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What Do Dreams About Dead Relatives Mean?

by | May 5, 2023

  • Dreaming of dead relatives can be jarring, but there’s no cause for alarm, as it’s not typically associated with a bad omen.
  • To dream of a dead relative can be part of your grieving process.
  • A dream about a dead relative can have different interpretations, depending on the details and how you felt in the dream.

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Dreaming about a dead relative can evoke a wide range of emotions. No matter the details of the dream, there’s always one thing in common: the accompanying intense emotions that come with it.

According to dream researcher Joshua Black, Ph.D., dreams about a dead relative are quite common, especially if the deceased has recently passed. In a study published in the journal, Dreaming, Black revealed that 86% of the participants reported having dreamed of a loved one that had just passed away.

Black iterates that these types of dreams are called “grief dreams” and that they are a way for us to process the trauma of loss.

There’s no need to panic if you just dreamed about a dead relative. Dreams usually contain symbols that represent our innermost thoughts and emotions. Our subconscious is creating a way for us to process our feelings regarding loss, which manifests in our dreams.

Understanding your dream is very important to help you cope with intense grief. However, depending on the details of the dream, they offer a multitude of different symbolism and interpretations.

In this article, we’ll cover the many possible meanings of such dreams and how to use them to help you cope and improve your self-awareness.

General Symbolism of Dead Relatives in Dreams

Here are general symbolism of dead relatives in dreams depending on Biblical and spiritual meanings:

1. Dreaming of Dead Relatives Biblical Meaning

The Bible states that God detests communication with the dead. Even if the deceased was your former loved one, God says these come from demonic sources and forbids Christians to connect with these ghosts.

Dreaming of dead people is also known to be a form of spiritual attack, according to the Bible.

2. Dreaming of Dead Relatives Spiritual Meaning

Joshua Black discovered in his extensive research of grief dreams that people of different religions and across the world experience similar versions of dreaming of a dead person.

Thus, different religions also have their interpretations of this kind of dream.

Wiccans believe that dreams of dead relatives are forms of spirits of loved ones and that we should treat them the same way we treated them when they were still alive. They also believe that these dreams are a form of the healing process.

In Chinese culture, dreams of dead relatives signify good luck, and it also means that the spirits of loved ones are watching over you and protecting you.

In Hinduism, it usually depends on how you feel in the dream. If you feel positively, it usually signifies good luck, wealth, and prosperity. If you feel negatively, it usually means bad luck or danger.

These are the general symbolism of dreams about a dead relative, but there are also more profound and more complex interpretations based on the details of such dreams.

In the following section, we’ll cover the most common dreams about a dead loved one and their possible interpretations.

Common Dreams of Dead Relatives

These are the most common dead relative dreams and their possible meanings:

1. Dreaming About a Dead Family Member

What does seeing a dead family member in your dream mean? It depends on who.

If it was your parents, you might need their guidance and comfort in your life right now. If they died a while back, you may be in a situation in your life right now where you feel like you would have benefited from their help, and thus, you yearn for them at this moment in your life.

2. Dreaming of Dead Relatives Talking To You

If you dream of your dead grandmother or older sister talking to you in your dream, you may be lonely and need someone to talk to. This is especially true if the deceased was your confidant. You may not have someone in your life right now, so you yearn for their presence.

It could also be a sign that they are warning you about an event in your life that is about to happen. It could be a sign that you need to be prepared for it.

3. Dream of Seeing a Dead Relative Pregnant

If you dreamed of a dead relative being pregnant, it could mean you fear making a mistake in your decisions, and you are afraid of the consequences. It could also mean you are seeking shelter in your life right now or a place called home.

It could also mean you will soon be rewarded for all your hard work.

Related: What Do Dreams About Being Pregnant Mean?

4. Dream of a Dead Relative Holding a Baby

This dream could signify that you will soon discover a family secret. It could also mean you are seeking connection, protection, or nurturing in your waking life.

5. Dreams About Dead Relatives Coming Back to Life

If you dream of deceased people returning to life, it signifies restoration. You may have lost something in the past that was significant to you, and you desperately need it back. You have a strong desire to restore what you lost in life.

Related: What Do Dreams About Seeing a Dead Person Alive Mean?

6. Dream of Dead Relative Mad at You

A dream of a dead person being mad at you is believed to be a form of projected emotions. You may be mad at yourself for something you did or feel remorse for a wrong decision. You are angry at yourself but can’t consciously accept it, so your subconscious mind creates the dream of a dead person being mad at you to help you express your emotions.

And in this case, you projected your feelings through the dream of a dead person being mad at you.

7. Dream of Hugging a Dead Relative (mother or dad)

This dream embodies comfort and longing. You might miss your deceased mom and dad so much that you desire to hug them in real life, but because they have already passed on, you can’t do that.

Your subconscious mind created the dream to help you process your emotions.

8. Dreams About Dead Relatives Giving You Money

If a dead relative gave you money in a dream, it could mean you will encounter a financial triumph in real life, and it could also mean something good is about to happen in your life soon.

Related: Dreaming of someone dying who is still alive spiritual meaning

A Word of Advice

Joshua Black revealed that dreaming of a dead relative is mostly comforting, and very few have reported having negative dreams of dead loved ones. If you dreamed about a deceased parent, grandparent, sister, or cousin, and felt comforted, that could represent your psyche trying to process the trauma of the loss, your loneliness, sadness, and maybe even regret.

When the dream provides positive emotions, such as comfort and peace, experts believe this to be a visitation dream. Visitation dreams offer peace in the dreamer’s life after a loss.

If you don’t know if your dream about a dead relative was a visitation dream or not, here are some essential details that characterize it:

  • The deceased person in your dream looked happy, peaceful, and radiant.
  • You felt comforted in your dream.
  • The dream wasn’t unusual; it was merely a connection or communication dream.
  • The deceased loved one revealed information you didn’t know but told to be true.

If you are sure it was a visitation dream, you might want it to happen again. As long as you keep thinking about the person, you will continue to have positive and comforting dreams about them.

However, if the deceased person evoked negative emotions, you may want to stop having these dreams. Ways for you to prevent this kind of dream from occurring includes:

  • Talking to a therapist to help you process your grief and longing.
  • Reducing stress levels in your waking life.
  • Coming to terms with the loss by moving forward.

Your dreams depend on your emotional state in real life. Increase your self-awareness to help you manifest dreams that bring positivity into your life.


1. What does it mean to dream of someone who has passed away?

Dreaming of a dead loved one can mean many different things, such as grief, longing for guidance, unfinished business, and other possible dream interpretation.

2. Is it normal to dream about dead loved ones?

Yes, it is normal to dream about a dead loved one, especially if the death was just recent. It is a form of processing the trauma of losing that person.

3. What happens if relatives come in a dream?

If relatives come in a dream, you must remember the details and the emotions it evoked. These dreams can be considered grief dreams, visitation dreams, or you haven’t come to terms with the death.

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