Would it seem odd to you if I told you that what’s helping me cope with grief right now are beautiful dresses?
I couldn’t have come up with a coping mechanism as unique as this one. It came to me in a dream.
In real life, I’d flown to be at my father’s side when he suddenly got ill and was in the ICU in Fergus Falls. That first night in Minnesota I went to bed not knowing if the next day would be his last.
I woke up that morning having had the most vivid, delicious dream about a cocktail dress. In the dream, I had been shopping with a long-time client of mine who knows a lot about my dad. This is what I shared with her in an email later that night.
Sharing my dream with the client who was at the center of it
I wanted to tell you that I woke up this morning from such a pleasant dream with you at the heart of it.
We were shopping at Wilkes Bashford and things were on sale. We weren’t shopping for anything in particular. Just enjoying looking at what was on the racks. You found a few fun things.
And then somehow I got talked into trying on this gorgeous cocktail party dress.
“This will never fit me,” I said.
It also was a bit revealing, and that wasn’t exactly a look for a one-breasted woman. It was sexy Gucci on top and ladylike Valentino on the skirt part. I tried it on, and it was magnificent. It gave me a figure I’ve never had and the bodice part didn’t reveal my surgery at all.
But where would I ever wear it? I thought.
And then I woke up here in Fergus Falls, MN in real life, with my dad in declining health in the ICU just around the block.
I’d gotten word on Monday from my brother Kirk that he thought we should come. I got tickets immediately, and Tuesday morning my twin brother and I flew out of SFO.
What with the stopover in Chicago (nothing flies to Fargo directly), it was 5 pm when we got to Fargo. My niece picked us up, and we were at the hospital an hour later.
Dad was on a serious super duper respiratory machine but as clear-headed and conversational as ever. Gosh, he’s a charmer! I gave him bunches of kisses on his forehead and stroked that fabulous head of hair of his.
He’d had lots of visitors that afternoon, and now my siblings were there plus nieces and a couple of his great-grandchildren. It was a party atmosphere. So joyous and fun. And he loved being at the center of it all. What a smile he has.
He deteriorated during the night, and this morning the party was over. He was in distress. The doctor met with us and suggested this was the time for comfort care. Within 5 hours of that conversation, he passed. We were all there with him.
I’m heading to bed, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have shopping dreams again tonight. I’m so thankful we got here in time and that all the family was together.
Erin left for Hawaii this morning and is there now. As you know, I was supposed to be there too with Caitlin and Baby Viv. Plans do change on a dime.
Love to you, dear.
More dresses after that
The first morning after returning home from Minnesota, I woke up from another brilliant dream about a dress. This gown was spectacular. It was floor-length, a simple straight cut in a floral print that was smothered in layers of clear crystal beads. It was being tried on by a woman over sixty with long wavy gray hair. She was attending an event and needed help with the accessories. I was more than happy to oblige.
Even for me–someone with a history of working with fashion for over three decades–the appearance of these stunning dresses in my dreams made me a bit curious.
Following the cue of my dreams, I pulled out some of my coffee table couture fashion books. I started looking for beautiful dresses resembling the ones in my dreams. What was it about fancy dresses?
Finding healing light in beauty
The dresses sparkle and shine. Their luster grabs my imagination. I don’t have to be wearing one of these dresses to appreciate the workmanship and design of them. The mere appearance of them excites me, lightens my spirit, and brings me joy.
These last few days have been hard to manage. I feel like I’m walking through dense fog, hardly able to see the path ahead. Yet sequins, beads, and the beautiful patterns of fancy dresses offer me a bridge to the faith that I will find my way.
This too shall pass, although I hope the dreams of beautiful dresses stick around for a while.
You always have such great insight. Is there something you can share with me to help me understand what’s happening? Do share.