Healing a Relationship With a Dead Mother

If you have unfinished business with a deceased parent, what can you do? How does that wound affect who you are today?  How does it limit your options? What can you do to heal it? Your dreams regularly comment on how long forgotten early family relationships shape how you view yourself and others today.  If you listen to them, as this lady is doing, you will take a short cut to finding yourself, as opposed to the social identity that you had to become in order to survive.  Use this format and interview yourself today.  You can find the template for interviewing a life issue at and the template for interviewing a dream at http://www.integraldeeplistening.com/dreamquest-the-dream-character-interviewing-game/

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. Health

2. Change of career

3. Living without fear to the extent as if I had never lived with fear.

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

There was a man that I was talking to that had a deep tan and dark hair.  He was telling me what his job was.  I also remember a shelf of books.  I was asking him, probably referring to my father, whether he thought it was bad if you were a soldier for a job.  I was justifying that my father, when West Germany built up its new military after WWII, was one of the first to join it.  I was getting across to this man that I was proud of my father for being a high rank in the military and that I was proud for the values that he stood for.  I was under the impression that this man was of the opinion that he regarded his own job, which brought him more money, as being more valuable than his father’s job.  As I was talking I realized within the dream that the man I was talking to was the real love of my mother’s life.  In the dream my mother was with me somehow and I felt betrayed and at the same time I felt that my mother was not loyal towards herself, betrayed herself because the love of her life she let go to choose another life with the man that I know as my father.   (Cries.) I think, “Is this guy I’m talking to my real father?”

Why do you think that you had this dream?

There are so many different feelings that are coming up.  I wonder in this dream, “Is this my father or not?”  This man claims that the job he does is more valuable because it makes more money.  It’s like yet another exam – whether I can really stand up for the values that my father represented.  He died when I was eight years old.  Whatever values I have are ones that my mother brought across to me.  I loved my father very much.  He is the only man in my life that I’ve loved.  There were secrets in this dream where I thought, “Now I have a starting point to talk to my mother about her feelings and about the love of her life.”  To talk from mother to daughter. That never happened before my mother died.

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

Drama of Life

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

Father, the love of your mother’s life, your mother, the bookshelf, Germany, the new military

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?


Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Mother, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I look like the way Rainbow remembers me.  It’s not so much the external.  It’s more the inner connection, the way she feels connected to me.  I feel estranged from this daughter.

Did you hear the dream?


What do you think about it?

I don’t understand about the two men.

What did you hear Rainbow say about them?

That Rainbow wonders if this man was the real love of my life.  I don’t understand that.  My husband, the father of my children, and for me, this was the love of my life.

What do you think about the difference in income that seems to be an issue for this man in the dream?

It would have helped if there had been more money after the death of my husband but in any case I respected the job my husband did.  I have definitely always been proud of him.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

At first I don’t know. But then I say I’m absolutely loyal.  I have always fulfilled all the tasks that have been given to me and everything that my husband expected me to be.  I took it for granted to do these things and that I had the power to do my duty.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

(Out of role: “I have problems staying in role and keep being overwhelmed by my feelings of hurt.”)

She always wanted too much, she always needed too much.

Do you think she’s doing that now, Mother?

Now I’m dead.  It doesn’t matter.

I didn’t ask you that, Mother.  I asked you if you think she’s wanting too much now.

Yes, she still wants to talk.  This is over for me.  She still wants to know about my life and all my feelings toward love and life.   She still wants to know all about details of the past, like she had to run the household, like when I got to know her father.

Mother, you are in Rainbow’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right?  Mother, what aspect of Rainbow do you represent or most closely personify?

Her vulnerability, fearfulness, insecurity towards life.

Mother, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I’d love something.   I would love to be a mother to my daughter in a way that I myself feel strong and stable.  So that I feel I have clarity.  I would love to have a mother that has joy in life so I can have joy with my children, particularly with my daughter.

You are dead and imaginary, so you can have any kind of relationship with Rainbow that you want, correct?

It may be hard, but that’s correct.

What sort of relationship do you want to have with Rainbow?

I would like to tell her and let her know that I love her and that she is OK the way she is and that I am there to support her in any moment of her life and that I’m proud of her.  I also feel the need to take her into my arms from the very beginning of her life and I would not experience her as a burden while raising her.

Would you be willing to hold her now, Mom?

Yes.  It’s difficult, but it’s a good feeling.

Tell me more…

It feels like Rainbow has more power than me.  I feel like as mother that I should be stronger.

Mother, would you allow yourself to feel held by Rainbow now?

No.  It’s not right.

What’s not right about it, Mom?

Rainbow needs to be held by me. She needs appreciation by me, not the other way around.  I need my man, my husband.

Is there anything you want or need from Rainbow?

I need her presence and I need her acknowledgement…Rainbow needed me as a child and needed me to hold her, but I felt that children need to obey and do as they are told.

We’re not talking about then. We’re talking about whether you are willing to be held by Rainbow now.

I feel that Rainbow needs something from me.  She is stronger than me. She holds me and I cannot accept that.  It feels bad.

How come, Mom?

I’ve always criticized her. Whenever she told me something I used it against her.  It’s always been so difficult.

Do you want to criticize her now, Mother?

No, not right now.

Do you want to hold against her anything that she tells you now, Mother?


Why not?

She’s managing her life.

Thank you Mom. Rainbow, what have you heard your mom just say?

My mother is torn between accepting my offer to take her into my arms and her interest in my life and what Rainbow would love, this exchange of mother-daughter knowledge and how we experienced everything.

What did you listeners hear Mom say?

I heard mother say that she was very proud of her husband.  She doesn’t understand why Rainbow is concerned about two men.  She says her husband was the love of her life.

I heard that mother wants to be left at peace and doesn’t want to be bothered by Rainbow.  She doesn’t want to be hugged by Rainbow and yet she doesn’t give herself permission because it has to be the other way around.  Because she can’t give it, she can’t accept it.

It would have been easier after her husband’s death with more money.

I think I had this dream because

Despite all the loyalty toward my father by my mother maybe she needed something else than what my father had to give to her.  That is represented by the other man.  Maybe that’s my own wish for a partner without financial worries and stability.  A partner that I can give my support to.    A combination between this kind of man that my mother loved with complete loyalty and voicing some criticism  also.

To attract such a man to yourself what sort of person do you think you need to be?

Clarity..I don’t remember…being open, talk about yourself, joy of life, have your own opinion.  Not be so critical, to see you’re OK the way you are, to accept yourself.

If you’re not those things, what’s your chance of attracting a man that has those qualities or can give you those things?

Not so good.  I need to work on them in myself instead of spending my life hoping that someone with those qualities will suddenly appear in my life.

Leave a Comment

For more information, contact joseph.dillard@gmail.com. While IDL does not accept advertising or sponsored postings, we gratefully accept donations of your time, expertise, or financial support.