holding hands grieving after loss

When we lose a loved one, what is it we want most.

In my cases, I kept saying over and over, “I want her back,” “I just want her back!”

Well, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. As I found, as did many before me, death
is so final. It’s the end, it’s over, a life is just gone. There’s no bringing our loved one back.

So, what’s the next best thing.

Precious Dreams!

How do we do that? Find those elusive dreams. It may be much easier than you think.

Research says, by laying on a bed of fragrant Rose petals, it is possible to have a sweet
dream. But, according to science, it is not possible to target a specific dream.

We grievers are not so much interested in a specific dream, we just want to see our loved
one–one more time. Perhaps, hold them in our arms. It is possible, you know.

If you are grieving, when life becomes so vivid, it seems surreal, you, my friend, are a good
candidate for some lost loved one dreams. (That was me) Your senses are already elevated
to a place where non grievers, can’t go. And that’s why folks don’t often understand grievers.
Our minds work from a higher level of consciousness, and can create a complexity to us that
others quite simply don’t, understand. But that’s okay.

I know, I know. It sounds like voodoo magic, or something out of a Science Fiction show. But, it isn’t.
It’s real, and perhaps you can do it too. At least give it a try.

Follow my lead on this, the truth

When Annie died, I was so broken and lost. I really didn’t care if I lived or died. Day to day without her,
was unbearable. The grief and loneliness would come at me like large waves, one after the other, hitting
the sea shore. And there was no barrier to slow them down. All my emotional reserves got caught up in
the world of cancer and had dissipated. I truly was wandering in the darkness without a shield.

Then, life happened.

One evening, not long after her death, when I laid down on my sofa, which was still about 5 feet or so from
her hospital bed, the place where she lived for 30 months, and eventually died, I noticed the sports bandage
she wore on her hand. She broke her pinky finger a few weeks before she passed and the sports bandage
provided good support.

She would rub Sweet Pea Jasmine oil on the sports bandage and wheel herself around the living room in
her wheelchair, wiping the oil on our cloth furniture and curtains, making our home smell beautiful.

The sports bandage was significant in that, I thought, that if I were to wipe some of the oil on my pillow,
it might invoke a dream of her, despite the scientific data saying otherwise..

So I got up off the couch and walked into the dining room where she kept her oil. I was absolutely shocked,
when I saw what I was led too. Her Angel perfume, that she wore for approximately19 years was laying
beside the oil. Instinctively, I knew or felt that I had stumbled onto something with so much potential. And
believe me, it turned out to be an experience, that to this day, was quite simply amazing, and certainly
altered my way of thinking, forever.

I laid down and said a prayer, asking the creator if I could see her one more time. I needed to know that she
was okay. Annie suffered many diseased and broken bones from her cancer. It left her legs very weak, and
unstable. Her spine had collapsed in the 3rd week of her cancer, which left her back, badly bowed. She was
always in pain and suffering.

I sprayed her perfume on my pillow case and laid down and eventually fell asleep.

It was a life altering, game changing, mind blowing, call it what you want type of experience,
and no doubt a gift to me.

The Dream

Annie was standing beside her hospital bed, jumping around in the new pajamas I’d bought for
her, letting me know by turning from side to side that her spine was now healed and her legs were
strong and steady. I never saw her face, but I didn’t need to. I knew it was her.

My take on the dream–She wanted me to know that she was finally free of all the torment and pain
she had been suffering.

Annie and I started dabbling in Antiques in the 1970’s. And ended up running two successful antique

In one of my dreams, we were at a Flea Market and finding all kinds of treasures, little goodies, and
having a blast together. It felt as if she’d never left. But alas, all good things must end, some day.

I woke up in the morning, and became very disappointed when I realized that Annie was not beside me,
and the treasures, well, the dream was a treasured memory and will last a life time.

Over a relatively short period of time, I had various different dreams, and it seemed, all my questions
were being answered.

One of my dreams was very curiously strange, but still, it was a dream and better than nothing.

In this dream, I was sitting on our sofa in the living room. Annie came walking in with a beautiful skirt
and blouse on. Her face looked lovely and her eyes were smiling.

She asked me if I would like to meet her friends.

I said, “I would love too.”

Her friends came walking in from the kitchen area, one person at a time. There were seven of them.
The first person was a male, then a female, and so on. They all had big smiles, walked with rather
stiff legs, over to, and sat around our fire place. It was, kind of strange, they were just sitting there and

Annie! Those people are dead.

I know, their my friends.

I woke immediately. It scared me a bit at first, but as I gave it more thought, she sure looked beautiful and
was happy. Her friends, well, they must have been nice or she would not have been with them.

And I think, at that point, my subconscious was helping me accept the fact that she was no longer physically
with me, nor would she ever be. Of course, that’s my interpretation. “We must move on.”

When invoking dreams, one must take the good with the bad. If you were a caregiver for a terminally ill person
as was I, and witnessed as much trauma and pain as did I, you set the stage for quite possibly a psychic
traumatic dream. In other words, the dream is linked to psychic trauma. They’re not good dreams, nor uncommon
among folks that suffered from witnessing as much trauma as I. They can be very unsettling, but I believe they
were a part of my healing process.

I had a question that kept running through my mind. “I can’t let go of her, until she lets go of me.”

I spoke to my psychologist about those words, and he said in a soft voice, “Bob, she’s not holding onto you.”

Feeling very unsatisfied and unfulfilled, I did the only thing I could do. When I laid down that night, I said my
prayer, and asked my creator for clarification on my question. Then I sprayed my pillowcase with her Angel
perfume and closed my eyes and waited.

The dream I had was incredible.

Annie and I were running over what appeared to be a grassy slope. We were hand in hand, arms swinging
in unison, like a couple of kids. When the dream ended, we were standing on an old porch. Annie had let
go of my hand. There was a lady with dark hair standing in the doorway behind an old fashioned screen door.
I looked at her, then turned to Annie who had her hand extended to me. She wanted to slap hands. I reached
over and gently slapped my hand against hers. She gave me a beautiful smile, turned, stepped off the porch,
and disappeared.

I believe Annie was telling me through my dream, that when I’m ready it’s was okay to move on. She’d just
let go of me.

My psychologist was right. I was hanging onto her, and she helped me understand that, “it can only or, will
ever be Annie and Bobby in my dreams.” It was a hard pill to swallow at the time, but I knew the clock was
ticking and if I didn’t fight the beast, called grief, I would get left behind. She was moving on.

The touch

Earlier, I mentioned it’s possible to feel you’re loved one. Here’s my one and only experience with her touch
and it was painfully beautiful.

(In all my dreams, with the exception of this one, when I mention, for example, Annie was holding my hand,
I have a visual of her holding my hand, but I can’t actually feel it.)

I was sitting on a stool near our large garage door opening, on the left side if you were walking up to the garage.
My daughter Melissa was with me.

My left arm started gently rising up for no apparent reason. I felt something take hold of my hand, gently
maneuvering me off the bench.

I said to Melissa, “Mom is holding my hand.” I couldn’t see her, but from her touch, and the feel, I knew it was
her. She started slowly and gently pulling me down the driveway, as if taking me on a walk. Melissa was following
behind us. We stopped and I put my arm around her side, feeling her body form as if it were real. By touch,
I could feel my arm around her body, and tell she had some sort of sweater on. So Amazing.

I said, “yes, I can feel you.”

She said, “Only for a painful moment.”

It was terribly painful feeling her touch, one more time, and having to let go.

To this day, I can still feel that touch in my memory. Not many folks can say that.

An if you’re curious, I documented these dreams after they happened. Being able to touch her, was
the dream of May 20th, 2011. Seven months post death.

On 6 July 2011, I stopped trying to invoke dreams. All my questions, the ones that troubled me the most
had been answered. And I was going to accept the gifts (dreams) for what they were. I knew nothing good
could come out of me continually trying to find her, as it was not going to happen. It was time for healing.

Still, I had dreams of her, but, most were segmented and hard to understand.

To this day, I still have dreams of Annie. Some are very good, some are bad, and some are noteworthy.

If you reread that last paragraph again, you’ll notice, I’m not talking about pain or suffering, trauma or anything else.

Because, I’m a survivor. Grief can no longer deceive, torment, or hurt me, and loneliness is now a product of my
own making. And, I can fix that if, and when, the notion strikes me.

One thing for sure. I will keep writing as long as my voice is not silenced, and I can help others.

My heart, soul, and spirit is vested into helping others now, and I see no reason to change that.

I wish you all, the best.

Visit Annie’s online memorial

Written by Bob Harrison
Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”

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  1. sniff This is beautiful

  2. Michelle Falkner Butler, I read this and thought of you! Love hugs misses


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