I overheard two old ladies discussing a dream one of them had.
"Last night, I had a dream about my ma," the first lady said. "She was giving me advice, just like when I was a kid. It was so real. That was the first time I dream about her in a long time."
"Maybe she's trying to reach you," the second lady said. "You should pray to her."
I had gathered that the first lady's mother had passed away quite a while ago. The idea that the dead woman might have been trying to reach beyond the grave to continue maternally looking after her daughter—now herself a grandmother—was, in a way, sweet, but I couldn't buy into it, and not because of any beliefs I may or may not hold with regard to an afterlife, persisting animus, ghosts, etc. No, it's because I have, on occasion, had dreams involving living people that I haven't seen or thought of in a long time, and the dreams feel very real, but I KNOW those people aren't reaching out to me. It is only the nearness of dreams to memories in our minds that has the two intermingling. Sometimes a dream is just a dream, however real it may seem, however much we may want it to mean something more.