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Where's my Mum?

Dreamed 1972 by Pauline Ramsey


I was in the living room of the house my family and I had lived in for 20 years. I was no younger nor older than my right age. I was calling for my Mum--shouting, even.

I went upstairs to the bedroom I shared with my sister. I looked under my bed. There were piles and piles of old newspapers, all folded neatly. I started to pull them out. My Mum was underneath! She was unconscious. Not sleeping, I knew she was unconscious: her head had a crack running down into her face, and there was a trace of dried blood.

She looked like a broken china doll.

The dream ended there. A frozen image, like in a film, of my unconscious Mum, me, kneeling over her, surrounded by the old newspapers. I could see that image in the dream. Even though I could see myself, I didn't recognise it as an out-of-body experience. It's only today as I recall it that I see it like a shot from a film.

I woke with a strong conviction that one day my Mum would lose her mind.


I told my sister, Jackie, about my dream, and I added, "one day, Mum will lose her mind." I don't know why I phrased it like that. It's not an expression I would normally use.


In 1983 Mum had an episode of severe confusion and memory loss. I thought again about my dream. Just a few years later, she developed Alzheimer's. Another few years passed and she needed 24 hour nursing care. Mum died in 1997. She was 75.

I suppose you could argue that I'm making what actually happened fit with the dream, after the fact. But I don't think so. Nor do I think I'm over-interpreting to suggest this dream was prophetic. When I woke I had a powerful sense it was telling me a truth.

--Pauline Ramsey


In her 2005 book THE GIFT, Sally Rhine Feather compares over 400 premonitions which came true; she found it was common to feel urgency, a sense this was no simple dream or daydream. If you admit just for the sake of argument that premonitions can be more accurate than chance, this urgency makes sense: warnings need an emotional spur to action to be of survival value! Indeed, the most startling of Rhine Feather's findings was that despite her having chosen the most clear-cut examples, in which action to prevent (or at least mitigate) disaster seemed practical (since, of course, she could only test the usefulness of premonitions that were acted on!)... about two-thirds of those getting clear warnings STILL did nothing--although many felt as Pauline did.

And yet, the minority who DID take action saved lives. For an impossibility, such premonitions had curiously solid survival benefits. If acted on!

For me, the tragedy of Pauline's dream is... what could she do? Yet I'd argue that even so, such dreams have survival value. They prepare you emotionally, and may spur you to use wisely the remaining time before the loss happens. This theory's hardly new! Two millennia ago, Achilles Tatius wrote:

It is a favorite device of the power above to whisper at night what the future holds--not that we may contrive a defense to forestall it (for no one can rise above fate) but that we may bear it more lightly when it comes.
Not always! The list of psychic dreams below has many clear calls to action. But sometimes Tatius is right. And I think this was one of those times.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: psychic dreams - predictive dreams - nightmares - heads & head loss - madness - dream moms - letting go - more by Pauline Ramsey: A Fountain in the Armenians - Lessa dreams the future but can't change it in The Stroke

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