Dearest Blog,

I just awoke from a bizarre, yet comforting dream this morning. I say this because many of the images would normally be perceived as distressing to say the least, but thanks to my family history of specific-to-us dream interpretation and my own tendency to dream in puns, I awoke grateful of having received this reassuring dream from Mortimer, my West Highland white terrier who died just a little over a week ago, and my mother, who died in 1998.

Here’s the whole dream:
Mortimer and four other Westies were flying in (with Mortimer apparently piloting) a small prop plane when they lost power and had to make an emergency landing. Miraculously, however, the plane’s landing was fairly smooth and out of it crawled all five white dogs, with bright red blood trickling through their fur from various minor injuries. Then actress Penny Marshall (of “Laverne and Shirley” fame) entered the area and stood, wearing a pale blue pantsuit and matching tam and looking as if she were in her late 70s, and smiling benevolently toward the dogs and me as the passive observer.

What I took from this was that Mortimer was sending me a message from his trip to Heaven (as symbolized by his flying a plane among the clouds). His traveling companions could have been my two other departed Westies, Ludwig and Tuppence, as well as my current babies, Blanche and Keely; I didn’t get a close enough look, but I knew Mortimer was the biggest one there and there were four additional Westies. I think his message was that he was all right, he’d survived the “trip” to the Other Side, and either the living and the dead make their journeys together and don’t even realize how close they are to one another or he’s traveling with all the beloved companion animals who’ve passed away, as represented by the many other dogs. Their landing on Earth indicated he could still connect with us on this “earthly plane” even though he’s on another plane of existence. (There’s pun number one.)

The blood, rather than upsetting me, reassured me, as well. In my family’s dream symbology, many things represent other things, often their opposites, giving us a common shorthand for figuring out the meaning of some dreams. For instance, if we dream of death, it means marriage; if we dream of a wedding, it means death. Both tears and blood mean good fortune and happiness. Snakes indicate illness; mud is bad luck, etc. Some other blog I may regale you with tales of my dreams and the uncanny accuracy of these symbols, which have been passed along from generation to generation among those on my mother’s side and are deeply entrenched in our unconscious minds.

Last, the appearance of Penny Marshall, who seemed to be about my mother’s age when she passed away, was the nod to my mother’s message of “pennies from Heaven.” (Pun number two.) Her peaceful, kind visage let me know she was near my precious pets and me as well.

Hence, I awoke with a smile on my face, grateful of the creative ways my loved ones continue to communicate with me.

Devil’s Advocacy Note: And even if you argue this was all generated from within my own brain and has nothing whatever to do with a visitation from the Other Side, I say that it means my subconscious has developed a wonderful way to soothe my mourning heart and bring me peace of mind, as it were, regarding these losses. Either way, the result is I get to move forward a few more baby steps in my grieving process, which is the ultimate goal.

Blessed be,