Saturday Morning Message: What do your dreams mean?

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Dreams don’t come to all survivors, but when they do, they are vivid. I chose this picture to open the message this week. It shows that love never goes away and a reminder can come at the strangest of times if we just look for it. It breaks through the dawn to show us that our loved ones are still with us. There are several ways the responders this week shared their experiences. I hope you enjoy this week’s message.

clouds break to form a heart in the sky

Remember, you can write to me anytime — to contribute, subscribe or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. I look forward to hearing from you.  My email address is

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to the question: Has a loved one come to you in a dream? How did it make you feel? What was remarkable about it?

From Valerie, wife of Steven, aka Bouncer: Three days after Bouncer had passed, I was standing in the bathroom brushing my hair. Down in the left side of the mirror I saw two spots. As I looked at them they started getting bigger. Then they were turning blue and in a few minutes I saw Bouncer’s face. He looked great. Then in my head I heard him! He told me that he was OK, felt good and not to worry as he was out of pain. He looked wonderful! Then he faded away just as he came. This was weird for sure, but at the same time it made me feel more at ease with everything. Even though he was gone, it helped me not worry so much about him. I felt he was still able to watch over the kids and me. Before he died when he was still able to talk, he said to me that there was one good thing I have to look forward to. I was going to have one bad guardian angel! I feel this was his way of showing me that he was really there for me.

From Alicia, mother of Nathan:  For the first year after my son's death, I was a little disconcerted that I didn't dream about him. More than a few times in the first weeks, I would wake and think, "Oh whew, it was just a dream! He's still alive! I'm going to call him today."  Then reality would come crashing back usually when I would see his memorial urn case in the living room.  

Most times no matter how tired I was, I would think such sad thoughts since we didn’t know how he died until much later. When I finally would fall asleep, I slept so deeply I didn't remember any of my dreams very clearly even when I tried. Over the past few weeks, though, a little over a year since he died, I've remembered dreams with Nathan when he was little. In these dreams, we're shopping and talking or at the zoo or other places we often went when he was a little boy.  He is jumping and running around all excited like he did. I remember, though, that he usually inexplicably turns into the young man he was before he died and I'm able to talk to him not thinking it strange that he grew up nearly before my eyes. At times I've looked for the little boy thinking I've lost him. A few times Nathan has helped me look for him. Most times, though, we just talk. I can't remember exactly what we talk about. Another surprising thing is that when I wake from sleep, I remember the dreams and I feel more comfort rather than sadness.

From Debbie, wife of Thomas: Dreams have been so much in my personal journey. After Tom died, I couldn't fall asleep. When I finally could, I dreamt so many times of him and it used to wake me up. As the dreams became less, I slept more, but felt more alone. Now I wish he were in my dreams. It's like he was with me so real then and now gone. He was my dream.

From Sandra, mother of Joshua: I lost my son to brain cancer two years ago. I have always wanted to believe that when a loved one who has died comes to you in a dream and is happy and in excellent health, then it is really your loved one visiting you. My two dreams are so vivid. Josh is laying sideways on my bed with his arms out in a V shape to support his head. I am sleeping, but I somehow know it is a dream. The room is dark, but there is light coming in from the hallway. He is wearing a long sleeve country western shirt with blue jeans and a belt. His clothes fit him to a T and his hair is cut short. He tells me that he is doing fine and he appears content. We chat for a few minutes. Then he tells me that he is going in the other room to talk to his dad. I assume that he is going to come back. My son does not return. I have another dream months later. Josh and I are at someone else’s house. I am sitting down and he is sitting on a bar stool at a table. He is dressed in running attire and appears healthy and looks glad to see me. Like before, I know it is a dream and that my boy has already died. Josh looks so real. I tell him that. I poke at his leg hesitantly a few times to see if he is solid or translucent. I stand up from my seat and we hug each other twice. It is wonderful and just like old times. In reality, I was not able to tell my son goodbye and it has plagued me. I would like to believe that Josh's visit in my dream and the warm embraces that followed were my son's way of making that possible.  

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

Perry, father of Christopher, sent the question this week. He had been to a workshop at a TAPS seminar and observed others talking about participating in events to honor their loved one. So his question is: What are you doing to honor your loved one? You don’t have to participate in an event. Maybe you volunteer somewhere or do something on a special date. We are looking for your ideas to help others keep their loved one’s memory alive. 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. By sharing coping strategies, together we become stronger. I am always looking for questions for future messages. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in the week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send your response to me by Tuesday morning of the following week. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.


♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song, “Stars,” sung by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was sent by Janae, mother of Brandon, who said that she listens to this song when she’s having a rough day. 

If you have a favorite song for this section, send it to me at

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS Family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).