PsychBytes

A publication of the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis

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Uncanny

Kerry L. Malawista, Ph.D.
Member, Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis
January 2018 | Volume 5 | Issue 1

I had awakened weary from a night of dreaming about Kimmy. In one she was running through a field, frantically searching. In another she was weeping, her dark wavy hair falling across her face, while I stood nearby, helpless to comfort her. This was the dream that roused me before my alarm.

Over breakfast, I told my husband my dreams and how they felt more like a visitation. Alan knew Kimmy well through my stories of growing up. She and I had imprinted on each other the way one’s earliest childhood friends do.

I was five when I saw the moving van pull up. A girl, who looked my age, climbed out of a car that had pulled in behind the van. I crossed the street to greet her and for seven years—a lifetime in childhood—we were inseparable.

Now, forty years later, Kimmy was, once again, in the forefront of my mind. Arriving home that night I said to Alan, “It’s so strange, I can’t stop thinking about Kimmy.”

Grabbing my laptop, I said, “I’m going to look her up.” Searching, I found a long ago wedding announcement, then Googled her married name.

There was the headline, “Teen Killed in Crash.” My heart clenched as I clicked on the link. The teen was Kimmy’s eighteen-year-old son. I sat in front of the screen, stunned. He had died the previous night in a car accident, at the exact same time as my dreams. The scientific part of me has always attributed uncanny moments to chance. But now I wondered, as did Freud, could there be levels of experience that are beyond our understanding?

Our friendship had been re-awakened in the moment of Kimmy’s most inconsolable grief; perhaps there are unexplainable bonds that link us to those we love, that transcend the physical world.

Perhaps there are still things in life that remain ineffable.

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