Death in dreams

Your death dreams are symbolic: they are not related to actual past and actual death but are extremely meaningful about your own past, present and future. Dreams about death when taken to mean – help you to see your best way forward. So don’t worry about anyone dying: that’s not what these dreams mean. These dreams embrace the solution to life not actual death – when you have them interpreted.
Death dreams can be very disconcerting, especially in the form of nightmares and the death of loved ones, the subconscious mind chooses images in dreams that represent what’s going on within your mind.

Death in a dream addresses a very important function in the mind. From an objective point of view, death is part of a natural cycle found in our waking lives. It marks a changeover and transformation. Therefore, death in a dream represents change within the thinking or attitudes of the dreamer.

As a dream analyst I have discussed death dreams with thousands of people and a large number of those dreams were totally symbolic. Your dream’s messages will determine how valuable dream interpretation will be in your life.

  • Is something from your past effecting some part of your life?
  • Has some part of yourself or your life ended or changed recently?
  • Are you worried about something not going right in your life?
  • Are you having trouble accepting some situation in your life?
  • Have you been keeping your worries to yourself?

Meaning of death dreams

The feeling you get during death dreams is often quite intense and many people wake up with the relief that it was all just a dream! But what are dreams about death really telling us?

Here are some things to consider when you encounter death in your dreams:

People in a dream represent aspects or parts of you. If you know a person who died in the dream,
identify the most outstanding qualities you see in that person. If you describe the person as being charismatic, then look for ways that your own qualities of charisma have changed. If a person procrastinates a lot in your eyes, then their death in a dream signifies a way that your own procrastinating tendencies have undergone a change.

Verdict and Guiltiness

Death dreams can actually represent something in your life that you feel a sense of guilt over. This dream shows you that you are still blaming or judging yourself about your past actions that are associated with feelings of guilt.
If in the dream you are facing the prospect of being sent to prison over a death then it implies that you are letting your judgment or guilt from some aspect of your past limit you in some part of your waking life.

The End of Something or Change

Death dreams can also suggest that something in your life is coming to an end or changing. You can’t change something without getting rid of an old way, so the dream will often show this to you as something dying such as a dead body. If the dead body was somebody or something very loyal for example then your dream would suggest that this characteristic in your life is dying off. So think about current situations in your life where this could relate to.

Dreams of death may represent any form of change in your life such as a change in your relationship with someone, a career change, a change in your attitude about something, or even a change in your body such as a new way of dressing for example.
If you have death dreams where your mother dies then this suggests that your motherly side, or the thing that your mother represents to you, is coming to an end in some part of your life.
So any aspect of the type of people that might die in dreams may represent that aspect of you that has somehow ended or changed.

So when you have dreams about death, make note of what it is that is dying in the dream and then think about what this thing or person represents to you and how this could relate to something in your waking life.
We see death all around us: the death of the old year gives way to the birth of the new, the death of winter leaves pave the way for the birth of spring leaves, the death of a crumbling old building allows a new one to be built in its place, the death of a relationship that is no longer working for either partner eventually opens the way for you both to begin new relationships and so on. It is often the case that the new cannot be created until the old has ended. For things to change, old habits often need to die.

Death in dreams is symbolic of things that are coming to a close, or ending, in your life. These are usually necessary to clear the way for new things to come into your life. Death dreams are about change. For change to happen, we need to end old attitudes, old ways of being or old beliefs because otherwise these old ways are in the way of the new. How can you develop a new attitude if you are still clinging to the old?

The problem with death dreams is that they’re often so graphic, or they feature people you know and love which isemotionally devastating.
It can be so hard to tear yourself away from the emotional impact of seeing someone you love die in a dream and to focus on the fact that the dream is about YOU – not about physical death, but about the death of old ways within you.
Difficult, but it must be done if you are going to discover the huge personal rewards of understanding your dreams of death.

Understanding death in a dream can give great insights into your own relationship with change. It can help you make adjustments in your thinking to produce the results you desire in life.

Was the death natural or forced? If a person dies naturally in a dream, look for ways that you’ve naturally matured in your thinking. If the death was forced, in the case of accidents or warfare, look for times in your thinking that you’ve attempted to force something to happen. Try to allow time, space, and experience to naturally cause change in your thinking and perspective.

The horror of death in a dream.

I’m here to reassure you that your death dream is extremely unlikely to foretell anyone’s death. Death dreams can be very disconcerting,
especially in the form of nightmares and the death of loved ones, the subconscious mind chooses images in dreams that represent what’s going on within your mind. Worse still, of course, are those terrifying dreams where you kill someone. Again, you must focus on removing yourself from the emotional impact of the dream so that you can consider its symbolism and recognize its meaning and application to your life.

Death dreams are so common that if they were precognitive the human race would have become extinct long ago! If you think your death dream is precognitive you are missing a wonderful opportunity to open yourself to some new and amazing experiences in life, because this is what most death dreams are about: death of past ways of being to make way for new ways of being.

Dreams of death may also represent fears you have about things not going right in some part of your waking life.

For example, relationship issues could be a situation in your life that may cause you to have this dream. You may see the person you love dying to represent that part of you feels like it is dying or that person is dying from your life. It can also represent a relationship that has come to an end and you’re having trouble accepting this.

A dream where you bury or hide something that has died such as a dead body for example can represent the things that you bury within yourself in your waking life such as fears or obnoxious childhood experiences.

Your Psychoanalysis of Death in Dreams

Having dreams about death, you might have: Been recently thinking about or reminded of times where you have blamed yourself or felt guilty over something, you have been feeling guilty over something recently, you have been judging yourself of your past actions or there might be some aspects of yourself that you are neglecting.

Digging Up a Dead Body

Digging up and finding a dead body in your dream means that you are the cause of the problems that led to whatever change you have experienced in life, or the change that you are currently experiencing. It indicates that you are lying on the bed that you have created. All the problems, is it ending of a relationship, divorce, loss of a job or possible someone important, you are the cause and that feeling is eating you up.

Burying or Hiding a Dead Body

Burying or hiding a dead body in a dream means that you are experiencing a great deal of change in your life for better or for worse, something good or bed is ending, it troubles you but you are not prepared to come out and share it with someone. Alternatively the dream suggests that there is a worrying factor within yourself but you are hiding it. A dream where you bury or hide something that has died such as a dead body for example can represent the things that you bury within yourself in your waking life such as fears or obnoxious childhood experiences.

Death of a Parent

Death of a parent in your dream, If you have death dreams where your parents die then this suggests that your parents’ side, or the things that your parents represents to you, is coming to an end in some part of your life. So any aspect of the type of people that might die in dreams may represent that aspect of you that has somehow ended or changed.

Death of a Pet

Death of a pet in your dream If you dream that your pet you had years ago died in the dream then think about what the pet meant to you when it was in your life. If the pet was very loyal for example then your dream would suggest that this characteristic in your life is dying off. So think about current situations in your life where this could relate to.

Death of Self

Death of self in a dream, dreaming that you have died; And what about those dreams where it is YOU who is dying, or where you are told you are dying, or where you see a younger or older version of yourself dying, or where you see yourself dead in a coffin or at your own funeral? Again, remind yourself that your dream is symbolic. These dreams tend to come up when huge areas of your life are changing, with the old you virtually unrecognizable to the new you who is emerging. Again the details of your unique dream help to identify exactly what is changing and this, in turn, helps you to decide whether these changes are to be welcomed or whether they are premature or not in your best interests.

Early Death or Death at an Early Age

Dreaming that something or somebody dies at an early age; Sometimes we end things prematurely, we might end a relationship that we could have healed, or drop out of a study course that would really have been good for us, or kill off a gift or talent by ignoring it. The last case is quite common: you might have a wonderful talent as an artist, for example, but be too fearful to develop your skills, choosing instead a well-paid but unhappy profession for yourself. In this example you might expect dreams where someone or something dies at a young age and you experience huge regret in your dream. If it is an animal that dies in your dream, apply the same kind of thought. If you see someone suffocating to death in your dream indicates that something seems to be suffocating and coming to an end in your life, or within you.

Death of Loved Ones

Let’s move on now to look at dreaming of departed loved ones. Seeing your deceased treasured ones in your dream; It’s natural to want to dream about someone you love who has passed on and when those dreams are full of love and pleasure they can feel reassuring and healing. It’s as if the loved one is still around, giving support and extending love. On the other hand it’s just as common to dream of a departed loved one appearing in a dream in a frightening manner, usually angry, cruel or blaming you. That’s when you, the dreamer, can get really distressed, until you remind yourself that this dream is symbolic – the person is not actually there in person, the soul and the spirit of that person is visiting you in your dream: you are dreaming about your feelings of grief at losing him or her and the spirit is responding.

Dreams and Stages of Grieving

If you have experienced losing someone close to you, you are probably familiar with the stages of grieving. On its early stages you normally feel angry with the person for dying and abandoning you unreasonably. You may also feel that he or she was cruel in leaving you to live on without their support and you may even blame yourself for their death – perhaps feeling that you didn’t love them enough and so on. So, when the departed loved one appears in your dream as angry, cruel and blaming he or she is a symbol representing what you have lost and your feelings about it. Once you understand this, these dreams are healing, because they are your own feelings letting off condensation safely in your dream. When you have this kind of dream reassure yourself that you are working through the normal stages of the grieving process and that you’re moving through healing towards a sense of peace. Of course the souls, the memories and the spirits of our late loved ones will be always with us.

So, you can see that death dreams cover both the positives and negatives of endings, but once you’ve worked out what the dying person or thing in your dream represents you can then decide on whether the ending it represents is timely or not.

Dreams of people who were difficult in their waking life and have passed on; those with whom relationship was tense? Often, after the person’s death, it’s common to have a reunion dream where the person loves, is kind and forgiving. What is happening in these dreams is that YOU are the one doing the forgiving and the loving – forgiving and loving the other person, and forgiving and loving yourself for having done the best you could do. Again it is a healing dream that leads you towards a sense of inner peace.

Dreams of Being Haunted by a Spirit

When you dream of being haunted by a spirit (When even feel that a presence is actually in your room). This usually means you are feeling haunted by something from your past. What kinds of things haunt you? Memories, guilt, regret and thoughts of what could have been, maybe? Consider the spirit in your dream and ask yourself what he, she or it represents to you. For example, your dream spirit might be a starving prisoner so he might represent some way in which you have starved yourself emotionally that is still haunting you. Or your dream spirit might be an old hunter which, on reflection, you decide probably represents an adventurous spirit – your adventurous spirit that you have abandoned but that comes back to haunt you, reminding you of your regret. Having such a dream you might decide to enroll for something adventurous and, if you do, your dream spirit will probably disappear from your dreams since he no longer lives in the past because you have integrated him into your present.

Dreaming of the Devil

Your dream spirit might appear as the devil. This is common for people who have experienced a strict religious upbringing. What happens is that you push away all the things you feel guilty about – all the things your religion has informed you are bad – you push them so far away that they seem separate from yourself.
You have disowned them so they appear as a separate being and what better symbolism, for such a dreamer, than to embody all that guilt in the form of the devil? Until you realize this, of course, this kind of dream is extremely scary because it’s easy to believe that the devil is really there judging your guilt, instead of being a dream symbol that your dreaming mind accompanied by your spirit guides has chosen to represent your own harsh judgments of yourself. What can you do about this type of dream? The best approach is to realize that there is no devil haunting you other than your own feelings of absent guilt or judgments.

Surreal Dreams

Dreams where you think you may, in fact, not be dreaming, it is happening – those experiences where you feel an evil presence is in your room or floating near you and you are engulfed by intense fear and you can’t move or scream out. (What do these dreams or experiences mean?): they are very similar to the spirit or devil dreams already discussed in that the presence is; in fact it is your own feelings of harsh judgment against yourself. Anything that you consider bad or evil about yourself is bundled up and pushed away so that you are left feeling worthy and good. But that pushed away negative energy always comes back to haunt you in your dreams simply because you need to confront it, to understand that you’ve dismissed some very genuine emotions and feelings instead of handling them and healing them.

Evil Presence as a Representation of Anger

Your dreams go for major impact and really drum up the evil feeling because that is exactly what you have done.
For example, you might have been taught, as a child, that it is wrong to be angry with anyone or anything so you learned to push any anger away and remain a very nice calm person, a friend to everyone, loved by all. But in doing this you miss out on healing large areas of your life, because those angry feelings were a natural consequence of feeling hurt. You need to find safe ways to express your feelings of anger – ways that are not harmful to other people – so that you can go deeper and address those hurts that still need healing. So, in this example, that evil presence is all your anger that you have pushed away, still haunting you, always hovering nearby, needing to be faced and used in a healing way. So these dreams are about integrating feelings and beliefs that you have pushed away. Once you’ve integrated these and owned them, you can transform them for your healing.

Why Do Dreams Feel Real

So why does this kind of dream sometimes feel as if it’s not a dream? Why is it that sometimes you really think you are awake and the presence is there?
Dreams such as these cause your body to go into fear response, so often – you freeze, unable to move. These are natural physiological responses to fright.
Sometimes you even wake up partially, opening your eyes while your mind is still dreaming. At this point something really interesting happens. Because your eyes are open, images of your dark bedroom are arriving at your brain at the same time as your brain is also seeing your dream, so, rather confused; your brain comes to one conclusion: all of this must be taking place out there, in your room! So you see your dream presence apparently in your bedroom. Often this is enough to completely frighten you awake and that is when the presence disappears but the sweat lives on. You may still feel the freeze and be unable to shout out or move.

Survival Mechanism

Even if you don’t open your eyes, a frightening dream can sometimes jump you out of your dream too fast while your physical body is still in safe sleeping mode.
Think about it: when you fall asleep you have all those active dreams but your body is more or less still, apart from the odd twitch and your rapidly moving eyes under your eyelids.
This is the body’s way of going into out of harm’s way manner:
your muscles are calm so that you don’t get up and act out your dreams and hurt yourself.
But when your mind wakes up before your body – such as in a very frightening dream – your physical body can’t shout or move because it is still in safe mode.

Dreams of Death

Dreams of death and dreams of haunting are complex, but these basics should be enough to reassure you of their general meanings. Every dream is only one of its kind and it is the details in your dream that help identify exactly which area of your life your dream is addressing.
You may wish to move on and discuss your dream personally with me through emails to discover its exact meaning so you can make appropriate decisions in your life based on this insight.

Cultural Symbolism

Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about death? The majority of human beings are relatively unsure about their own death.
Most people wonder when it will happen, if it will hurt, and what will occur afterward. Thus, our consciousness is constantly working this predicament out through our waking as well as subconscious experiences. Dreaming is the way our unconscious self moves across the threshold of time and space into conscious awareness.
We dream in order to learn about ourselves and develop undeveloped elements of our personality. I can potentially learn that part of me is not at peace with the notion of my own death or the ending of something big in my life.

What can you learn about yourself from dreams about death? You have the opportunity to look within yourself, take check on yourself and make adjustments as needed.

Dreams of death, dying and the departed can be extremely scary dreams but, once understood, they can be most insightful and freeing. Dreams of death are perfectly normal and natural, even the horrific ones. They are also very common dreams although people are often too fearful to mention them.

Any questions or needs? Please let me know, I (Khokhovula, traditional healer) am willing to help and or advise you.

Please contact me on +27 73 0373 093 or +27 72 6143 795. You can also send me an email:

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