Welcome back to our ‘Understanding Dreams’ series, where we delve into the workings of our subconscious and explain what those weird and wonderful dreams mean for us and our waking lives. This month’s dream theme is death; though very common, these dreams understandably cause a lot of anxiety and worry, but those feelings are unnecessary. Here we explore what dreams about death mean.
Dreaming about death is very common; whether it’s your own death, or that of a friend or family member. Having a dream about somebody dying can be scary and sad, and leave you feeling worried or unsettled the day after. However, these dreams don’t mean that that person is going to die in real life; instead, they have a more symbolic meaning. Death in dreams often symbolises an ending in your waking life; this could be anything from a relationship, a job, or even just a phase that is coming to a close.
If you dream about death, you are most likely going through a period of change or growth in your waking life. You may not be completely aware of this change; it could be upcoming, or it could be a subtle change that you hadn’t noticed consciously, but that your subconscious brain is processing.
Dreams are our way of making sense of the events in our lives that we don’t quite understand, or are difficult to process. They are also the perfect opportunity to reflect upon our lives. To understand what a dream about death means for you, you should take some time to think about what is happening in your waking life.
What does it mean when you dream about yourself dying?
Dreams of yourself dying symbolise a phase of personal transformation, development, and self-discovery. If you dream about your death, you have probably just made a big change in your life, or you are on your way to making an important decision that will have a big impact on you and your life.
Perhaps you have just ended a relationship, or even entered a new one. Or it could be related to a job; have you recently switched jobs, or got a promotion? Perhaps you’ve been thinking of a career change for a while, but have been unsure whether to make the move? Or maybe you’ve been dreaming of moving to a new city, or country? This dream could be a sign that you should take the leap!
Dreams about yourself dying can also symbolise a smaller change in your life. It could be that a part of you has ‘died’ in real life, such as a habit or a behaviour. You could have made the decision to make a change, or it could have happened naturally, without you even noticing.
What does it mean when you dream of somebody else dying?
Dreams about somebody else dying can have a few different meanings, depending on who the person is, your relationship with them, and what they represent in your life. Though they are the one who has died in the dream, the meaning behind it will most likely be related to you, or at least a part of you, still.7
Dreams about your ex-partner dying usually symbolise the ending of your feelings for them and your relationship. Perhaps you had been holding on to emotions about them, whether it be love, or resentment or bitterness; whatever these feelings were, they have probably dwindled now, leaving you free to move on from the relationship and move forward with your life.
Dreaming about a current partner dying could have two very different meanings, and require some reflection of the current status of your relationship. One possible meaning of a partner dying in a dream is that you subconsciously wish the relationship would end. However, the most common reason for this dream is that you have a deep fear of losing them. Perhaps this dream is a wakeup call, and is meant to consider how much you love and need them in your life. Maybe you have been taking them for granted lately, and need to pay a little more attention to them? Or you feel like there are problems in the relationship that need to be fixed, so that you don’t lose them.
Similarly, dreaming of a friend dying can symbolise the death of the friendship, or the end of their influence on your life. Or, it could be a sign that the friendship needs a little work and care, and that you should spend some time reconnecting with that person, so that the relationship doesn’t fizzle out.
If you dream about your parents dying, it could symbolise that you are going through a period of personal growth or change, and that you are moving further away from who you were as a child, when you needed your parents the most. If you dream of a parent who has already passed, it could be a sign that you are craving their support with a situation, and could benefit from their advice.
If you have a dream about death, don’t panic and fear that the dream will come true. Take the opportunity to reflect and take stock on your life. If you aren’t already going through a change, then use this dream as a warning that something is on the horizon.