Spirit, Dreams and Aging.

Sometimes it’s only in looking back that we recognize the messages of spirit. If we were more intuitive, we might feel spirit beating us over the head to pay attention as we navigate our path. We would recognize spirit acknowledging situations and lending support.  This blog is about my sister and my father. In hindsight, it started with a Gorilla Dream.

My 90-year-old Dad has experienced two serious medical events in the last nine months.  This resulted in him moving to assisted living. My sister coordinated and participated in the move which required an enormous amount of work. In watching her kindness and commitment to our Dad, I have never loved her more.

Beth had a dream the week prior to going to move our Dad. In the dream there was a gorilla.   Her concern was that the gorilla would find and hurt her dog Betty.  She was frantic looking for Betty.  She never saw Betty in the dream but knew she was there. The gorilla did not hurt anything.

We talked about her dream after my father’s move and believe it was spirit saying this was her role and the right move for our Dad.  That would have been supportive to know ahead of time.

In this case her dog Betty, who died a couple years ago was in the dream to get Beth to notice the dream.  Betty being in spirit brought the Gorilla to my sister’s attention. Betty’s spirit recognized Gorilla spirit would be helpful to Beth.  During the dream Beth was fearful thinking the gorilla was dangerous.  That was not the case.

Gorilla Symbolism/meaning says this: 

“Gorilla has a global mindedness, at least within their element, focusing more on the responsibility for the whole rather than being selfish.   Care for both young and old members of Gorilla’s troop is a shared effort.  Where some humans in modern settings push aside either for various reasons, Gorilla seems quite the opposite.  Here Gorilla represents honoring our elders and bringing up children in a cooperative and supportive atmosphere.”  -What is my spirit animal

Furthermore, Gorilla spirit includes nurturing, connection, wisdom, leadership, loyalty, communication, dignity, compassion, gentility and respectfulness.  All of which my sister displayed courageously through her arduous task.  

There are dreams that seem to process events in your day and there are “spirit message” dreams. You know the difference because spirit dreams resonate, and you remember them. 

It is difficult at times to think of aging. The ability to accept there are seasons of life that take on more significance as we age. My Dad’s condition resulted in a “coming down” from an active, involved life into a much slower, gentler one.  He has times of confusion and disorientation that are hard to witness. He tells us he is aware that something is wrong with how is mind and memory are working.  Being aware makes it more difficult…aging is not for the faint of heart.

In the midst of his move and later, he said two things that were poignant. From my perspective they were lessons he unknowingly shared, about grieving along the way. 

Beth had to decide what things would stay and what would move to his much smaller apartment. When the move was complete, she decided to take him back to his old apartment.  He could have one last look around before starting in his new location.  There were still things in the old apartment that the facility donates or disposes of appropriately.  There was a box that contained artwork representing places he had visited with my mother that were being left behind.  He looked at the box and said, “Goodbye my old friends”.  He knew he had to let go of these things.  It was heart wrenching to hear Beth tell me this. But I appreciate that he said it.

Later once settled in his new place we were talking on the phone. He told me it wasn’t supposed to be this way, he wanted to be the little old man walking around the facility where everyone knew him and loved him. He said that isn’t what happened to me.  I told him Dad, they all still know you and love you regardless of which apartment you live in, or your health status. It was another letting go of something important he thought would be a part of the last years of his life.

It was early July prior to my Dad’s second medical event. I was at my sister’s house for the 4th. We had family in from Sweden and my cousin from VA. It was quite fun.  I was out on the water one day riding a wave runner and I saw two eagles flying in tandem.  We literally were going the same speed right up the coastline. It was a beautiful sight; an extended observance.  My brother-in-law talks about the eagles, but I never saw them until that ride.  I noted in my mind that it was meaningful.  I did not know why but I knew that it was.

Later at my home, I saw my Owl who has been there several years now. As strange as it sounds, the owl is like my spiritual companion. It comes when I need to see it.  It comes when I have questions, or concerns and its presence brings comfort to me. The owl sits in two places either on the power line in front of my house or in my dogwood tree.  Especially when it rains.  That night and several nights after, I saw two owls, I wondered if they were mates.  I noted this too as meaningful as I have only seen my singular owl in three years.

After these sightings, my father had his event.  Again, in hindsight, I thought about the pairs of birds both of whom mate for life and I wondered if somehow my mother was present.  If the eagles and owls were spirit reassuring me when the time came and my father was in need, my mother was watching over him.  That spirit is always there supporting, waiting and guiding.  Will we let it in? Do we want to know what it has to say to us? I like to think so. 

It’s the times that test us most when we become more available to thinking of spiritual things.  Would we be kinder, more loving people if we looked for spirit more often?  Maybe.

I cherish this period of time with my sister and my Dad. For our togetherness as a family and the tenderness of heart I feel for both of them.    I am grateful for spirit, dreams and the process of aging. May we do it gracefully with open minds and hearts.

Until next time,

Sat Nam.