Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sometimes Dreams Die

Sometimes dreams die and when they do a part of you dies too. Maybe you remember the exact moment the dream died.  You know exactly where you were. Exactly what you were doing.  Maybe you felt yourself die a little that day. You will get over it, you tried to convince yourself. You will be sad, but you will move on.

Months have passed, years have passed and there has been no re-birth. You have tried to fill the dream with something else, tried to fill the large gaping hole in your soul. Maybe you have worked on a new dream, maybe you have cried, and worked to forgive yourself, forgive yourself for killing it, even if you did not mean to.  Sometimes you may not even know at the time the dream died, maybe you thought there would be time for it later.

There is no funeral for dreams.  No yahrzeit candle is lit or yahrzeit anniversary observed.  No grave to visit because the dead part, it is still with you. It is a part of you.  It is like a limb that doesn't work anymore, or cells that die. They are still there, they are still part of you and they are dead. You are walking around, you look alive, there are even moments when you feel alive. Then it hits you again, you see so clearly how part of you is just dead.

People say that "it is never too late." That is a lie. Dreams do die and it is too late. Parts of yourself can die while you still walk around. You cry out to G-d. You pray for healing; for an end to the grief. To accept what has happened and move forward.

Sometimes dreams die and sometimes when that happens, part of you dies too. Sometimes you never fully recover; you never completely move on.

What is the mourner's prayer for a dream, a part of self that has died?


If someone you know shares with you a dream that has died, a part of them has died, know they are sharing a very deep and holy place with you. Please don't try to fix it. Please just hold them. Please don't run away. Please don't tell them there will be a new dream. Just be there. Just know that all they can do is carry this. It may not make sense to you. If you love them, just stay there, just be there. Just let them know that you honor this dream, this part of you that has died. Grieve with them even if you don't understand.  Know they must trust you deeply to share this with you.

It will not be easy to just be there. You will want to fix it. You will want to fill the space with false hope. You will want to fill it with words. None of that will work. The person will shrink away. Maybe you won't notice but they will. They will know that this deep, painful, holy place is not safe with you. It hurts you say, yes it does. Do not be like's Job's friends who after sitting in silence with him told him all things he should do to fix it.

Do be like Job's friends who sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights in silence and saw how deep the pain was. Cry with them. Hold them. Remind them they are loved.  Remind them they are important. Remind them they are not alone.

Comfort them.