Dreams about Death of a Loved One

How to Interpret Dreams About the Death of a Loved One

Anyone experiencing dreams about the death of a loved one will feel anxious and disturbed. But what do they really mean? Do they mean that the said person is actually going to die? Read on to find the answers.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Psychologist Sigmund Freud said years ago, "Dreams are a collection of memories, ideas, experiences, and incidents, present and stored in our unconscious mind, of which we are sometimes unaware." According to him, our conscious is just a tip of the iceberg, and beneath it lie layers of our subconscious. Our dreams thus, in a way, bring forth what lies in our subconscious mind. That's why, if we are somehow able to interpret them, it would help us to know ourselves better.
In simple words, dream interpretation is all about attaching some symbol to the images, incidents, and things that we see in our dreams. According to dream analysts, what we dream about is not actually what happens in real life. Instead, it signifies or represents something else.
Seeing someone close dying is a commonly experienced nightmare. Any person who sees his spouse, parents, or siblings die, is bound to get very uncomfortable at the very thought. However, as I said before, it does not mean that they are actually going to die. Death here symbolizes something else. Let us try to understand, and analyze what such dreams about death mean and signify.
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.