Dear Claire,
I have repeated dreams where a family member of mine is dying or is dead. Sometimes, this family member dies right in front of me, in different places. Like at home, or in a bed, or laying on the street. In other dreams, the family member is already dead and is in a casket at the cemetery or at a church. In some dreams, I just hear from someone else who tells me that this family member has died. Once, the family member came up to me in my dream and told me themselves that they were dead. Even though I am not a psychic or anything, and not sure that I believe in seeing the future, these dreams have me very upset and worried that something is going to happen to this family member.

Classically, “death” or “dying” can have multiple meanings in a dream—yet rarely signifies or foretells of an actual, physical death. At its simplest level of interpretation, a dream death can, of course, represent the loss of an individual or a fear for that individual’s health or welfare—especially if that person has a serious illness or disability in the waking world, or if that person is living dangerously and/or abusing drugs, alcohol, and etc. For the most part, however, a person dead or dying in a dream is usually a symbol for the death of something rather than someone—i.e. the death of a relationship, the death of love or sexual desire, the death of a personality, the death of an enterprise, the death of innocence, or etc. The death of an individual in a dream can also be that the dreamer fears that this person will leave him/her—or it can be an expression or reflection of the fact that the person has, in fact, either deserted the dreamer or has moved far away and is no longer physically close to the dreamer. Furthermore, this death motif can indicate a completely severed or “dead” relationship—or one which has become so strained, and where the participants have grown so far apart, that it feels like the relationship is ending/dying. Additionally, a dream death can signify the dreamer’s strong desire to have that person totally out of his/her life—forever removed—or it can indicate the dreamer’s desire to punish and/or “delete” that person for unconscionable behavior or perceived betrayal.

In another light, there are some instances in which deaths in a dream may indicate a dreamer’s desire to “kill” certain personality traits in that person—or a desire to eradicate negative behaviors newly being displayed by that person. Furthermore, when a dreamer repeatedly dreams of someone’s death—and sees that person in a casket, in ghost form, or etc.—it can also be an indication that the dreamer feels that this person has changed to the point where the person who he/she once knew is now gone. That the personality or behavior of that person is so drastically different that it is like a “death”—because only a shell or shadow of that person remains.
However, whether these dreams represent a fear of losing someone, a desire to be rid of someone, or an expression of loss over how much someone has changed, they all function as a subconscious vehicle for exposing hidden truths, releasing suppressed emotions, and calling attention to issues which are distressing the waking mind and need to be confronted and addressed. Death is an extremely powerful symbol—if the dreaming mind is choosing to use this symbol to convey its message, the message should definitely not be ignored.

**Please submit your dreams for analysis to: . All shared information will stay anonymous.

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Lucretia Free