Stories from the Inner Side:  Resolving a Suicidal Crisis

A Field Full of Dead Bodies

        It was one of those long ten-hour shifts on the crisis/suicide hot-line. I was dozing lightly. The piercing ring of the telephone broke the silence.  As my hand snapped the receiver to a waiting ear I noticed the clock at 3 am.. "Hello. This is the Hotline. Can I help you? My name is Fred."

On some nights there were no calls at all. On other nights a lonely person just wants to reach out and talk to someone. At other times the place is jumping. The alcohol crisis intervention team may deliver a visitor to be processed and dry out for the night, a walk in visitor in crisis arrives at the door, or a distressed person in a phone booth with a .38 caliber pistol in hand stands in the winter cold looking for a reason not to blow his brains out.  Every night is different and awaits unknown challenges.

Tonight at around 3:00am, a young woman's voice quiet and gentle, speaks through the phone. "There is nothing really wrong with my outer life. My family life is normal, my work is going fine. I have a good social life, but, I am getting increasingly depressed. It is hard for me not to give up and commit suicide."

“Are you seeing a therapist?”

“Yes, I’ve been in therapy for the last three years on a weekly basis.”

“What do you deal with in therapy?”

“We talk about my family, my work and my support systems in life.”

“Do you have and handles on the source of your depression or despair?”

“No, not at all, and that is causing me to feel even more hopeless about my life."

“Do you ever talk about dreams with your therapist?”

"I don't believe in dreams and my therapist doesn't either. Besides I don't remember my dreams anyway."


The caller, a 36-year-old mother of two small children,  loves her husband and enjoys a satisfying job.  Outwardly, she is well adapted to life, or so it seems. So what is the problem?  If the therapist couldn't help her, how was I going to do much good, on one phone call, in the middle of the night?


Active listening just seemed to take us in circles. I asked again about her dreams. When she seemed resistant to this line I let it go.

Then, out of the blue, she said, "Oh! I did have a nightmare about a month ago. I was standing in a field full of dead bodies."

"A field full of dead bodies," I repeated, surprised. Before I could ask any questions she responded

“Yes, and that reminds me of a recurring dream I used to have a lot.”

“What was that?”

“I was at my brother’s funeral.

“Did your brother die?

 "Yes, when I was fifteen. It was a sudden death. What was strange about the dream was that at the actual funeral the coffin was closed and in the dream it was open." "Oh! And that reminds me of a dream I haven't dreamed yet."

“Really! What was that?”

“My brother wants to visit me.”

I paused for a moment to gather myself, and asked.

“Can you see him, now?”

“Yes, we’re sitting on a park bench together.”

“What’s happening?”

“My brother wants to talk to me.”

“Do you want to talk to him?”

“Yes, I do.”

There was a deep silence on the phone.  I could feel that a lot was happening at the other end of the line.

“What’s happening?”

“My brother told me how much he loves me.  He said that I am holding onto him. He needs to go on with his journey and he needs for me to let go of him.”

“Can you do that?”

“Yes, I just did.  He’s now gone. I could feel his love and I could feel the sadness of his going for the first time since his death.”

“What happened when he died?”

“He died suddenly.  My family kept me out of the way while they made all the arrangements.  The only part I played was to attend the funeral and I sat in the back pew of the church. Then the family just went on  about life’s business as if nothing had happened.”

“It sounds like you never has a chance to grieve for his loss.”

“That’s right.”

“Can you see the dream at the funeral now?”

“Yes, I’m walking down the aisle.  I look into the coffin at my brother’s body.  The coffin closes. Wow! I didn’t realize that was there.”

“It sounds like you have some unresolved grief to work on.”

“Yes, in fact, I lost four major people in my life in the last three years.”

“How did you deal with their losses?”

“The same as with my brother.”

“Did you talk to your therapist about the losses?”

“It never came up.  We only talked about my family, my work and my outer life relationships.”


"Going back to the original nightmare, it sounds like you have a field full of bodies to bury--some grief work to do. It sounds like all those unresolved deaths were pulling on you to cross over. Is that right?"

"That's how it feels. I never realized it had such a strong pull on me. Thank you. I feel like I have had more help in the last few hours than I received in three years of therapy.”

NOTE: The Dream Reentry Healing process is a powerful way to complete unfinished business and resolve incomplete bonds with loved ones, or others who have died or are otherwise out of physical and emotional reach.  The process free up energies that are otherwise unavailable for living life freely in the present.