Having dreams about death or dying, or watching someone die in a dream can be very stressful and scary. Sometimes these dreams are nightmare-like in nature, filled with feelings of grief and confusion, while other times they may seem like a more serene or accepting experience.
Many times, dreaming about death, dreaming about someone dying or yourself being the person to die in the dream can leave us with feelings of concern that plague us even when we’re awake.
Here is what dreaming about death really means, according to several different common interpretations, as well as spiritual and religious interpretations.
What are dream interpretations?
Interpreting dreams is a practice that’s almost as old as dreams themselves. It stretches across cultures, countries, and religions. Many times, the images displayed to us while we are unconscious, are thought to be our subconscious or higher self speaking to us. Others may believe it is the only time our spirit guides and ancestors are able to communicate with us. Regardless of who is trying to do the telling, it is the actual telling itself that causes us to seek out a deeper meaning of our dreams.
Many ancient societies depended on dreams to drive them forward in their decision-making or had a designated person like a high priestess or shaman that would advise on different areas of life after having dreamt about them.
Different dreams about death or dying
Dreams are never as simple as only one action. Here we have gathered a few different variations of dreams that include death or drying.
1. Dream about dying
If you are the subject of this dream, it could mean a few different things.
- New beginnings
If you are the person that passes away in your dream, then this could represent the ending of a chapter in your life. Death is final to us in waking life, and often scary and uncertain. In your dreams, this symbolizes a big change, the ending of something and the beginning of something else. In this context, death often symbolizes transitions.
- Long and healthy life
Some interpretations believe that dreaming about death means its complete opposite. It means that you are likely to have a long and healthy life, that you will live to be very old and wise.
2. Dream about friends dying
Dreams like these are very frightening and can feel heavy while you’re in them. Most people find themselves to be relieved as soon as they wake up from a dream about a loved one dying.
Here, death is once again a symbol of change. There could be changes happening in your friend’s life, or there could be big changes happening within your friendship.
3. Dream about parents dying
Having dreams about your parents dying can feel like a nightmare, especially if you are close. It might give you the urge to give them a call or a hug as soon as you wake up.
However, this dream is fairly common in adult children dreaming about their parents.
The death of a parent in a dream is a symbol of your relationship with them changing. Maybe you have grown apart, or maybe you have grown closer. Either way, your bond is different now.
4. Dream about myself being murdered
A natural death can symbolize parts of your life coming to its natural ending or pause. But dreaming about murder usually entails a lot of violence. This could be seen as trying to forcefully change something in your waking life, or about yourself. It could also signify a choice that you have made which will have drastic consequences.
If you know the person that is murdering you, then you might be facing some difficulty or disagreement with this person. There might also be a lot of feelings of resentment and anger towards them.
If a stranger is committing the murder this usually reflects your inner self or someone who has been affected by a choice that you made. This person has remained unknown to you, but they might be willing to step out and speak to you about what has been bothering them in the near future.
5. Dreaming about someone I know being murdered
This dream can vary in meaning depending on who the person is.
- A close friend or other loved one
This signifies a shift in your relationship. If you are the person to murder your friend, it could be a sign that you are ready to end this relationship or cut this person out of your life for good.
Maybe these feelings have been brewing for a while, but you are finally starting to become more accepting of the idea of your life without them in it.
Watching the murder of an ex-partner means an abrupt end in your relationship. Maybe you have had enough time to grieve your ended relationship, and you’re ready to throw away the last remaining feelings of longing and regret.
Or this could be a harsh reminder of an abrupt end in your previous relationship. Maybe someone’s actions were extremely hurtful and served as the driving force to end the relationship. In this case, this dream could be a sign that you are still not over it, and that you need to work on healing and moving on.
6. Dream about someone who is already dead
If you dream about someone that has died visiting you in a dream, this could mean a variety of things. Dreams like these often include a friend or a relative.
It could symbolize the longing you feel for the person you miss. Or it could symbolize longing for what this person represents to you. Usually, dreaming of someone that has passed is a sign of your urgent want or need for something, whether it be physical or emotional.
- A warning
It is common for dreams of someone who has passed to serve as a warning. It could be a sign that you are blending with the wrong crowd, or that you have someone in your immediate circle that is not who they say they are. This person might not have good intentions, and your passed loved one has come bearing this warning.
- A visit
Just like with dreams about pets who have already passed, the same could be said for this type of dream. Many interpretations point to dreaming about a loved one who has passed away, being a visit from them. Usually, these dreams feel extremely real and vivid and you can almost remember every detail. This could be your loved ones’ way of checking in on you, providing you with newfound hope or comfort.
Dreaming about dying or death: religious meanings
1. Dying in dream meanings in Islam
Dreaming of death or dying meaning according to Islamic interpretations can be a sign of loss of religious faith. This is usually in regards to the dreamer. Maybe you are feeling disconnected from your religion and community. This could be a sign that it is time to revisit these areas of your life and to try and strengthen these bonds.
Dreaming of death or dying in Islam could also mean that troubles and hard times lie ahead of you.
2. Dying in dream meaning in Christianity
Dreaming of death or dying in your dream meaning according to Christian interpretations is less negative. Here, death is a symbol of change and possibly even rebirth. Although the dream feels scary, and for most people, the thought of death is very final, these dreams represent new beginnings, as rebirth and change usually bring positive elements to our lives.
This dream can also represent that there is a specific part of yourself that you have outgrown and are ready to let go of, this might pertain to certain views or beliefs, or routines that you are growing out of and trying to change. Here, death represents replacing the old with the new.
General meaning of dreaming about dying in your dream or dreaming about death
Though it may come as a surprise to you, this is a rather common dream to have.
Overall, such dreams signify new beginnings, fresh starts, and big changes that are coming your way. In certain contexts, they serve as reminders, and in some cases, they may even be visits from loved ones who have passed on.
Although death is a frightening concept to most, and usually these dreams may leave you uneasy and confused, it is important to know that they should not be interpreted literally. Dreaming of dying or dreaming of death is symbolic, and meant to represent the changes and growth that are to come, even if we are yet aware of it or not.
How your dreams reflect your waking life
Your dreams are a powerful tool and an expert on translating the thoughts, emotions and feelings of your waking life, into your subconscious. Some of the time these can symbolize feelings of deep fear, worry, and self-doubt in your waking life. Other times they may be signs of joy, contentment and prosperity. There is also a portion of dreams that could come to you as warnings or a premonition.