wrestling a watersnake

Hi Janice—

I am very sorry to learn of your brother's passing.

Turbulent dreams, especially dreams that involve water, are symbols of turbulent emotions in our lives. Because your dream occurred in water, and at the location of your brother's suicide (drowning), we know his passing is the cause of this dream.

Snakes in dreams represent fears of sudden, emotional attack: We fear we will be bitten unaware, as if by a "snake in the grass." Your brother's suicide no doubt struck you as a shocking, painful blow. Your struggle in the water with the snake represents your efforts, in the wake of his suicide, to "stay afloat" emotionally.

Because you successfully fight off the snake, your dream informs us that you are confident in your ability to manage your emotions, and that, in the midst of hard times, "you are a survivor." After you arrive on shore to tell your friends you are OK, however, a tidal wave appears on the horizon. The metaphor expressed by your dream is clear. After you survived the immediate shock of your brother's suicide, you are now experiencing the aftershock -- the large waves of emotion -- that any suicide causes.

As this dream ends, it is evident that your brother's tragic death has turned your emotional life "upside down," so that you don't know "what way is up." Your battle with the water snake, however, already has shown us that you are a survivor. Now is a time to reach out to friends and family for support. I hope that your own courage -- in difficult times -- inspires others to persevere.

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