grief atoll / piece for death by dreaming

The thought of dying while awake is seen as concrete and eventual. One day, unfortunate circumstances will befall everyone. Whether it be being hit by a bus or expiring from some “natural” cause, it is accepted. Whereas the idea of dying within a dream, by some cause of the dream, seems absurd. We are in control of our own reality, and something that isn’t real is just... a misfired synapse, a thought, nothing.

A hawk perched on a one-way sign
Almost everyone has experienced a dream so vivid that to wake up was a shock, because of the seeming reality of the experience. Very often these dreams will linger in the memory for some time, and can prompt uneasy feelings toward someone  that was part of the dream. So dreams must exist on the same level as thought. Or as memory. Which can prompt action as well.
A green background with black vector waves. At right, the silhouette of a black bird of prey in flight. At bottom, white waves curl.
When an individual has been harmed, emotionally or physically, the harboured resentment towards the antagonist can cause negative action after a very long time has passed. So then what is the difference between an adverse reaction based on a dream, or that of one based on a memory of an actual event? They both have a similar outcome. Even if a dream of a holiday is hazy, it can be the same as the memory of being intoxicated on said holiday. So if dreams and memory have the same outcome and residual effects on relationships, what separates them? The fact that memory is believed to be real.
A vector of curled black waves
One could have vivid memories of their childhood that could have never happened.

If the family tells them enough times the same story, they’ll come to believe it.

Lies become real, thoughts become action.
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Everyone who has died in their sleep hasn’t made any substantial claims to prove it wasn’t because they died in their dream.
~ Chris Reimer