, a repeated dream of her husband coming to the door, and telling her that he’s still alive. And then, you know, basically wants to get back together with her. But she says, Oh, no, I’m dating someone new. I can’t. And she’s like, how can you still be alive? Like, how could you make me think that you’re dead? Like, how can you be such a mean and heartless person to do something like that to me? Then he said, You know, like, the moat He’s like, then he’s like, well, if we’re not gonna be together, well, then give me all the money that you inherited, then I’ll leave you alone. And she, she said, No. And then he began to chase her. And so he had this repeated dream over and over again, she thought it was a negative visitation. And then when you start asking about these points in the dream, that are, you’d say, are are important. The one is getting back together, and her being in a relationship. And so that’s one of the issues, right, like how difficult it is for someone who has a partner die. And then to start a new relationship, like you’re, you’re trying to love two people at the same time. And it’s very difficult in our culture, because it’s always been frowned upon. And so for them, like you have to sort of figure that out. And then you have the difficulty of the other partner. Are they even? Do they even want to know about your partner that died? Or they even you know, is? Or are you hiding your, your love to make them feel better? Kind of, right, exactly. It’s a very difficult position to be in. And then on top of that, you have this money. So when you ask her about the money, she said, the most hardest thing after the death was actually accepting the money, because he worked so hard for it. And she felt it was so unjust, that he worked so hard, and she’s the one that gets suspended or keyman. So she’s sort of working through that still. And she’s spending some of that money on the new relationship. So if you see that there’s this complex thing going on, and the mind is trying to say, you know, you got to work through this because whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And because a dream is repeated, like that is a flag that you know, there is something that you’re not getting in waking life that the mind is really good at, if you’re not going to get it they’ll tell you again, either in the same way or in a different story. If you track your dreams over you know, over weeks you can really see if you’re making progress or not based on
Brian Smith 38:38
strength I’ve been having the same dream for years.
Unknown Speaker 38:43
Right? Well, there’s something important there right and he’s drinking trigger, especially your feelings can trigger certain dreams and there’s probably clues in there to help you understand that because you’re not like I don’t feel at the random at all. They’re really telling a story to us to really help us be more healthy and waking life.
Brian Smith 38:59
Yeah, I want to reiterate a couple things you said that you said some really profound things there that I really want to make sure the listeners heard one is when people say I’m not having these dream visits, there’s something wrong with me my loved ones mad at me or this I don’t we don’t have the connection whatever. I think it’s really important. Like you said to ask how many dreams are you recalling in general and that the fact that there’s a correlation there so hopefully that will take a lot of pressure off of some people and there are ways that we can improve our dream recall as you said, by valuing it by journaling I think setting an attention I’ve heard people say I want to have a dream you know just just maybe trigger that subconscious thing I want but I also want to ask you about you had this visit or this dream with your father I using the visit where we had this dream with your father and it changed your life. What was your belief in the afterlife before that? Did it change that or what were your thoughts about that?
Unknown Speaker 39:54
Yeah, I don’t know. It’s very interesting cuz I when I look back at that I am spiritual and but when I look back, I wasn’t asking for it. At that time, I think I’m still developing my my faith in many ways, as I still am, I guess I’m trying to understand this crazy world. And then, and understand myself as I learn more about myself my idea of God or whatever changes significantly. And so at that time, you know, I, when I even look at that dream, I don’t even I don’t think I’ve ever even classified as a visitation. It was just a dream that changed me and I still look look back. I’m like, I would even say it’s visitation. I don’t know, because it was just something that I didn’t put a wasn’t a interpretation. I don’t think I’ve ever really put an interpretation on that dream, per se. It’s just me just how crazy it was. It changed me. And that love is the thing that I keep the most and like, I don’t I get them that I don’t know. Right. Like, like, you know, if it really matters to me, but that I but I wouldn’t I do know for certain is that dream changed me. And so what can I learn from that dream as I move forward? And this is really, I think what’s possible when it comes to love. And so my goal has not been trying to prove the afterlife is real, you know, really it is or it isn’t, I’m going to die. It’s gonna happen. Not like, it’s not like, my belief isn’t going to determine anything. And so, but what can I do? Now? Like, okay, I can learn what’s possible for a human. And I think that there are different levels of love. And if I can dream, a scene like that, or an emotion like that, why can’t I live that in waking life. And so that’s always been my goal moving forward, is trying to get to that place in waking life. And not just need a dream to get me there. Like, I’m really working hard to really try to understand, you know, myself, who I am, what stresses me out, what am I attached to? And what’s holding me back from love. And a lot of people, you know, I’d say, like, we do get attached to these experiences, because they make us feel good. But then when we go to waking life, we’re like, I just want another one. Rather than saying, you know what, yeah, what can I do to increase the chances I can actually have that while I’m awake? Yeah, I think that’s where I’m at. It’s just, it’s less about, you know, what is after, and more about what can I do now. And a lot of these dreams that people share, they have so much wisdom that I gained from them. So that’s why I love asking about these dreams, because there’s so much you can take from it. When it comes to what love is and the words that they say there. It’s just very remarkable. From where I’m sitting to be able to utilize these dreams as a way to rethink what life is and how to process how I see myself as I move forward.
Brian Smith 42:25
Yeah, well, I want to ask you about I don’t know if you’ve heard of this phenomenon or not, but I’ve heard of people that were someone will be deceased. And someone else will have a dream the widow come to visit them, and tell them they’re okay. before anybody even knows this person has been deceased. So have you heard about this happening?
Unknown Speaker 42:43
This is where it gets really wild when it comes to these. These dreams because even on my website, there’s history, I put these people who can have these dreams, as you said, before they even know the person is dead. And I think there is something very beautiful about that and tell our people sit in mystery. There’s a lot about life, we don’t know and think that we do know, even when they think that we know what the afterlife is. It’s just I think insane in itself. Because we just don’t know. But we do know that like for to believe that there is one okay, but to understand what it’s like, I don’t know if we can even conceive of what that is. But right, right with our minds, right. And so there’s a lot of times we have to sit in the mystery of life. And to understand that we may be wrong in different ways, but there’s certain things you can be certain of anyway, so these dreams really make you sit in that mystery. Because they’re having dreams very similar to what someone would have after they know the death person somehow that moment knows of the loss. And that could be like some people would say, oh, that they visited them in the dream. And so they let them know that they basically died. And we’re going to be okay, so that’s one possibility. The other is, let’s say if you’re not spiritual, there must be a connection that people have that goes beyond time or space that people will just know. And I hear that with, like, you know, parents with their children, they just know something’s wrong. They always have this like radar, and they call on something is. And so there could be the strings of just attachment, and then love that allows us to know, when you know someone has died too. So either way, whatever the possibility, it changes the way we understand human beings, just by the occurrence of that. then other times when it comes to, I think some other dreams you’re saying about people having dreams for others. I think that is a really fascinating topic, I collected a lot and people came on my podcast and talked about it. It’s more rare. But someone could have a dream that’s actually meant for someone else in the sense that the character in the dreams of the deceased will tell them to share a message with their father or their mother or whatever. And sometimes that person doesn’t even really even know or really is that close to that individual. And so it takes a lot of courage for someone to have a dream and then share it because it could end up really someone calling you crazy or they just don’t believe you and stuff like that. But for the most part, a lot of people have said the powerful impact it has on others. A lot of times they never had that dream themselves. So it’s very interesting when you start looking at that, and that’s more research that needs to be done on that topic, because it does change the way we we see ourselves and like what’s possible with us. And there’s just so much more we just don’t understand. We’re trying to, like, I guess, go on Mars and land on Mars. And we don’t really even understand, like what we are capable of. Right? Like, it’s just it’s very interesting how we keep pushing the boundaries externally. But internally, it’s still really similar to where it was prior.
Brian Smith 45:27
Yeah, well, there’s just some of the reasons that I believe there’s something more to it than just our subconscious is, you know that that phenomenon I’ve heard of happening, not often, but it happens when people will, will dream about someone else being deceased before they even know. And if you just mentioned another one will, it’s like, it’s almost like they can’t get through to the one that they’re trying to get through to. So they’ll go to the cousin or the art or the neighbor down the street even and say, Nope, the neighbor come up and say, you know, I had a dream, but your your daughter last night, I barely knew her. But she came to me and came to tell me to tell you that she’s okay.
Unknown Speaker 46:00
Yeah, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful when people said have the courage to be able to actually share that. I do want to mention, when we said we talked about some of these positive trends, there is a there is a category that should be of concern to anyone who works with the bereaved. And that’s a theme called Come join me. And here so kids can have this, it seems. And then also adults, but it’s where the deceased is either dragging the dreamer, basically, to the afterlife, or the dream or the deceased to try and convince the individual to basically kill themselves to join them in the afterlife. And it’s a very positive scene in the sense of what the person how the person is interacting with the individual. But these are really rare, but they seem to sort of point to mental health issues and suicide ideation. And so, you know, in my studies, I sort of saw how people who had those types of dream has really high forms of trauma symptoms. And then there’s been other people that it’s highly related to complicated grief, and you see it even across cultures, with indigenous people in Georgia. And so their thing is, if someone ever has that type of dream means you’re going to die soon. That’s the myth. And so I think any if you’re in a hunter gatherer, gatherer society, if you’re dealing with trauma, you’re not going to be, your memory is going to be off your cognition is going to be off and reaction time, so I can see you slipping, or it could be that they, you know, they do kill themselves also, and I, and I, you know, when people when we, when we say, ask about these dreams and understand where it is, because if you take if you tell someone, you know, these are dream visits, right? All of a sudden, that person will say, oh, then I’m supposed to kill myself, to go to the afterlife, because this is a positive dream. That’s what I really have to ask, you know, what’s the dream before we label it? Just to know, will that complicate the individual brief in any way? And what are their beliefs? And so, you know, with that, I cannot, I can definitely see people probably have taken their life because of some of these dreams, because they believed it was what they were supposed to do. And in grief, you know, like, our cognition is not the greatest like we are impulse control and reaction time in the sense of what we do. I was about to go to Israel and like dropped out of school, right. So if I had one of those dreams, how easy it is, for someone to just take that next step, because they believe the dream was telling you the truth. And so just being aware that there’s said, like, there’s so many types of dreams, that I’ve seen that I think I am in a privileged position to understand the landscape, which, you know, that’s what I’m really trying to talk about this stuff, because a lot of people only hear certain aspects, and a lot of them are these positive dreams. And that’s beautiful, and it’s great. But there’s also this other landscape that hasn’t been talked about. And that’s sort of the importance of understanding and using discernment, when we sort of talk about these dreams and how people’s beliefs and how they interpret their dreams affect the grief journey.
Brian Smith 48:41
Yeah, that’s some really excellent, another excellent point you made there about that. You know, because it’s interesting as you were telling your your path, how you were doing one thing in your undergrad and then decided to go into psychology and going to dream research my, my daughter, when when my other Shana passed, when my daughter Kayla was in the medical, she was on a path to become a physician’s assistant. And after Shayna passed, she realized this is not really what I want to do. So she she changed. She made she majored in psychology and undergrad, and then they are masters of mental health counseling. So you know, it’s interesting that like, when we’re in grief, we have to be careful about making big decisions, because we don’t, our cognition is not great, but also, it can actually put us on the path that I think that we’re meant to be on. Or us that i think that i think that you know, and you took this dream that you had from your father and you said, Okay, this this changed your life and change your life work. And people might have heard of this. And I was looking at your website before I get on so I’ll give you you know, but I’d heard it before about Paul McCartney. After his mother passed, and everybody knows the song, let it be. And there’s a line in the song. You know, Mother Mary comes me everybody assumes This is the Virgin Mother. But Paul McCartney had a dream of his mother after she Pass, come in ham. And the lyrics are when I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness, she’s standing right in front of me speaking words of wisdom, let it be whisper words of wisdom and that that song is just so profound. And as he’s relating this dream to James Carville, like 50 years later at James Carville, what’s the guy’s name, going to court and court games, relating it to him 50 years later, you know, you can see him tearing up, I mean, you can see that, that that dream still impacts him to this day. So there’s, I think there’s something very profound about about these these dreams.
Unknown Speaker 50:40
Well, I hear from a lot of people they’ll utilize, they still remember these dreams, you know, 4050 years later, and they still remember how to feel like that feeling of love can still be, you know, they can still look back at that and carry that with them in many ways. And it provides them that comfort as you move forward. And for a lot of times, it’s that thing that actually, when people look back, it can be that thing that really helped them work through their grief in many ways. I’ve had, you know, people that were about to kill themselves have a dream of deceased, you know, talk him out of it. People who are, you know, addicted, had a dream, and it changed them until like, you can see, like, the significant moments and of people’s grief journey. Change because of these dreams. That’s why like, it’s really interesting how a lot of people don’t share them. That was any research on them. Because like, oh, people just resilient? Well, it could be they’re also having these dreams that are helping them become resilient and work through some of the stuff outside of let’s say, you know, traditional means, I think, you know, that is a very beautiful quality of these dreams. And it’s like, why shouldn’t we we should know as much as we can. Because it seems that there is some type of inner knowing or knowledge that is guiding us to how to work through grief. And if we can understand the concept of what’s going on, we could work and help people a lot better in waking life. Because they’re said, there’s so much wisdom, even Mr. Paul McCartney Let it be like, I remember hearing that I was so shocked because I was in love with that song. And now I’m like, wow, like, that makes it even more beautiful. Yeah. And the way he said like, and, and there’s so many. So even on my website, Greek dreams, I’d say there’s so many other points in movies and TV shows that capture these dreams when I started looking. And I said, like starting like every kid, every time I look at a movie or, or comes up, I’m going to write down and like the amount of shows and places where I’ve seen these dreams, you can tell it’s affecting a lot of people that they’re putting it in their movies, and they’re putting in their TV shows in ways that are capturing the importance and the beauty of the topic. For the most part, there are a couple that will put in negative dreams. And I think that’s beautiful, too, because it just showcases and raises awareness. But the beauty of these dreams help change people. I remember one of my just side note, one of my favorite movies growing up was Braveheart. And one of the reasons was my dad’s favorite movie was Braveheart, too. So we always watch it together. And then, you know, I never realized until I was in my master’s program, I put the movie on again. And there’s three grief dreams in there of him dreaming of his deceased wife. And I think that’s probably the record. I haven’t seen more than three right now. But like I go, how interesting that is one of my favorite movies that I was hired to actually had these experiences. And I didn’t even realize it wasn’t conscious of it until after I started, you know, looking for these around. And I think you know, there’s something to say about that. And I think there’s something special about that, just in my own journey where I look back, and like my dad’s tied these dreams. It’s not just I had my own, but it was in one of our favorite movies that we add to
Brian Smith 53:37
that as well. That is really cool. So tell me about what you offer to people I know you’ve got it, you’ve got a course you do one on one work. So
Unknown Speaker 53:45
tell me about what you offer. So to raise awareness, I like I was doing, you know, before the pandemic, I was doing a lot of talks and workshops, and so I kind of stopped and so I decided to do an online course and so it’s nine and a half hours that someone could take and it really helps you understand, you know, some stuff on sleep dreams, but you know, the majority of time grief dreams and all the landscape like we we talked about an hour, so it’s probably another nine hours of like conversation on the topic that we just didn’t go into it because it’s so vast in the sense of what’s there. So if someone wants to learn more and wants to talk about these more, I think that’s a great starting point, you get a certificate at the end of it. And then you’ll feel it’s people who you know, have these negative dreams or just want to talk more about these dreams I offer the one on one group dream consulting, and just you know, it’s just it’s sad there’s not a lot of people that know the information so I’m just trying to help people the best I can understand how a lot of there are a lot of clients that have negative dreams and so it’s really you know, how it applies to waking life and what it’s trying to teach us to move forward with that and then you said like I got the grief dreams podcast so people who want to know more about the just want to hear more of these stories, like that’s the place to go because a lot of the people that come on majority of them have really positive life changing experiences. I I think that’s phenomenal. Even The last guest we had on was in Gara. And she talked about, you know, meeting her thing was her grandfather and she asked what the afterlife and then he told her what the actual life was like, I think that’s kind of cool in the sense of these answers and questions people have about life they they can get from the deceased to so
Brian Smith 55:15
yeah. I love what you’re saying it. And it’s interesting because I’ve studied near death experiences to a fair amount and their grief dreams remind me of that without the trauma, you can have some of these experiences. And I also love the way you put it, you know, you don’t have to believe it’s the afterlife, you might believe its inner wisdom, or the subconscious, whatever, whatever works for you. But there is there is you cannot deny the wisdom of it, you cannot deny the message of it, the beauty of it, and the way that it can transform, you know, people’s lives. So I think the work that you’re doing is just so, so very important. And I love just a short amount of time we’ve been able to spend together today, I’ve learned a lot, you know, in terms of their types of dreams, I didn’t know I didn’t know about the Come with me, you know, dream, you know how maybe we can interpret these negative dreams, I thought you get a great, great example that woman, you know, with, with her husband and the other person in the life, and that’s got to be a really, for no complex situation, you said, trying to, you know, honor your wonders on the other side, but live your life while you’re still here. So seeing that come through in the dream of being able to understand what what the dream is trying to tell you. So it’s all just amazing.
Unknown Speaker 56:29
It absolutely is. And that’s why I love talking about it. And one thing we didn’t mention is how these dreams change over time. So you work through your grief and like so it’s not really your dreams aren’t about grief anymore. And these dreams are the seeds will pop up in time to other needs that you have and times of suffering. So let’s say if you get divorced, or something you may have, or something tragic happens, you may have one of these dreams, and it’s been 10 years since individual died, but they’re offering you support and comfort. I’ve seen a lot in the pandemic now, which is very interesting of how the deceased are coming to offer support in many different ways. Either just being together to reduce the isolation, or to provide them questions are asking how they’re doing in the pandemic, and then an end of life, which is interesting, you’ll start seeing these frames again. And they’re basically helping people transition from life to death. So they’re providing a lot of comfort for the individual in those final final days. And I think it’s, I think that’s one of the other really unique things of this research, or just this topic is that, you know, it’s not just one dream at one moment of life, it’s like, once it happens, it keeps happening and certain moments of your life that are very important. And so like, why did why is that and how come we don’t have those dreams prior? Like that? I don’t know, like, but it is there’s a lot of mystery, a lot of research still needs to be done. So hopefully people know it’s a safe space. Now, I think explore research wise, I think you know, that’s maybe one of the reasons why people didn’t do research prior because it was really tied with the afterlife a lot. But I think it did a really good job to say no, like, everyone’s having these. Let’s just talk about the subject and the non judgmental way. And people can take it as they want. You know, like, I’m not as long as it’s comforting. You know, like, I don’t really care what you take it as it’s when it’s distressing. It, let’s work on that. Because that’s going to cause you to limit what you can do and where you can go with your healing.
Brian Smith 58:13
Yeah, well, you mentioned something that I taken a note and I hadn’t brought it up. But I guess we have a couple more minutes. So I do want to get into it because my father in law at near the end of his life had dementia. And he would he would talk about all these things crazy, like dreamlike things. So my theory was he had lost the separation between dream life and real life. I’m like, I don’t know what was going on with him. But it seemed. But when he would talk about people in his fantasies, they were always deceased, like, consistently, they’re always people who were deceased. And I thought that was a really interesting observation I did not make at the time. But later on, as I look back when I’m like, seeing them back, he was like tapping into the other side as he got as he got closer to the end.
Unknown Speaker 58:58
Yeah. And that, you know, there’s research has been done a lot of research coming out of hospice Buffalo, with Dr. Kerr, and Dr. Pay grant, that are really looking at these end of life dreams and visions. And it’s very hard to separate the two at end of life because their sleep is so sporadic. But, you know, same thing. So they’re having these dream experiences. And sometimes it could be the dream experiences tied into waking life. So it becomes a vision. But yeah, they’re there. And they tend their research found that there’s tend to be an increase in these as they approach the end. And so that in itself is just it’s very fascinating to me, on you know, how these continue to support us and why can’t we have them every day? Like why do they show up this quote unquote, random? I don’t know. And I think you know, that’s, that’s one of those mysteries that you’d have to sort of sit with and be patient and I think if anything like we teach our kids to be patient, I guess these dreams teach us to be patient as adults.
Brian Smith 59:52
Yeah, well, you know, it’s even the whole the word afterlife, you know, because what it to me what it says is consciousness is something that is Bigger than we understand just it’s not just in our brains, there’s something that’s, that’s everything, it’s undeniable, we’re somehow connected to something larger than ourselves or to each other, in some ways that we don’t understand from a materialist point of view. And I love the way you’re going about it academically, it’s not a matter of faith, it’s not a matter of I have to believe this. But also not to shy away from the fact that these things are actually happening. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:00:27
I’m glad you like that, right. Some people may frown upon some of the stuff I’m doing. And I’ve just because of their belief system, and what they sort of see the extremes to be. And so yeah, it’s just, you know, the love and support that, you know, you give for allowing to be on your platform, and then everyone else, I just sort of thank you all for continuing to raise awareness on the subject, because it’s just so important to my heart, but I know, it’s impacting a lot of people just around the world. And I think for me to do research that’s affecting the world is such a place, I’m in such a place of gratitude, because most people, their research never gets read. And for this, to have an opportunity to actually change the way we support people. You know, in just a matter of doing a master’s in PhD, I think that’s just a remarkable part of where I’m sitting at that, like, you know, like, the legacy of just my father’s is actually moving through the world. Yeah. And for me like that, that means a lot.
Brian Smith 1:01:17
That’s very, very cool. Well, I want to tell people where they can reach you. It’s Dr. Joshua black, and he’s at grief dreams.ca. So you can find more questions and answers on his website, the course is available there. You’re available for one on one consulting. So I’m just I’m so thrilled to put this episode out. I think it’s a really important episode that’ll help a lot of people.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:41
Hey, I’m happy but then thank you again for having me on. I really appreciate you valuing the topic.
Brian Smith 1:01:47
Alright, well have a great rest of your day.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:49
Thanks, you too sweet dreams, I hopefully get another one of those dreams tonight.
Brian Smith 1:01:54
So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe. So click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai