Advice from My (Dead) Father


No, I am not talking about literal messages from beyond the grave. But for you to really understand what I am talking about, I have to back up.

My father died in 1993. Of those of us who are still alive, I suspect I knew him (arguably) better than anyone else. It was the usual father-son relationship. I idolized him and yet flinched at his harsh words. When I was young, I predictably wasn’t that much interested in what he had to teach me. Later, when I was on my own, I realized how much he knew and had to teach me. I ended up picking his brain as much as possible, and learning a lot in the process.

Twenty-one years later, I am closer to him than ever before, but in a different way. In the past few years, I have been dreaming about my father and my mother, who died in 2006. It started out as the usual dreams that most people have. But I am not most people. My dreams are incredibly vivid, and lately I have learned how to control them more and more. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my mother when I told her that my dream wasn’t real and that I would have to leave her, to which she responded, “I know.” Last night, I asked for advice from my father on a foundation problem that we are having.

I don’t believe that I am actually talking to my father, or my mother. Dreams are extensions of our subconscious. I believe (hope) that there is enough of my father in my mind that somehow he can give me advice. Obviously, it is my own brain

My father and mother sit astride his tractor on their land in Oroville, Calif. Circa early 90s.
My father and mother sit astride his tractor on their land in Oroville, Calif. Circa early 90s.

where the advice is coming from, but in my mind it is from my father.

I miss my parents. The first dream mentioned above was traumatic to me, and I woke up weeping. Last night’s dream was refreshing, even if he didn’t have any concrete advice for me. I know that it’s just my memory that I am meeting with, but I will take what I can get. As vivid as my dreams are, they will never be as good as the real thing. But if I can continue to control the dreams, perhaps I can gain something tangible from them as well.

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