I’ve been having recurring dreams lately that I used to have a few years ago and it’s left me confused and sad.

I keep dreaming that my grandmother hadn’t actually passed away from her cancer and that she was still alive and living in her home. In my dream for some reason our family and her are estranged from one another and it’s been that long that we’ve come to think that she had passed away. As the dream goes on I lament to mum that I still miss nanny and wish she hadn’t passed away to which mum replies “she hasn’t died… she still lives in her house, we just don’t visit her any more.” I’m always horrified at the thought and decide to go and visit her.
When I get to the gate of the house I’m always overcome with fear that she may reject me, and fear that she will be angry that we’ve neglected her for so long, which is usually followed by a deep sense of shame and guilt.
I go inside and she is thinner than she was before by a little bit and looks similar to when she was ill. She comments about the fact that we haven’t visited her sometimes she says “Oh remembered where I live hey?” or “Nice of you to bother seeing me” or “finally decided I was worth visiting again?” To which I’m covered with a sense of shame and guilt again.
I find myself wanting to tell her that we’d been told she had died but I want to protect my relatives too so I don’t tell her anything and instead tell her that I’ve missed her so much.
We get to talking and she reveals that she is in remission but that her chances aren’t very good because she left everything until it was too late.
She also tells me that she knows why no one visits her any more and it’s because everyone can’t handle her being ill again. So rather than go through all the anguish again they’ve all just drifted away from her and she’s just simply been forgotten.
I’m always returning home to tell mum about my visit and about how embarrassed I am and it’s usually at this point that I wake up.

Nanny when she was younger than I am now

It takes me a while when I wake up to realise that it was just a dream and that she isn’t with us any more and then I feel depressed and almost to the point of grieving all over again. Sometimes in my waking life I go to say things like “we should tell nanny about that” or “I’m going to go visit her” and I always catch myself just before I say it thinking how crazy real have these dreams felt.

I do miss Nanny so much though. We were soul mates and together we could be mischievous, silly, creative, emotional and a little selfish. She was my practical joke partner and the person I told my secret dreams to. She was my number 1 fan and I hers. She gave me red cordial when mum said not to and most importantly she taught me not to worry about what other people think (a lesson I still struggle with today). Sometimes when I try to be cheeky and play a joke I can hear her laughing with me and that’s just wonderful.


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