January 30, 2022

How Do Our Dreams Affect Our Perception of Grief and Loss?

Thomas McKenzie

Vagabond Songs, 2022

I lost my father over 4 years ago and as a somewhat stereotypical west of Scotland Male, it was difficult for me to put into words my emotions and feelings of grief at that time then, 4 weeks ago, I had an incredibly lucid and vivid dream about my father. The dream included some homes from my life which were combined into one setting in the dream (reflecting on it afterwards, it made me think of the dream scene in Drop Dead Fred).

I felt incredible sensations of love and serenity in the dream and my father asked me to play all of the songs I used to play on the guitar during our many many house parties during his life in addition to inviting me to a party on top of a seemingly never ending staircase. I found this experience incredibly cathartic and it made me think about the power of our subconscious as a tool for emotional recovery from loss and grief, just as our physical bodies heal after an impact or trauma. I wrote ‘Vagabond Songs’ as an homage to my father and as a reflection on what has been an incredibly healing experience for me.