Companioning the dying through lucid dreams. Our guest shares some of her experiences of psychopompic dreaming. Starting when she was 9 or 10 she would dream of being in a classroom where she learned how to change the dream. Several years later she describes her first experience of helping a dying person happened several years later when she found herself in a dream falling together with a woman who was terrified. She was able to slow their fall by dreaming up first n umbrella then a parachute letting the woman land softly in a place where friends were waiting to greet her.
She shares several such stories (including one in which she was awake but meditating) and says that in the liminal space between life and death, our dreaming muscles are essential when the physical world falls away. Jeanne describes some of the work of Allan Kellehear in his book Experiences Near Death: Beyond Medicine and Religion, saying that near death experiences vary across cultures, but the one thing in common is that the dying person is always being helped as they approach that threshold.
Rick shares a dream in which one of his beloved dogs is killed, and Max asks whether Jeanne feels prepared when she has these experiences of if she is just winging it. We muse over Tibetan Dream Yoga and the idea that we are more open to these liminal spaces when we are dreaming and marveling over the rich variety of metaphors for dying that people experience, and end by talking about how to enhance emotional connections with those who are dying.
Jeanne also appeared on the Dream Journal in August 2021. That conversation can be found here: https://ksqd.org/dreams-at-the-end-of-life-with-jeanne-van-bronkhorst/
BIO: Jeanne Van Bronkhorst, MA, MSW, worked with people in hospice care for ten years. Her interest in end-of-life care began in childhood, when she occasionally dreamed of helping people who were dying. Now she is on the board of the IASD, and writes books about end-of-life about end-of-life dreams and grief dreams.
Find our guest at: JeanneVanBronkhorst.com
Show aired on August 12, 2023.
Intro music is Water over Stones and outro music is Everything both by Mood Science. Ambient music is created new every week by Rick Kleffel. The audio can be found at Pandemiad.com. Many thanks to Rick Kleffel for also engineering the show, to Tony Russomano for answering the phones and to Ewa Malady for audio editing.
Contact Katherine Bell with feedback or suggestions for future shows at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on FB and IG @ExperientialDreamwork to find out about upcoming shows. To learn more or to inquire about exploring your own dreams with her go to ExperientialDreamwork.com.
The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM. Catch it streaming LIVE at KSQD.org 10-11am Saturday mornings Pacific Time. Call or text with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773 or email at email@example.com. Podcasts are available on all major podcast platforms and are released the Monday following the live show. The complete KSQD Dream Journal podcast page can be found at ksqd.org/the-dream-journal/.
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