Though sleep is even more decessary during intense grief than it is at other times, nightmares about your loss can make sleep something you’d rather avoid. Dream-state sleep is when our minds do the deep, heavy work of breaking down the reality of loss into absorbable pieces.
Recurrent dreams and nightmares don’t bring solutions or offer portents for the future. They’re the creative, associative mind trying to orient itself to loss. That doesn’t make them any easier.
Your entire system is working so hard to help you survive, and recurrent dreams and nightmares are often part of that process. It’s healthy, and “healthy” just feels like sh*t sometimes.
When you’ve had a grief nightmare, you might recognize it, name it, as your mind trying hard to process this loss. Something as simple as repeating to yourself, “My mind is trying to make space for this,” can help calm your mind and soothe your nervous system when a grief nightmare wakes you.
How has grief impacted your dreams and nightmares? Let us know in the comments.
Wishing for some company inside your grief? The very best place I know to connect YOU with other grieving folks is inside the Writing Your Grief community. Today is the last day to register for the November session – last session of the year! When you feel invisible inside your grief, these folks see you. When your friends have their own sh*t to deal with and you can’t lean on them, your WYG family is there. If you’d like extra support during this holiday season, follow this link to join us.