What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone Dying? (2022)

Dreaming about someone’s death can bring up many different emotions. While dreams may not have exact meanings, you can learn from the feelings they leave behind.

You call out to your best friend, but there’s no response. You shake them and gently nudge their shoulder before it dawns on you that they’re not sleeping. They’re lifeless. Dead. You reach for them again but the distance between you grows until they become one with the fog.

You wake up with a profound sense of loss yet strangely unburdened. You’ve had a common dream about someone dying — but in all likelihood, it has nothing to do with your friend or literal death.

Read on as we take a closer look at dreams about dying, what they mean, and if there’s reason for concern.

It’s not uncommon for terminally ill people to dream about loved ones who have died, according to a 2016 study done in India. And a small 2014 survey found that it’s not unusual to dream of someone you’ve recently lost.

Most people reported these dreams to be pleasant or both pleasant and disturbing. A few respondents said they were purely disturbing.

Such dreams may be part of the mourning process or a reflection of the fact that you miss someone who’s no longer in your life. People grieving the death of a romantic partner may feel a continuing bond with their loved one when they dream about them, according to a 2021 study.

If you aren’t terminally ill or mourning a loved one, however, your dream may not really be about death at all. Instead, death may represent change or a period of transition.

When trying to interpret a dream, it helps to focus less on specific details and more on the way it made you feel. Consider how these feelings relate to what’s going on in your life.

For example, if you woke up feeling scared and anxious, you might consider whether you’re stressed out about changes in your life or fearing the unknown.

If you woke up feeling good, perhaps you’re accepting that something in your life is ending and you’re embracing a new beginning.

While it can be upsetting to dream about death, remember that dreams aren’t predictions and shouldn’t be taken at face value.

Things we dream about are often symbols for other things. So, dreaming about death could be part of the bereavement process or a representation of great change in your life.

(Video) What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone Dying?

Dreams about falling are fairly common and may represent:

  • insecurity or lack of self-confidence
  • feeling out of control
  • letting go or setting yourself free

The symbolism of falling may go hand-in-hand with symbolism of dying — both can represent an ending, a beginning, or both.

Death can show up in many types of dreams. Whether it’s your own death or someone else’s, there’s a good chance your dream is really about unresolved issues.

Dreams about parents or family members dying

A 2018 study on nightmares found that common themes include:

  • death
  • injury
  • threats to family members, such as a parent, child, or sibling

When you dream about a loved one dying, it might be due to changes — whether perceived or actual — to your relationships.

(Video) What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone Dying? - Sign Meaning

Dreams about you dying

Dreaming about yourself dying could mean that you’re in a major life transition.

It might be a symbolic goodbye to a relationship, a job, or a home. It could represent a part of you that is dying or something you’d like to escape.

It could also be that you’ve been putting your own needs on the back burner in favor of everyone else. Part of you feels neglected and is vying for attention.

Dreams about celebrities dying

When a celebrity dies in your dream, it’s probably not about the celebrity. The meaning may lie in who or what that particular celebrity represents to you.

Dreams about pets dying

You may dream about your pet dying if they’re old or sick and you’re genuinely concerned about them.

But your pet may symbolize something else, such as:

  • comfort
  • security
  • companionship

And dreaming of your pet dying might symbolize your fear of loss of these three qualities.

Dreams about friends dying

Dreaming about the death of a friend could signify concern for that person. It could also mean that your friendship is undergoing change or that you’d prefer to be free of this person.

Keep in mind the meaning behind the dream may not have anything to do with that friend at all. Instead, it might relate to what that friend represents in your life.

Dreams about deceased loved ones

The aforementioned small 2016 study found that end-of-life dreams are common. Terminally ill people reported dreaming about loved ones who’ve already passed on.

These dreams tended to be nonthreatening, and the people in the dreams were seen as they were in their prime of health. This could be a coping mechanism.

Dreams about dead bodies

Seeing a dead body in a dream might be unexpected, but it’s not as uncommon as you may think.

This kind of dream imagery can sometimes feel threatening or upsetting. But if you can brush the feeling off and move on with your day, it’s probably just a passing occurrence.

If the images in your dreams are causing ongoing stress or upset, talk with a doctor or a licensed mental health professional.

“The goal ultimately may not be to avoid having such dreams, but rather approach them with curiosity to better understand them,” Dr. Alex Dimitriu, of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California, told Healthline.

Recurring dreams about death can be the result of ongoing stress and unresolved issues. Try to identify the cause of stress in your waking life. Confronting the issue may help stop the dreams.

You can also ease into a more peaceful sleep by scheduling wind-down time before you go to bed. Make sure your bedroom is free of glowing electronics and other sources of light.

If you wake up in the night, use deep breathing or other relaxation exercises to get back to sleep. If that doesn’t work, get up and do something relaxing until you’re sleepy again.

If you’re having a hard time dealing with recurring dreams or ongoing stress, talk with a doctor or licensed mental health professional.

Anxiety dreams

People with anxiety seem to be more likely to experience upsetting dreams.

A 2018 study looked at connections between people’s emotions during the day and the kinds of dreams they have at night.

In the study, people who felt more anxious also had more unpleasant dreams. This trend was only associated with anxiety symptoms, not other negative emotions like depression.

If you’re having anxiety dreams, a qualified therapist can help you work through them.

After a traumatic experience

People who have lived through traumatic events may be more likely to have nightmares.

In a 2020 study of children affected by war, about 45 percent of the participants described having nightmares in which someone was seriously injured or killed.

Frequent nightmares are one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re experiencing symptoms of PTSD, talk with a doctor. PTSD symptoms can improve with treatment.

(Video) What does it mean when you dream of someones death

Dreaming is a natural function of our sleeping brains. In fact, nearly everyone dreams, even if they don’t remember them.

Dimitriu, who’s double board certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine, says dream content can be:

  • leftover remnants of the day’s thoughts and events
  • an ongoing subconscious theme or feeling
  • just random

“In my work, after thoroughly exploring conscious and subconscious explanations of dream content, sometimes we are left with no clear answer,” Dimitriu said.

He noted the importance of letting the person experiencing the dream draw conclusions, rather than plant ideas in their mind. It’s a process that can take time.

“In the case of dreams with intense content, such as dying, it is worth noting there is a lot of emotional energy to such a dream,” Dimitriu said.

“Lastly, sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and some dreams are truly random,” he added.

(Video) Let's Talk About: Dreams - Someone Dying

Dreams of someone dying can be unsettling, but they shouldn’t be taken literally. Death in a dream may symbolize the end of something and the beginning of something new.

Dreams provoke emotions — and those emotions can help you connect a dream to events in your life. But dreams can’t always be deciphered.

If you’re troubled by frequent stress-related dreams, it may help to talk things out with a licenced therapist.

FAQs

What does it mean to dream of someone dying? ›

“Death in dreams is really about some kind of change or ending you're dealing with in your real life,” says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, professional dream analyst. “The subconscious will show us this change in the form of a death so we can better understand the finality of it.

What does it mean when you dream about someone dying who is still alive? ›

This means if you dream of someone dying yet they're still alive, the dream might be coming from a place of fear and uncertainty. Perhaps you're dealing with stress and anxiety, particularly if someone close to you died recently.

What does it mean if you dream about someone dying in your family? ›

“Death of your loved one in your dream indicates that this particular quality that you possess is being transformed in some way. The transformation is often the result of a major change in your waking life where you have to let go of old habits and welcome new ways of doing things.”

What does it mean when you dream about death of a parent? ›

Dream of Parent Dying – General Interpretation (Symbolic Meaning) Dream of a parent dying points towards feelings that you have of yourself linked with the way you approach your life. It also indicates paying more attention to the physical life than to the spiritual life.

What does it mean crying in the dream? ›

If you see yourself crying in your dream, then it could mean that you wish to express your feelings to someone or people in general. This could be suppressed anger, grief, joy, agony or ecstasy etc.

What does death mean in a dream biblically? ›

From a biblical perspective, dreaming of death is believed to be a message from the Holy Spirit to help you find peace, healing, and closure. If you encounter a deceased loved one in your dreams, Christian adherents interpret it as God's way of letting you reconnect and communicate with them.

What does it mean when you see your loved one in a dream? ›

You may dream about them because you know your life would be meaningless without them. You may want to seek forgiveness from them and hence the yearning. You may have moved to a different city or a country. And it must have been months you have met your loved ones.

What does it mean when you dream about death of a sibling? ›

A dream about your loved one passing away, especially your sibling, may indicate that there is a problem in your family relationships and dynamics. It is possible to perceive your anxiety over losing them or their departure as your fear of seeing them dead.

Why do we forget our dreams? ›

“Since dreams are thought to primarily occur during REM sleep, the sleep stage when the MCH cells turn on, activation of these cells may prevent the content of a dream from being stored in the hippocampus – consequently, the dream is quickly forgotten.”

What does it mean when you dream about death of a boyfriend? ›

If you dream your partner dies or is dying.

“Death and dying to the dreaming mind is not about actual physical death,” she continues. “It is about something changing or ending.” So if you dream about your partner dying, this might represent a change in the dynamic of your relationship.

What does it mean when your dad dies in a dream? ›

Seeing your dad die in a dream can be a warning that you won't get any help from your parents at a time when you might need it if you don't usually heed parental advice. In spite of the earlier readings, having a dream that your father is dying is often a harbinger of good things to come.

Do dreams mean anything? ›

Do dreams mean anything? Alan Eiser, a psychologist and a clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, says dreams can be “highly meaningful,” because they “deal with the sort of personal conflicts and emotional struggles that people are experiencing in their daily lives.”

What does it mean to dream about death of a child? ›

According to AloDreams.com, when a child dies in a dream it can be an indication that an unhealthy lifestyle has become the norm. Without change, these poor habits could become detrimental, destroying everything that has been worked so hard for up until that point.

What is it called when you have a dream and then it happens? ›

Precognitive dreams are the most widely reported occurrences of precognition. Usually, a dream or vision can only be identified as precognitive after the putative event has taken place. When such an event occurs after a dream, it is said to have "broken the dream".

Why was I crying in my dream and woke up crying? ›

Why Do People Cry in Their Sleep? Crying in sleep can result from nightmares, sleep terrors, and sometimes, you can even cry while dreaming. For the latter, this emotion often happens when the dreamer experiences a dream so intense, it feels real.

Is crying good for your skin? ›

“Since crying has been proven to reduce stress, crying may have a positive effect on a person's skin over time,” she explains. “Skin issues such as acne and breakouts can be caused by stress, and, therefore, crying can indirectly reduce acne breakouts by reducing the stress.”

What does it mean when an ex appears in your dream? ›

“Dreaming about a long-ago ex — especially a first love — is incredibly common,” says Loewenberg. “That ex becomes symbolic of passion, uninhibited desire, unafraid love, etc.” These dreams are your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you want more ~spice~ in your life.

When you see your late father in a dream? ›

The dream meaning of your deceased father shows that you are in a strong position that something is right and sure. It is the most significant sign of confidence in your character in the eyes of others. You can remain impartial all the time so that it makes your future and others around you glorious.

What do fathers represent in dreams? ›

The symbolic father in dreams can represent experience, wisdom, commitment, support, guidance, protection and unconditional love. The father may appear as a great source of inspiration and comfort, even a deep connection with the Divine, and provide a sense of knowing your place and purpose in the world.

How do you know that someone is dreaming about you? ›

6) You feel a sudden sense of deja vu.

Wake up and pay attention! If you experience a sudden feeling of déjà vu, this could be yet another sign that someone out there is dreaming about you. A lot of the time, the only explanation for this type of feeling is that someone out there is experiencing dreams about you.

How do I know if my deceased mother is with me? ›

Common Signs
  • Dream Visitations. One of the most commonly described signs from the other side is a visitation from a departed loved one in the form of a dream. ...
  • Familiar Sensations or Smells. ...
  • Animal Messengers. ...
  • Pennies and Dimes. ...
  • Lost and Found Objects. ...
  • Electrical Disturbances.

What does it mean if you dream about someone repeatedly? ›

Dreaming can help our brains sort through information while we sleep. Dr Mayer also said that dreaming about someone over and over again shouldn't be interpreted in a literal way. That person might actually be symbolising a certain stress or anxiety we are going through.

What does it mean when you see your sister in your dream? ›

Dreams of a sister may imply many things like a relationship issue, family issue, financial instability, or that you or your sibling needs support, guidance, or nourishment. Seeing your sister in your dreams might trigger different emotions in you. If you have an amicable relationship, it might be a pleasant feeling.

What does it mean when you dream about someone? ›

When you dream about someone, it is usually a reflection of how you feel about them in your waking life. Your dream may be telling you to pay attention to that person in your waking life. Your subconscious may be trying to connect the dots on something and needs your conscious mind to help them figure it out.

What do you say to death of a brother? ›

Examples of what to say:
  • I'm so sorry for your loss.
  • You're in my thoughts and prayers.
  • We'll all miss him very much. ...
  • I have such fond memories of your brother.
  • I'll always remember him as one of the nicest people I knew.
  • He was such a great mentor to all the new people at the office.
14 Jan 2020

Why don't we remember being a baby? ›

The answers to these questions may lie in the way our memory system develops as we grow from a baby to a teenager and into early adulthood. Our brain is not fully developed when we are born—it continues to grow and change during this important period of our lives. And, as our brain develops, so does our memory.

Why don't we remember our childhood? ›

Virtually nobody has memories from very early childhood but it's not because we don't retain information as young children. Rather, it may be because at that age, our brains don't yet function in a way that bundles information into the complex neural patterns that we know as memories.

Why do my dreams feel so real? ›

During non-REM sleep, the thalamus is inactive, but during REM sleep, when we are dreaming, the thalamus is active, sending the cerebral cortex images, sounds, and sensations, which is why we are able to hear, feel, and see in our dreams similarly to how we do when we are awake.

What does it mean if you have a dream your partner cheated on you? ›

"Bad dreams are hypothesized to be a form of emotional release, [so] dreaming about your partner cheating is likely related to a deep fear you have," certified sleep science coach Chris Brantner tells Bustle. “Maybe it's an actual fear of cheating or maybe it's some more abstract form of mistrust.”

What does it mean if you have a dream that your partner is cheating on you? ›

If you were cheated on in the past, it's really common to have dreams (nightmares?) about it happening again, according to Barr. If your current partner did the deed, it's an indication you need to continue rebuilding that trust. If a past partner cheated on you, you might be afraid of it happening again.

Why do I keep dreaming of someone from my past? ›

"Sometimes dreams will use people from the past as a friendly reminder to tell us: 'Remember this? Let's not repeat it'" Loewenberg says. Habash continues that it can be helpful to think about what this person meant to you and if you feel like you have anything unresolved with them.

What does death mean in a dream biblically? ›

From a biblical perspective, dreaming of death is believed to be a message from the Holy Spirit to help you find peace, healing, and closure. If you encounter a deceased loved one in your dreams, Christian adherents interpret it as God's way of letting you reconnect and communicate with them.

What does it mean when you dream about your partner dying? ›

If you dream your partner dies or is dying.

“Death and dying to the dreaming mind is not about actual physical death,” she continues. “It is about something changing or ending.” So if you dream about your partner dying, this might represent a change in the dynamic of your relationship.

What does it mean when you see your loved one in a dream? ›

You may dream about them because you know your life would be meaningless without them. You may want to seek forgiveness from them and hence the yearning. You may have moved to a different city or a country. And it must have been months you have met your loved ones.

What are the signs of people dying? ›

What are the signs that someone is dying?
  • feeling weak and tired.
  • sleeping more or being drowsy.
  • feeling hot or cold.
  • cold hands or feet.
  • eating and drinking less.
  • bladder or bowel problems.
  • breathlessness (dyspnoea)
  • pain.
11 May 2022

What does it mean when an ex appears in your dream? ›

“Dreaming about a long-ago ex — especially a first love — is incredibly common,” says Loewenberg. “That ex becomes symbolic of passion, uninhibited desire, unafraid love, etc.” These dreams are your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you want more ~spice~ in your life.

When you see your late father in a dream? ›

The dream meaning of your deceased father shows that you are in a strong position that something is right and sure. It is the most significant sign of confidence in your character in the eyes of others. You can remain impartial all the time so that it makes your future and others around you glorious.

What do fathers represent in dreams? ›

The symbolic father in dreams can represent experience, wisdom, commitment, support, guidance, protection and unconditional love. The father may appear as a great source of inspiration and comfort, even a deep connection with the Divine, and provide a sense of knowing your place and purpose in the world.

What does it mean when you dream about death of a husband? ›

If your marriage seems to have hit a dead end and you are considering ending your relationship, it is perfectly normal to experience dreams where your husband dies. What is this? In a way, it is your subconscious preparing you to be without him, even if you will only be losing him figuratively in real life.

What does it mean when you dream of someone dying over and over again? ›

“Dreams are symbolic — you can't look at them literally or you'll freak yourself out,” she says. “Death in dreams actually means there's some sort of change or ending happening in your life. To the subconscious mind, this represents the end of life 'as you now know it. '”

Do dreams mean anything? ›

Do dreams mean anything? Alan Eiser, a psychologist and a clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, says dreams can be “highly meaningful,” because they “deal with the sort of personal conflicts and emotional struggles that people are experiencing in their daily lives.”

What is it called when you have a dream and then it happens? ›

Precognitive dreams are the most widely reported occurrences of precognition. Usually, a dream or vision can only be identified as precognitive after the putative event has taken place. When such an event occurs after a dream, it is said to have "broken the dream".

How do you know that someone is dreaming about you? ›

6) You feel a sudden sense of deja vu.

Wake up and pay attention! If you experience a sudden feeling of déjà vu, this could be yet another sign that someone out there is dreaming about you. A lot of the time, the only explanation for this type of feeling is that someone out there is experiencing dreams about you.

How do I know if my deceased mother is with me? ›

Common Signs
  • Dream Visitations. One of the most commonly described signs from the other side is a visitation from a departed loved one in the form of a dream. ...
  • Familiar Sensations or Smells. ...
  • Animal Messengers. ...
  • Pennies and Dimes. ...
  • Lost and Found Objects. ...
  • Electrical Disturbances.

What is the last breath before death called? ›

Gasping is a brainstem reflex; it is the last respiratory pattern prior to terminal apnoea. Gasping is also referred to as agonal respiration and the name is appropriate because the gasping respirations appear uncomfortable, causing concern that the patient is dyspnoeic and in agony.

What are the 7 stages of dying? ›

It is not exhaustive, and different people will display different signs as their time approaches.
...
7 Signs that Death May Be Near
  • Loss of Appetite. This is perhaps the most culturally aware sign of impending passing. ...
  • Drowsiness and Fatigue. ...
  • Discolored Skin. ...
  • Mental Confusion. ...
  • Labored Breath. ...
  • Kidney Failure. ...
  • Cool Extremities.
5 Sept 2017

What are the last moments before death like? ›

Physical signs

Facial muscles may relax and the jaw can drop. Skin can become very pale. Breathing can alternate between loud rasping breaths and quiet breathing. Towards the end, dying people will often only breathe periodically, with an intake of breath followed by no breath for several seconds.

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