It's rare that I dream about my parents or my brother. They used to feature prominently in my dreams, but now that they're dead it seems to translate into the dream world as well.
When I do dream of them, it's typically my parents and almost always in the form of a very particular type of dream. In it, one or both of my parents are dead (if it's one, it's my mother) but they remain, visibly and tangibly, a part of my life. I can see them, talk to them, touch them - but the grief of knowing they're gone is nevertheless present.
In these dreams, the primary thing that occupies my mind is the thought that nobody will believe me when I tell them they're dead. That all of the people I've told - the people who've supported me, helped me, sympathized with me - will think I lied to them and took advantage of a situation that did not exist.
Isn't that funny? In dreams where I get everything that I wish for - to talk to and touch them one last time - I'm absolutely preoccupied with what other people think.
I suppose there's some sort of subconscious, omnipresent guilt about my inability to be emotionally self-sufficient that manifests in these dreams. Or maybe the dreams are representations of my current social network's inability to provide me with the emotional support that I need, requiring me to bring in the 'big guns' to compensate - some form of my parents. (Because, in every one of these dreams, the primary thing my parents are there for is to help me in grieving them.) Whatever the case, they're certainly not the comforting 'I'm happy and at peace now' dreams that everyone I know seems to have about their lost ones.
There's a second little horror that exists upon waking. In the process of waking up, when dream and reality merge completely and I wouldn't be able to distinguish the two, there's a confusion about whether or not my parents really are alive. Either their presence was the dream or the idea that they were dead was the dream, and the instant before I'm awake I always believe that the more probable truth is that they're actually completely alive.
And then I wake up, and they're completely gone.
And if nothing else, there's a little satisfaction that yeah, you bastards, like I told you, they really are dead.