Nightmare #301 – Dear Dead Dad

(Male, 50’s) I dreamt about my dad last night. He’s been dead for over twenty years. I was cleaning in his basement which was a mess when he died. Crap everywhere. All sorts of stuff. Half finished projects, materials to do other jobs around the house, papers spilling out of filing cabinets and a far amount of crap I had no idea what the hell it was. By the way, this is pretty true to what happened when he died. His basement work area was a mess and it took me an awfully long time to clean it up and get the house sold. But I suppose if anyone dies unexpectedly there’s going to be a lot of unfinished business. In the dream I moved a piece of furniture in the basement and I found a doorway in the floor. I never knew THAT was there, I remember thinking in the dream. It was just big enough for me to crawl through. There was another basement underneath the first one. It was a mess too, though just a bit more organized perhaps. Maybe like an over stocked thrift store.

But the weirdest thing was that my dad was there. He was the same age as he was when he died. He was wearing a white t-shirt and work pants. He’d been down there the whole time, I figured. It would take some getting used to, him being alive again. I’d have to introduce him to folks. We didn’t exactly have a bad relationship but we didn’t always get along. I don’t think it was his fault or my fault. We just didn’t get along as well as we could have. He was kind of surprised to see me and not exactly happy either. I was interrupting. I didn’t really want to tell him I’d been clearing out his workshop in the upper basement but he figured out anyway. He was more than irritated. He was angry about what had happened since he died, about how I’d tried to clear his stuff out of the basement.

Next thing I know, he’s got my brother in a death hold, like he’s trying to kill him. A couple things strange with this picture. My old man was NEVER violent. He was always calm and gentle. Very peaceful, really. A real gentleman. But the guy in my dream was murderous and enraged. He was physically destroying my brother, wrestling with him, battering him. And the other strange thing is that I don’t have a brother. Never did. I knew I had to save this guy, this “brother,” so I looked around for something I could use. I found a long bread knife and a sledge hammer. And I hit my dad with the hammer. Only I don’t hit him with the head of the hammer. I use the handle of the hammer which is hardly effective.

Then things get really weird. I tell my dad to relax and imagine all the pieces of paper that were written about him during his entire life. Every document, every record, every report card, every bill, every bank statement, every love letter. Then add to that pile every piece of paper he read or even looked at. Every magazine, every book, every porno picture, every postcard. It would be a huge pile but it still would be a finite amount. Then I told him to imagine selecting out only the most important pages, the ones that really “got” him, whether they were good or bad. Imagine someone who loved him saved all the pages that described him in a favorable light, but that that collection of pages got lost. All that remained was the collection of pages that described his unfavorable characteristics. I told him not to worry. No one who found that other collection of pages, those bad descriptions, no one who found those pages would ever think that they fully described him. They’d know there were good things that weren’t mentioned.

Then I woke up. Strangest thing.

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