Dreaming of a deceased loved one may bring you consolation and even joy, but it may also leave you sad and heartbroken to see them so briefly and then to lose them again.
There are many ways to interpret a dream such as this, and it’s not always easy to decipher – so in this post, we discuss seeing a deceased loved one in a dream meaning to help you make sense of what you experienced.
Is the dream related to their passing or something else?
Dreams about deceased loved ones are different to most other dreams because they may be directly related to the death of the loved one or they may have a different meaning altogether.
This is because the death of a loved one can produce such powerful emotions that they can easily seep into our dreams.
On the other hand, the messages dreams bring us are often symbolic or metaphorical, and the correct interpretation of a dream about a departed loved one can fall into this category too.
This means to interpret such a dream, you should spend time in deep thought and try to explore your deepest feelings. Then, by following your intuition, you should be able to work out if the dream was really about your lost loved one or something else.
Dreams related to their passing
Let’s start by looking at dreams that are about the loved one you dreamed of and may have been caused by their passing.
Grief and suppressed emotions
If you dream about a deceased loved one, especially if they only recently passed, it could tell you that you are still grieving for them and that you have not recovered from their death or come to accept it yet.
Losing a loved one can be a highly traumatic experience, and sometimes, dreaming about the person we lost can help us process our emotions, allowing us to deal with our loss.
It’s also possible that we are suppressing our feelings, especially after a recent bereavement and particularly if the death was unexpected. In this case, a dream about the recently departed is also likely to be part of our subconscious mind’s way of dealing with what happened.
You need answers
Sometimes, a death can seem senseless to us. It’s one thing when somebody dies of old age, but it’s something else entirely when somebody is taken too early by disease, in a car accident or some other unforeseen circumstances that are out of our control.
It can be very hard to make sense of such an event, making the loss so much harder to recover from – and a dream of a loved one after such a traumatic experience may represent our subconscious mind searching for answers.
You need closure
Another possibility is that the person died before you had chance to say goodbye properly – or maybe you were on bad terms and didn’t have chance to make up before they passed.
In this case, a dream about a deceased loved one – especially a dream where you speak to them and perhaps seek reconciliation or say your final farewells – can be a representation of your need for closure as well as your mind’s way of helping you process the pain.
You feel regret
A similar possibility is that you feel some kind of regret about their passing, perhaps because you feel you didn’t cherish the deceased enough while they were alive.
Again, this could be your mind’s way of giving you a second chance to do or say what you didn’t do or say while the person was alive.
You miss them
Finally, it’s quite possible that you still just miss the person immensely, and this dream represents the hole they have left in your life.
If you are still grieving their loss and think about them all the time, there’s a good chance these raw emotions will spill over into your dreams, causing you to dream of your departed loved one, perhaps more than once.
Dreams with other meanings
At other times when you dream of a departed loved one, although the dream may be related to the person in the dream, the ultimate meaning may be about something else. So let’s have a look at dreams like this now.
You need guidance
If the person you dreamed about was somebody you used to turn to for advice or guidance while they were alive, it could be that you are currently facing a situation where you are not sure what you should do.
In this case, the dream is telling you to try to imagine what they would have told you in this situation – and then to follow their advice.
You need to accept something to move forward in your life
We might never completely get over the loss of a loved one, but we can accept their loss – and if a departed loved one appears in our dream, it could be a message that we need to accept the loss of something else in our lives if we want to move forward.
For example, this could be due to the end of a relationship, or it could be because you got fired from work.
Through deep thought and self-exploration, you will be able to understand what this dream is telling you about – and then you may be able to move on from your loss and start to get on with your life.
Change and transformation
Death in dream interpretation is often related to change and transformation, and the appearance of a departed loved one could tell you that you are about to go through a major period of change in your life.
This could be related to work, your relationships or anything else, but seeing your departed loved one should remind you that even though change can be scary, it always brings new opportunities that you should be ready to seize with both hands.
The end of something
Similarly, a dream about a departed loved one could symbolize the end of something – for example, you might be moving to a new area, you might be leaving your job or you might even be retiring.
However, you should look to the future with positivity rather than be stuck in the past – because the future is the only thing you can change.
You are afraid of losing somebody else
A dream about somebody you lost can represent the fear you have of losing somebody else.
You went through those emotions once, and now you are worried about somebody else close to you – either for rational reasons or irrational ones.
If you don’t have good reason to be afraid, you should try to master your fears since irrational anxiety like this is a negative emotion that can pollute your spirit.
However, if you have good reasons to fear, do what you can to protect them – and make sure you make the most of every moment you have with the person so you have no regrets if the worst happens and they die.
You are doing something they would disapprove of
A dream about a deceased loved one could tell you that you are doing something they would disapprove of, especially if they seem sad or angry in the dream.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you are being visited by the spirit of the deceased – although some people might believe it does – rather, it is your subconscious mind’s way of reminding you that what you are doing is not right.
You are doing something that would make them proud
On the other hand, you could dream of a departed loved one when you are achieving great things that would make them proud.
You may even think of the person consciously while you are awake to drive you on, and the dream represents your desire to do things they would approve of.
In this case, this dream should make you happy since you know you are doing what they would want, and perhaps you might believe that they really came to see you in a dream to congratulate you and share in your happiness.
A dream about a mother – you need guidance or reassurance
Mothers represent guidance and reassurance, so if you dream of your departed mother, it could tell you that you are going through something in life that is making you need the kind of guidance or reassurance a mother can provide.
A dream about a father – you need protection
Similarly, fathers represent protection, so a dream of a departed father may tell you that you are afraid or anxious in your life and crave the loving arms and protection of your father.
A visitation from a departed loved one
Finally, some people like to believe that a dream about a departed loved one represents a true visitation from the spirit world. It tells you that all is well with them, that they are in a better place and that you are still always in their thoughts.
A sometimes harrowing dream but one you should try to understand
Although dreaming of a deceased loved one can be a difficult and even harrowing experience, you should try to understand what it meant.
To do this, spend time in deep thought and reflection thinking about what you saw – then, by allowing your intuition to be your guide, you will be led to the correct interpretation of your dream.