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What Do Dreams About Death Mean?

by | Mar 15, 2023

  • Dreams about death could mean you are going through a major life transition and saying goodbye to your old life.
  • You might dream of a deceased loved one if you haven’t processed their death and you’re trying to understand their passing.
  • It may help to reflect on what you’re going through in real life to understand why you have these dreams.

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Death has always been perceived as something to be feared, which is why dreaming about it can be terrifying. If you dream of yourself dying, a loved one or even images of a dead body can evoke feelings of fear and sadness.

Your initial reaction would most likely be fear that your dream may be a premonition. But is there a need to be scared? When you dream of death, do you need to take it literally?

The answer is, fortunately, no. Dreams about death are pretty common, but it doesn’t have anything to do with predicting someone’s demise or even your own.

Dreams about dying can mean different things. In the following section, we’ll discover what they could mean and what you need to do.

General Symbolism of Death dreams

Dreams about death are pretty normal in different circumstances in our life, despite them being scary and jarring.

Dreams about death usually represent different angles of interpretation. As some examples, it can be a symbol of new beginnings, transitions or transformation in life aspects.

Our lives are a constant growth and change, which requires taking actions and making decisions, and there will be times when these decisions could be at our detriment, and in those cases, dreams of death for example may signify a wake up call or a need for quitting a certain bad habit or pattern in our life.

Dreams about death can also be a symbol of some emotional struggles or patterns that we are trying to release, or can also be a symbol of a literal death incident in our lives that we are not finding peace or resolve in just yet. You may just be processing emotions associated with death, a symbol of death, or loss.

Common Dreams About Death

1. Dream About a Loved One Dying (parents or family members)

While dreaming about the death of a loved one may be incredibly terrifying, it does normally not mean an actual death. Dreaming about a loved one dying could mean that there might be a significant change in your relationship and your old connection might phase out of existence. It might also mean that you want these changes to take place and old relationships to end because they feel like a burden in your life.

Related: What Do Dreams About Dead Relatives Mean?

2. Dreams About You Dying

Dreaming about yourself dying could mean that you want something in your life to end, for example a relationship, a job, or even a lifestyle habit you want to change or rid off all together.

It could also mean you want to escape something in your life. If you are anxious, depressed, or in debt, dreaming of yourself dying could mean you don’t want to be in these situations and have the desire to move forward to a better or different circumstance.

3. Dreams About Friends Dying

Dreaming about your friends dying could mean you are worried about them, and it could also mean that you and your friends are going through a big change in your relationships or that you want to say goodbye to the friendship.

4. Dreams About Deceased Loved Ones

Dreams about deceased loved ones could mean you have unresolved issues. If the person has recently died, you may still have trouble coming to terms with their death. Dreaming about them could mean you are trying to understand why they died, it could also mean you haven’t moved on or accepted the loss, and you are trying to find closure in their passing.

If the dream involves the deceased person trying to take you somewhere, it could mean you long for that person and want to be with them. It could also mean you may not want to feel lonely.

5. Dreams About Dead Bodies

Dreams about dead bodies can be random. You may have seen a dead body in a movie or a picture, and your subconscious is trying to process the image. Or it can also mean you are going through a significant life transition, and there are many things in your life you are saying goodbye to.

6. Dreams About Pets Dying

Pets can symbolize many things, such as comfort, companionship, and security. Dreaming about dying pets could mean you are afraid you might lose these things.

7. Dreams About Celebrities Dying

Dreaming about a celebrity dying could mean different things, depending on what that celebrity means to you. If a star represents your goals, it could mean you no longer want that goal or you fear you won’t ever achieve your desires in life.

8. Dreams About Strangers Dying

Since dreaming about dying is about things ending, transformations, and closure, dreaming about a stranger could mean that you are detached from these changes.

9. Recurring Dreams About Death

Recurring dreams about death could signify that something in your life bothers you, but you’re not doing anything about it.

This could be an ongoing stress or problem that you don’t have a solution to, and you’re dreaming about death constantly because you desperately want this problem to end.

10. Nonsensical Dreams About Death

Some dreams don’t make sense, and it’s a mishap of many different things, including dreams about death.

Nonsensical dreams about death could mean you are dealing with many different emotions in your life right now and currently suffering from anxiety or stress.

You may desire to end all the emotional turmoil you are going through.

Related: Seeing dead person alive in dream meaning

A Word of Advice

Dreams can be random, but they are often direct representations of our real-life circumstances. Remember that dreaming is a way for your brain to process information and emotions; when we dream, they represent things that we can’t or won’t consciously want to deal with.

Psychologist Olivia Kuhn from the Haffey Center for Attention and Memory suggests having comfort objects beside you if you suffer from nightmares. Comfort objects could be a teddy bear you can hug, a safety blanket, or a comforting smell that can give you a sense of safety and security once you wake up from a bad dream.

You may want to make sense of the dream, so a dream journal can help you understand what your dream could mean.

As mentioned earlier, dreams can mean different things to different people. Try to relate your dream to your life right now and see if there are things you want to end, if you have unresolved issues, or if you’re going through a major life transition.

If you are emotionally disturbed by your dreams, and they are recurring, you may need to see a dream analyst or therapist who can help you regulate your emotions.

Knowing how to interpret our dreams can help us better handle our emotions, relationships, and desires.

Related: Dreaming of a dead person talking to you


1. What is the role of waking life in dreams about death?

Dreams reflect themes that are related to our waking life. To help you find the meaning of your dreams about death, you only need to pay attention to your current life circumstances.

2. What symbolizes death in a dream?

Death in a dream can symbolize saying goodbye to old habits, a coping mechanism to deal with loss, or a significant life transition.

3. Is it reasonable to dream about death?

Dreams about death can be scary, but they can be a good thing to help guide you in the right direction regarding new beginnings and changes in your life.

4. How to prevent recurring dreams about death?

Nightmares can result from stress or trauma, so relaxation techniques before you sleep may help prevent them. Dreams about death can be scary, but the more important thing is understanding what they symbolize.

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