Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Grief, Dreaming and Empathy

I had a dream a week or so ago about our recently departed loved one. I don't often dream of those who have passed on, it has only happened to me a few times. It was a very short dream, CC was wearing a really nice suit and was smiling. He had on a ridiculous tie that was glowing, kind of like a lava lamp, or something from the sixties. I was amused by the tie, so I asked him where he got it. He replied that I gave it to him. That was it. Dream over.

Although the dream itself was fairly harmeless, maybe even funny, it left an emotional hangover that carried into the next few days. It made me feel profoundly sad and with a longing to turn back the clock. I tried to write down my thoughts on this dream several times but could never quite get through it. It did'nt help that in the meantime I watched Jon Voigt in the Five People You Meet In Heaven . Which cracked me open just a little bit wider than I already was. I've added this movie to my top 5 all time favourite movies.

I try not to analyze my dreams to much. The furballs that our subconscious throws up to us are mostly meant to be ignored. But there was something that kept eating at me about this dream.

While trying to understand the dream a little voice kept mumbling the word empathy. Empathy? Yeah, like remembering all the bewildered people in Afghanistan and Iraq who are missing family members. Or the families of Canadian and American soldiers who regardless of their political view are now going through a horrible grieving process. If grief and loss means anything at all should it mean you become more fully human in that you can understand someone else's grief? I'm embarassed that self-pity is almost always the first recourse. If empathy is important then how as a Canadian can I be the least bit comfortable with Canada's New Government which sees Military Machismo as our new international identity. I understand a little bit more, but not nearly enough, about grief and empathy. I also know who I'm NOT voting for in the next federal election. Which I hope is soon. Please recommend this post

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