Maria Isabel Pita – Asking My Dead Grandparents Questions in Lucid Dreaming
I’m part of a small group of people in a large room waiting for the speaker, a spiritual figure reminiscent of Gandhi, thin and old, and so frail he has to crawl across the floor. I am closest to him and when he looks at me I promptly lift him in my arms and set him on top of a platform from which he will address the sadly scant gathering. I stay close to him, sitting on the floor, in case he needs me. I don’t remember what he says, only that he imparts a single vital truth.
Afterward, he has me take note of how many people believed him by looking across the space to the top of what I can only describe as bleachers where bare trees are growing, and amidst their branches I make out the numbers 3 and 9, meaning 3 out of 9 people have real faith.
There is a woman lying on a palette directly before us, ill, dying, her face set in an expression of skeptical resistance too mild to be called despair, it’s more like her cynicism is so deeply ingrained she confuses her weak stubbornness with realistic strength. I understand all this just by looking at her and I know there’s nothing I can tell her if she didn’t listen to the spiritual teacher…
…I’m making my way down. The interior is amorphous and white and I have no sense of stairs, I’m simply moving down, calling out for someone, maybe Papi, as I pass what my mind equates with check-out stands where there may be some shadowy figures. I don’t really notice because from far below me I hear Abuela’s voice answer my call.
I keep moving downward in a broad spiral, listening to her distinct voice saying something to me I can’t make out, she is so far away, but I’m really happy she’s there and that I’m heading her way. When I reach what feels like ground level, I immediately see her walk out from behind a wall, emerging from what my brain wants to see as a clothing store, probably because she worked in one for a while in waking reality.
Her face and skin are distinct, it’s Abuela, and tonight Abuelo is with her. They’re here to meet me, and I’m very happy about that, it’s just like when I was a kid and the three of us would spend an evening out at the mall having dinner and then they would buy me a record or a book. I’m lucid, I know this is a dream, and I’m grateful, almost humbled, they’re still taking care of me, and yet as we walk I whine, ‘But why can’t Papi be here too?’ realizing even as I speak that I’m acting like a spoiled child. Of course he can’t always be here on the Other Side when I am just as he was very often not home in WR, because he has work to do now as he did then.
I don’t recall the transition from the white interior to a dark empty parking lot, only that my grandparents and I are in a jolly mood, in such high spirits, in fact, we’re joking about the ‘process’ we’re all familiar with. A specific protocol has to be followed to get where we’re going that, in a serious and yet jesting fashion, symbolically involves passionately throwing two pairs of glasses onto the asphalt so that the lenses pop out of the frames.
I’m smiling as I bend down to retrieve both the frames and the lenses, two of which are a dark violet color. I then open the trunk of the extremely small car and stow my small suitcase in it as my grandparents get into the front seat. I slam the trunk closed before a young woman holding her own suitcase can slip it into our car. I know she’s desperate to catch a ride out of this empty lot, but she can’t come with us. I feel a twinge at leaving her alone, but she’s got to wait for her own ride; she can’t hitchhike to the Other Side just because she’s desperate to.
I slip into the backseat of the tiny, almost square egg-shaped vehicle. Abuela is in the driver’s seat, but I can’t say she’s driving; she just sits there wearing a contented and patient smile. I lean forward as my lucidity kicks into full gear and I realize I have a perfect opportunity to ask questions about the Other Side. I ask Abuelo, ‘Do you have days there?’ choosing ‘days’ over ‘time’ as I know there’s no time on the Other Side.
He says there indeed are days and the first thing they do is have a big meeting. He elaborates, ‘We have a lot of work to do’ and I understand he means on himself, which makes perfect sense. I ask, ‘Who was the first person you saw when you died?’ He replies, after thinking about it for a moment, ‘My father.’ Then I ask Abuela the same question and she replies without hesitation, ‘My mother.’
I quickly keep going, wanting to glean as much detailed information as possible. ‘What was the first thing you saw when you died?’ Abuela answers in a dreamy, profoundly gratified voice, ‘Warm buff leather furniture’ sounding as though that’s what she had always wanted. ‘Are there animals on the Other Side?’ At once Abuelo replies, ‘No.’ I echo, ‘No? There must be animals.’ How could Merlin or Arthur not be there, my beloved doggies?
He says, ‘Is it too much to ask that you help other people?’ and I somehow clearly understand there are no animals on the Other Side because they are living expressions of the human soul which is mysteriously whole after death, and that doggies like mine are sent to earth to help people and have a different form on the Other Side, but what that form is I can’t grasp just then, maybe because this information was not contained in what Abuelo said to me.
Then suddenly we’re inside a house and he’s turning to me with a knowing, fondly exasperated look, grasping my shoulders as he looks into my eyes and tells Abuela, ‘She’s dead,’ and I know he means I’m beginning to wake up. I protest, ‘No, I’m not!’ feeling quite stable and lucid, but he’s gently pushing me back against a wall facing a small kitchen, clearly waiting for me to wake.
What’s striking is that he doesn’t look like Abuelo even when he was young, and yet I know this man, he feels very familiar, like family, but his eyes, looking straight into mine, are a striking blue. I can’t look away, I’m still staring into those vivid blue eyes and seeing his knowing, affectionate smile, when I phase out of the dream.
Dream Notes: I think in the very last scene I might have been in James’ kitchen nook with my back pressed against the wall our door is in.
I felt energized and happy, not at all sad. It was like the best times I ever had with them were distilled into a pure pleasure/love in each others company on a journey of growth, symbolized by the car, that would never end.
I think the vital truth imparted by the spiritual teacher had to do with the fear that our consciousness relies on the brain and hence the physical body, a truth the dying woman on the palette wanted to believe but couldn’t truly feel in her heart.
After my mother read the dream, she told me that my grandmother’s father, who died at the age of 28 when she was just a little girl, had blue eyes. I never knew that.
I also think Abuela’s happiness when she spoke of the ‘warm buff leather couches’ has to do with finally being comfortable after years of back pain caused by a curvature in her spine, which made it impossible for her to relax in her body.