Have you been dreaming of someone dying? Wondering what it means?
- If they are alive, does it mean they will die?
- Could they be coming back to life?
- Does the dream of someone dying mean someone is pregnant (which is one of the common interpretations)?
There are very many different ways to interpret a dream about death. In this guide I will explain the most common interpretations of this dream and what it could possibly mean for you.
Have you experienced these dreams about people dying?
One of the most common dreams that we universally share are dreams about death. For instance, you may have experienced some of the following:
- Dreams of someone dying and coming back to life
- Dreams of someone dying of cancer or heart attack
- Dreams of someone dying in a fire, car crash or plain accident, drowning, gunshot, lethal injection
- Dreams of someone who is already dead dying again
- Dreams of a relative dying, a parent or child or perhaps your husband, boyfriend girlfriend or wife
- And they might die in your arms, while you’re away, in your bed, while making love…
How do you interpret a dream about someone dying?
Just as your daydreams say a lot about you, your dreams say a lot too.
But you can’t interpret your dreams literally.
If you’ve been dreaming of someone dying, breathe. Be assured, your dream probably does not mean what you think it means.
Dreams aren’t text messages. And you can’t read them like a book . You cannot simply interpret your dream about someone dying to mean that someone is quite literally going to pass away.
The way in which the brain creates, interprets, and remembers dreams is far more complicated and nuanced than that. That’s the reason why famous psychologists like Segmund Freud spent so long researching the origins and meanings of dreams.
Dreams are your subconscious sending you messages while you sleep
There is a language of dreams. And it is possibly the most important language in the world.
Dreams are the language through which your subconscious mind communicates with you.
Your subconscious mind is the most powerful part of your mind. It’s like a powerful sage inside your own mind.
Naturally, when your subconscious mind communicates with you, you will want to know what it’s saying.
And the first thing to know about it is this:
Your subconscious is not literal.
Dreaming of someone dying does not mean they are actually going to die, unless you have some serious psychic abilities.
You can’t interpret dreams so directly. I mean, can you imagine how messed up you would be if those dreams of yours all meant what they show?!
Dreams cannot be interpreted directly.
The language of dreams is a language of visual, auditory, and sensory information that is (often but not always) told through an emotional storyline.
My dreams are crazy
I’ve always been fascinated by dreams because, honestly, my dreams are crazy.
I’ve always had an overactive imagination.
As an author, I am always happy and thankful for my imagination. It is a very valuable tool.
I’ve actually written a guide to training your imagination. Have a read.
Why do I mention this?
Because your dreams are your imagination coming to life.
When it comes to bedtime, my imagination goes AWOL (absent without leave) and my dreams are basically crazy. And yes, I have many times dreamed about someone passing away. But guess what? None of those people actually died. I also dream of people coming back to life (namely, my father). But that hasn’t happened either. That’s because dreams are not prophecies, nor are they literal. So what are they?
To get a better understanding of what dreams mean, we need to investigate the process of dreaming.
There are five stages of dreams
- We go to bed.
- We get to sleep (hopefully)
- We then get to the first stage of sleep, which is a light sleep. This is the first dream stage
- The second stage is deeper.
- Stages three and four are the deepest. At this time, our brain is only using delta brain waves, which are the slowest.
- The fifth stage is REM sleep. Many physiological changes occur at this stage. We experience increased heartrate, heightened blood pressure, our bodies are paralysed, and we have increased amounts of alpha brain waves. If you are like me and have sleep paralysis, your brain will wake-up before REM sleep is finished, at which point good luck because oh hell is it awful. It’s also at REM sleep that you dream of people dying. (Dreams can occur at any stage of sleep. But they are most common at the REM stage).
- We then wake up.
- When we wake up, we forget half of what we dreamed about and this very quickly increases until we can hardly remember any of our dream.
- We then remember parts of our dreams but (importantly) we distort those memories.
So when you remember a dream of someone dying, your memory is actually not the dream you had.
Why Do We Dream What We Dream?
In 1900, Sigmund Freud coined the term Wunscherfüllung, meaning “wish fulfillment” [wiki]
Freud argued that the motivation for dreams is to fulfill our wishes. Specifically, we fulfill wishes based on the information the mind stored in the day (which Freud called “Day Residue”).
Freud argued that there are four stages used to interpret dreams:
Condensation: This is the idea that one single element of a dream can represent several things. For instance, in the dream about someone dying, the person dying may actually represent a group of people.
Displacement: This is the idea that the emotionally important event in the dream may happen to a substitute instead of the real, intended person / object. In our dream about someone dying, the person who dies could be a stand-in for someone else entirely.
Visualization: This is simply the idea that thoughts in dreams are communicated visually.
Symbolism: Just as in poetry, dreams use symbolism to replace people, objects, actions and ideas.
When we apply these concepts to the dream about someone dying, we can start to see what’s going on.
Based on Freud’s theories we can speculate on some various interpretations of your dream.
What your dream of someone dying actually means
When you’re dreaming of someone dying, it could mean a variety of things. All of which are to do with endings and beginnings.
1. A relationship is over
The most obvious interpretation of a dream in which someone dies. The relationship is over.
Heck. This doesn’t even require explanation. It’s like poetry 101 to symbolise the end of a relationship with a funeral.
2. A pattern / bad habit is over
The person who dies in your dream might not actually represent a person at all.
Truth is, the death of a person could represent the end of a pattern or a habit. And that could be a very good thing, depending on the habit.
So take heart and feel reassured. Death might not literally mean death in the way we think of it.
3. You’re about to start a new chapter
Is it time to start a new chapter in your life?
If so, your dreams might be trying to tell you. And one way they would tell you is with the death dream.
So smile. Because in this instance death actually means rebirth.
4. You need to move home or are about to
Homes represent our connection to many different people.
Moving home can feel like the death of many relationships.
In order to emotionally prepare us to move home, our dreams may show many people dying. This is an emotional prelude to a huge change in our real-life relationships.
5. If lots of people die in your dream, you might need a new social circle
If lots of people die in your dreams (or even just a few people) it could be a sign that your social circle isn’t doing you any favors.
Is it time to find new friends? Or perhaps you need to drop your old work colleagues in favor of new ones. Heck, if you’re self employed this could be a sign to start networking with a different group.
Why not make use of your dreams?
Our dreams offer a unique and powerful way to train the mind.
Our dreams are a way for the deeper parts of our minds to guide our consciousness.
We can all make use of that guidance. The key is using Dreamworking.
Dreamworking is a practical way to connect to your dreams, to understand them, and to make use of the messages they send you.
Christopher Sowton RP ND has written an excellent guide to Dreamworking in his book Dreamworking: How to Listen to the Inner Guidance of Your Dreams [AMAZON].
In the book, Sowton shares five steps to making use of your dreams.
I was gawping at the pages of this book. I found it fascinating. Totally unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s a truly original take on dreamwork. Definitely worthy of a read. Plus, the guidance is easy to follow even for those who have never tried dreamworking.
Dreams. They’re an amazing, deep, and often misunderstood aspect of the human mind
As we’ve seen, dreams work like poetry. They use allusions, symbolism, emotion, and even story to communicate with you.
That’s the brilliant thing about dreams: they can mean so many different things.
What do you think your dream means? I would love to hear from you. And if you want to dream in an all new way, try Tibetan Dream Yoga.
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