Conviction in the Crazy: Past Lives or a Hyperactive Imagination

I have a hyperactive imagination. So it makes sense that I would think I’ve dreamt of my past life before. Because I’m crazy. That is the only logical explanation. I’m crazy.

When I was a kid, third grade ish, I dreamt of my death, but it wasn’t me. Here’s what I could recall:

Cream-colored ankle-length nightgown, really conservative and dowdy looking but made of fine, elegant material; long, thick hair, kind of like the long, thick hair I have now; being surrounded by my loved ones during my final moments, being the calm one assuring them that everything would be okay, being loved deeply by them, feeling that love, and…

…holding out and fighting off death waiting for my husband to return.

He was away and I wanted to see him one last time. He was an absentee kind of man. Never home, not because it was a loveless marriage–in fact, far from that. But rather, he was a merchant of some sort, had something to do with ships. I recall incessantly asking this fellow whether the message (?) was sent to my husband, the fellow repeatedly assuring me it was, and me being impatient about it all. There was some sort of note or message I was determined to get to him. That’s what I recall.

I died not having seen the so-called hubby one last time, as was my wish. However, everything else could not have been more perfect. I clearly lived privileged and I must have been a decent human being because the people around me all seemed to be genuine and sincere with their affections.

It was a recurring dream, or maybe daydream, or just some flash of memory-that’s-not-really-memory in my mind that I’m not articulating very well here. I had it again in seventh grade. I could even draw this:


So okay, that isn’t exactly drawn to scale, but you get the idea. For instance, there’s more space than that between the bed and the dresser, but my sketching ability is shoddy.

Give or take, I believe that to be what I saw a lot, from “my” perspective in this surreal-life-that’s-purportedly-mine. It was a beautiful, large, comfy bed with these long, high wooden bedposts. I cannot recall whether there was a canopy, but the bedposts were detailed and ornate. There was a rug. There was that dresser as I’ve (horribly) sketched out. Illumination of the room came from candles or lamps — actual flames, that is — sitting on the dresser. There was the entrance way, just off to one corner beyond the foot of the bed. I recall moments alone in that room, standing in front of that dresser in that ankle-length shapeless cream nightgown, looking at my reflection, missing my husband, holding the lamp/flame things.

That is where I passed.

On my deathbed, in this hyperactive imagination of mine, that corner as illustrated was crowded…except the husband wasn’t there, the one person I wanted to see. I passed very peacefully, very content, surrounded by sobbing people. I wasn’t elderly either. I recall that my hair still had color to it; it wasn’t graying or silver like my grandmother’s. But there was just that one minor matter of disappointment left unfinished…

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