What Does It Mean When You Dream About Losing A Loved One

Dreaming about losing a loved one is a deep, emotional nightmare that touches the deepest corners of your heart. If you dreamt about losing a loved one, you may be struggling with your emotions and trying to understand what it means.

When you dream about losing a loved one, it can be a troubling experience. You may feel that the dream is a sign that they are going to die soon. While this is not always true, it is important to understand what it means when you dream about losing a loved one.

Dreaming of hearing about someones death in your dream or seeing their dead body can mean several things. If you are close to your loved one, then this could mean that something has happened to them and they are no longer with you. However, if the person was not very close to you or was an acquaintance, this could mean that there is some kind of problem or conflict between the two of you.

What does it mean when you dream about yourself dying? This can be a symbol for many different things depending on how old you are and if anyone else dies in your dream as well. For example, if an older person dies but then comes back to life again after being buried, then this could mean that they have passed away and their death has been over-exaggerated by others around them (or even themselves). In addition, if there is no one else who dies with them when they do die then it could indicate some sort of

Dreams about family members dying

2018 study on childhood nightmares found that common themes include:

  • death
  • injury
  • threats to family members

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

What are the characteristics of a grief dream?

A grief dream is any kind of dream you’ve had after the loss of a loved one. It can be a sym­bolic dream reflecting your emo­tions surrounding the loss. For example, you’re feeling over­whelmed by grief, so you dream something collapses on you, re­flecting that crushing feeling. Or, it can be a dream in which the deceased is mentioned, perhaps by an angel or a hospital worker. Or you can dream that the de­ceased is present—this type of dream interests people the most, and it’s where I’ve focused a lot of my academic research.

What forms do the grief dreams in which the deceased are present commonly take?

I’ve found seven common types of these dreams. There are rationali­zation dreams, in which the dreamer tries to understand why the de­ceased appears to be alive and pres­ent, and others in which the dreamer helps their loved one cross over into the afterlife. Sometimes the dreamer sees the deceased as sick or dead. Similar in tone is the type of dream in which the deceased expresses dis­approval of the dreamer. There are also separation dreams, in which the deceased and the dreamer are kept apart by a physical obstacle, such as a wall. The most positive dreams are the ones in which the deceased offers comfort through words or ac­tions, or dreams in which the dream­er sees them, healthy and happy.

Learn more about how to interpret dreams of deceased loved ones. 

Do people have more negative grief dreams or positive ones?

Dream research has shown that when people have dreams in general, they have more negative dreams than positive ones. That’s simply because of daily stress, which gets incorpo­rated. After trauma, research shows these dreams tend to become even more negative. So you’d think that grief dreams would follow this pattern and that people would have more negative grief dreams than positive ones. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. When the deceased appear in dreams, they tend to be positive. In one of my studies, about 90 per­cent of people reported having at least one positive dream of the deceased, as opposed to 44 per­cent who had at least one negative. It points to something different going on with these types of dreams. They’re a very special experience. Many people I’ve spoken with have told me these dreams also feel different from an average dream—they’re more vivid.

So what does it mean if you’re one of the people who has a negative grief dream?

Negative grief dreams don’t mean you had a negative relationship with the person who’s passed. They are often a reflection of the distress the dreamer is experiencing after losing someone.This is especially true if you’re sup­pressing your emotions about the death of a loved one, which isn’t un­common. I did that after my dad passed. In this case, the negative dream can help you work through feelings you’ve been avoiding in your waking life.

Why are these dreams important?

Remembering your grief dreams can provide an opportunity to reflect on and work through your grief in a new way. For instance, my father died very suddenly, and my dreams gave me a chance to say goodbye to him. Some dreams allow the bereaved to continue to feel bonded with the deceased, which can be helpful after a loss. Grief dreams can also lead people to place more value on their dreams in general. Dreams can provide a new tool to understand ourselves. I believe that the more we understand about ourselves, the more we can love ourselves and in turn love God.

What are some of the most surprising things you’ve learned about grief dreams during your research?

First off, how common they are. In a sample of bereaved partners and spouses, 86 percent had a dream of the deceased. But even more than that, how common they are after all kinds of loss. And of course, I was fascinated to discover that people experienced grief dreams before knowing their loved one had passed.

What do grief dreams of spouses look like?

They generally fall into one of the larger dream categories I mentioned earlier, such as the dreamer being comforted by their deceased loved one. For example, one woman told me that her husband came to her in a dream and told her not to worry about him, because he was with Jesus and no longer suffering from Alzheim­er’s disease. Interestingly, it’s also common for a deceased spouse to appear in a dream and approve of their partner remarrying. There’s a lot

of love and positivity in these dreams.

Various Interpretations

  • A dream about the death of a loved one, especially a spouse, could mean that there is something wrong with your relationship with them. Seeing them dead can be interpreted as your fear of losing them, or they leaving you. Similarly, if you have seen such dreams about a friend, or someone else in the family, probably you need to re-assess your relations with them. Such dreams could indicate that you need to take steps such as communicate more with them, or spend more time with them, in order to re-establish the same bonding that you once had, but is now dying or decaying.
  • Another interpretation of a death dream is that it represents the end of something important in your life. It could be the end of some strong belief that you held, the end of a career, the end of a marriage, etc. Perhaps, you are trying to free yourself from the old values and rules of life, that you have been abiding for so many years. It could just mean that you are trying to re-invent yourself.
  • Sometimes, this type of dream could mean that you found a change in certain qualities of an individual. For instance, If you saw a close friend dying, and you know him as someone very honest, such a dream could mean that perhaps you two have not been honest in your dealings in the past. The death dream could be interpreted as death of honesty in you.
  • If you see from the scientific point of view, nightmares or bad dreams could signify some sort of stress, anxiety, or a mental disturbance that a person is experiencing. An underlying health problem, substance abuse, a feeling of embarrassment or guilt, could be behind these.

All the above interpretations hold true if the person that you dreamed of, is still alive. However, if someone close has actually died, and you dreamed the same, it would be a different case. Irrespective of the fact that the person died recently or years ago, it could be a way employed by the subconscious mind to heal oneself of the loss and pain suffered.

Some people may also have dreams of someone’s death that come true. They have foreboding feelings of impending doom thereafter. This is a kind of precognition. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that dreams are never 100% accurate. There are various ways to interpret them. The key lies in identifying which one is applicable to you.

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