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Just a Dreamer

A woman in a red sleeveless top stands next to a statue in a cemetery in Buenos Aires. She is smiling and petting a cat at the base of the statue. The caption reads 'First adventure post loss - Buenos Aires.

One of my friends has a simple yet powerful intro on his Facebook profile: "just a dreamer." I find that phrase incredibly heartfelt. As an end-of-life doula, my work revolves around supporting those who are terminally ill and their loved ones, each navigating their unique stages of grief. But what does it mean to be "just a dreamer" when the person you hold most dear is nearing the end of their life?

Walking alongside someone who is approaching death leaves a permanent mark on both life and the ability to dream. However, this impact varies for everyone. Every person I have lost, each beloved soul that has departed, has affected me in distinct ways and prompted different forms of grief. Nonetheless, the void in my heart never completely fills. I find myself altered—toughened yet fragile, more inclined towards self-expression, and at times more introspective. The extent of these changes fluctuates, influenced by the day, the hour, the very moment...

So, what does dreaming mean for those immersed in the depths of their grief? What does it truly mean to be a dreamer? For me, it encompasses cherishing the memories of words spoken by the departed or the way they gazed at me with profound love. It's the gentle nudge to stay present, calmly observing both the beauty and the struggles unfolding around and within me. It's that initial realization, after their passing, when I catch myself planning an adventure to a distant place. It doesn't mean that grief has ended; rather, a part of me returns to myself, fully embracing this new reality. I gradually soften, growing curious about what lies ahead. I yearn to step into this unfamiliar terrain and shape it according to my desires, determining how my relationship with the departed will endure and how I will commemorate and celebrate their life. In essence, I aspire to embody the qualities of being "just a dreamer."


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