My mother passed away from ALS complications in July of 2014. It wasn’t unexpected, the disease tends to take individuals faster the older they are- the doctors had given my mom about 3 years from the date of diagnosis. My mother and I had a close relationship when I became an adult and I considered her one of my best friends, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, and my rock, so when she died I was pretty devastated even though our entire family knew it was coming. I think about her all the time and since her passing I dream of her often. I cannot say for sure if she is actually reaching out to me or if these are just figments of my imaginative mind creating dreams involving her. I tend to have very vivid, strange, and sometimes lucid dreams on the regular. Anyway, here they are in order of occurrence (although I don’t have specific dates):

Dream 1- Shortly after she died, around November 2014, the dream started off where my whole family was in a hotel lobby, we were all on vacation together. We were waiting for a set of 4 elevators, 2 on opposite walls of each other, to take us up to our rooms. The hotel lobby elevators were framed in a gilded gold and the walls around them were blue sky and clouds. It sounds weird, but it was like a moving wall-paper with the clouds floating upwards. There was a huge grand staircase in white marble to the right of a pair of elevators where people could walk up to the 2nd floor if they wished. Parts of the dream I seem to be watching from above at ceiling level and sometimes I am seeing through my eyes. The hotel seemed very upscale in an old-school classic luxury kind of way. Everyone decided we would climb the stairs instead of waiting for the elevators. (Now, I should point out that at the end stages of ALS, individuals have zero mobility and my mother was relegated to a special motorized wheelchair my dad used to get her around.). I looked over and my older brother and my dad were holding my mom up on either side and they were walking her to the staircase, with her arms dangling uselessly around their necks and her feet dragging on the floor behind her. In the dream I thought to myself about how they were going to have a hard time carrying her up all those stairs because she was unable to help in any way. They were walking ahead of me and I walked behind them to catch her in case she fell. As we walked up the staircase my mom slowly gained more and more mobility until she was able to walk on her own without the assistance of my dad and brother. In the dream I even thought “Hey! Mom is walking again!”. Then I woke up/don’t remember the rest of it. I think this was her way of showing me that after she passed away she became whole and healthy again. She never spoke and the dream had a happy/upbeat feeling.

Dream 2- This one was much more sad. I was in a grocery store shopping when I caught a glimpse of my mother down an aisle. I raced after her but I couldn’t find her. I was running all around the store, crying and telling everyone “I saw her! I saw my mom!” but no one would believe me. I was so devastated in the dream, crying uncontrollably. The next morning my husband said he thought I was having a nightmare because I was whimpering and making crying noises. If I were to interpret this, I would think she is trying to tell me that although I may not see her, she is there and not to let others decide this for me but I’m open to others’ interpretations.

Dream 3- This one occurred this spring. It’s just a snippet of a dream. I have a close-up image of my mom talking to me; I want to say we were sitting side-by-side on park bench but I never actually saw the bench because the visual is just of my mom’s upper body. The odd thing is my vantage point is behind and slightly to the left of my back, as though I was just watching us have conversation but only focusing on my mom. I never saw myself per se, but I “knew” she was talking to me- her body was kind of turned towards where my body was sitting- she wasn’t looking towards where I was watching from. She looked like she did in the end stages of her ALS with no make-up, hair not done, wearing a plain black tee-shirt but she seemed happy. In the dream I see her smiling and laughing at something I said or something from our discussion but I have no recollection of what was discussed. There was no sound and behind her was an all white background. It was such a quick, short dream but I remember it vividly and because of that I think she and I did meet to talk/catch-up.

Dream 4- this one happened just the other night, August 6th. In the dream, my dad, mom, oldest brother and I were at a bed and breakfast together. A very quaint house and the owners were gourmet chefs that catered on the side- (not really relevant but my dreams are so specific and odd!). They were putting on this big meal for our family for staying there. My mom was in her motorized wheelchair but she was still able to move her arms and speak. At some point, she received this delivery, a “bin”. I’m not sure how else to describe it- it was akin to a large white basket with a lid that had 6-8 symmetrical holes in the top so that it almost resembled a honeycomb but with circles instead of hexagonal shapes. This “bin” was from heaven. In the dream, we all knew it was from heaven and in one of the lid holes there was a scroll. I asked my mom what the scroll said and she said “They need me there” and I replied “Not yet, Mom. Not yet.”. The dream was bizarre and I have no positive or negative emotions from it. I told my husband about it and he seems to think that maybe my mom is trying to tell me that I still cling to her too much and that I must let her go, which certainly makes sense, but I don’t feel like I’m clinging, really. I mean, I miss her and think about her all the time but that doesn’t seem too unusual because she’s only been gone for slightly more than a year. Or perhaps she was just telling me she had to go back and our visit was over for now. I wish I had a true explanation.

The last thing I’ll add is one auditory thing that happened to me. After my mom died in July, my dad came to visit us that September. With him he brought a bunch of perfumes that my mom use to wear. She had a massive collection of perfumes and she passed this hobby on to me as I have a [growing] collection myself. Anyway, he didn’t have a need for them so he brought them to me knowing I would make good use of them. One afternoon, everyone was out running errands and my dad was having lunch with a friend of his that lives in our city. I was left alone without anything to really do so I decided to go through these perfumes to see which ones I would want to keep. As I started smelling them one-by-one, I got teary-eyed because the smells reminded me of her. Her death was still pretty fresh so it wasn’t long before I was truly crying when all of a sudden I heard her voice clearly say “Oh, don’t cry, honey”. She said it in a way that was almost like the way you would tell a child not to cry when they spilled something- kind of laughing a little because you know how silly it is to cry over something like that. Gentle, sympathetic but amused at the same time. I wasn’t scared or even shocked when I heard it but through all of my sniffling I could only muster a feeble “hi mom”. That’s the only time I’ve ever experienced something like that.