What Does It Mean When You Dream of Someone Who Has Died? 18 Common Meanings

Dreams can be confusing. Every dream has different potential meanings, depending on what’s going on in your life and how your subconscious attaches to it. Dreaming about someone who has died can be unsettling, so here are 18 common meanings of dreams involving deceased people that could settle your mind.

They’ve Been On Your Mind

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It’s common to dream about things we’ve been thinking about during the day, which explains why you might dream about someone who has died. These dreams won’t necessarily be sad; they may help you relive happy memories. This is all normal, so there’s no reason to be concerned.

You’re Processing Your Grief

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Grief is debilitating, and even sleep might not provide release if you dream about your recently deceased loved one. CBC calls these dreams ‘grief dreams,’ which help us to process everything. Grief scatters your mind, and it makes it difficult to focus, but grief dreams may actually help you regain control.

You’re Missing Them

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When you’ve lost someone who had a significant impact on you, they’ll be on your mind even when you’re not consciously thinking of them. Dreaming about someone who has died can mean you’re missing them and want them back. Subconsciously, you know dreaming is the only way you can see them again.

You’re Seeking Guidance

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We look to influential figures in our lives for guidance, which makes it so much harder when we lose them. For example, if you’re dreaming of a deceased parent, you might be subconsciously desiring their wisdom. Grief makes you feel stuck, so you seek guidance in your dreams to move forward.

You Have Unresolved Feelings

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We can dodge unresolved feelings when we’re awake, but our dreams force us to confront them. According to Psychology Today, this is called ‘dream rebound,’ which means the feelings we suppress show up when we sleep. If you have unresolved feelings of grief, that could explain your dreams.

You’re Making Poor Decisions

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Making poor decisions impacts all aspects of your life, and it may also make you dream about someone who has died. Sometimes, dreams about deceased loved ones are warnings to guide you in a different direction. The deceased acts as a comforting presence to promote better decision-making.

You’re Trying to Relive Old Memories

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When you’re awake, grief can make it too painful for you to relive old memories involving dead relatives. However, dreams are a safe place for our brains to play out memories, often combining them with other feelings or events. The nostalgia of reliving these memories is comforting.

You Want Closure

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Losing somebody does strange things to your mind, so you might subconsciously hold onto guilt, sadness, or regrets to punish yourself. Dreaming about someone who has died can help you let go of those emotions and find closure relating to their death, enabling you to unconsciously work through your feelings.

You’re Curious About the Afterlife

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It’s natural to be curious about life after death, so seeing a deceased person in a dream could be related to your thoughts about the afterlife. Western religious interpretations might suggest you’re questioning mortality and grappling with what happens next, which is normal after someone has died.

You Fear Change

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Losing someone you were very close to is a massive change that completely reroutes your life. Seeing that person in a dream could represent your fear of change and any concerns you have about the future without that person in it. Again, the deceased acts as a supportive, guiding presence.

You Need to Talk to Someone

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When the person you’ve always confided in passes away, it leaves a void in your life. According to Mental Health Center, it’s common to dream about speaking to dead relatives as you work through emotions and create coping mechanisms. You create dialogues in your dreams to reconnect with the person you lost.

You Feel Stuck

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Grief often leaves us in a rut where everything feels pointless. Our minds sometimes seek to escape this rut when we’re unconscious, which may manifest as someone who has died. This person helps impart wisdom in your dreams, helping you to process your emotions and start moving on.

You’re Becoming More Self-Reliant

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Taking responsibility for ourselves is a necessary life skill, and bizarrely, it might also prompt deceased loved ones to appear in our dreams. We’re able to comfortably work through things when we’re asleep, so we might bring the deceased into our dreams to support us as we take control of our lives.

You Want Comfort

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When we’re grieving, all we want is comfort, but the comfort we want the most is from the person we’ve lost. Finding that person in your dreams gives you the connection you’ve subconsciously yearned for, helping you know that they’re okay, even if it’s just a dream.

Your Habits Are Changing

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Changing our habits affects our dreams because we typically dream about things we do regularly when awake. This means that you may dream about someone from your life who has passed, especially if they were close to you, as you are sadly no longer in the habit of being with them.

You’re Scared of Dying

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Dreaming about death in any way can be triggered by a subconscious fear of dying, whether that regards a friend, a family member, or yourself. This is why Verywell Mind recommends that you don’t take dreams about death literally because it’s a normal part of not wanting things to come to an end.

You’re Embracing Spirituality

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It’s normal for many people to embrace spiritual ideas after losing loved ones. We become curious about the human soul and what happens to it when our bodies die. Seeing a deceased person in your dreams could reflect your newfound spirituality, encouraging you to see their soul in your sleep.

You’re Starting to Move On

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Perhaps the most common reason for seeing a deceased loved one in your dreams is that you’re starting to move on. Seeing them happy in your dreams shows that you’re processing your grief and moving forward without guilt. Remember, they will always be there for you in your dreams when you need them.

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