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Dead

Seeing something dead in your dream suggests you are realising that some part of yourself, or your feelings, are no longer expressing fully. In fact you may have killed that part of you by denying it, repressing, or freezing it from normal life. The ‘death’ may even have been caused by a painful experience. But even so, it still means you have made a decision – perhaps unconscious – to shut out that part of your life. This can also relate to a lost opportunity or potential.

Some aspect of your outer or inner life is fading, or being superseded by a changed approach, so may be shown as dying. Your drive to achieve something might die, and be shown as a death in your dreams. Changing from adolescence to puberty, maturity to old age, are also shown as oneself dying. Lost opportunities or unexpressed potentials in oneself are frequently shown as dead bodies. All of us unconsciously learn attitudes or survival skills from parents and others. If these are unrecognised they may be shown as dead. Sometimes we have killed the child or teenager in us because of difficulties or trauma at those ages, and these may be seen as a dead person in one’s dream.

Some death dreams may show the awakening of new life in the dreamer. For instance, Sue worked on a dream in which she was told her baby had died. She woke shaking with grief and tears. The dream and emotions appeared to show her becoming alive enough to feel the grief of her past pain as it connected with the death of her hopes, love, and ideals. She had suppressed her pain for so long. In now coming alive enough to feel her emotions, she was feeling at last that something had died in her.

If the death is someone we know: Frequently, as in second example, desire to be free of the person; or unexpressed aggression; perhaps one’s love for that person has ‘died’. We often ‘kill’ our parents in dreams as we move toward independence. Or we may want someone ‘out of the way’ so we do not have to compete for attention and love.

Death of oneself: Exploration of feelings about death; retreat from the challenge of life; split between mind and body. The experience of leaving the body is frequently an expression of this schism between the ego and life processes. Also: Death of old patterns of living – one’s ‘old self’, the loss of the boundaries that limit your awareness to an identity connected only to the body. This latter is usually a willing surrender of self to the process.

The walking dead or rigor mortis: Aspects of the dreamer that are denied, perhaps through fear.

Dancing with or meeting death or dark figure: Facing up to death.

Example: ‘My son comes in and I see he is unwashed and seems preoccupied and as if he has not cared for himself for some days. I ask him what is wrong. He tells me his mother is dead. I then seem to know she has been dead for days, and my two sons have not told anyone. In fact my other son has not even accepted the fact.’ Anthony.

Anthony is a divorcee. Processing the dream he realised the two sons are ways he is relating to the death of his marriage – the children’s mother.

Example: ‘During my teens I was engaged to be married when I found a more attractive partner and was in considerable conflict. Consistently I dreamt I was at my fiancé’s funeral until it dawned on me the dream was telling me I wanted to be free of him. When I gave him up the dreams ceased.’ Mrs D.

Example: ‘I dream I have a weak heart which will be fatal. It is the practice of doctors in such cases to administer a tablet causing one painlessly to go to sleep – die. I am completely calm and accepting of my fate. I suddenly realise I must leave notes for my parents and children. I must let them know how much I love them, must do this quickly before my time runs out.’ Mrs M.

This is a frequent type of ‘death’ dream. It is a way of reminding ourselves to do now what we want to – especially regarding love.

Although the unconscious has a very real sense of its eternal nature and continuance after physical death, the ego seldom shares this. Unconsciously we realise that collective humanity carries living experience from the life of those now dead. The farmer today unconsciously uses the collective experience of humanity in farming. What innovation he does today his children or others will learn and carry into the future. But apart from that there is life after death. See: Life after Death By Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross.

Idioms: Dead and buried; dead from the neck up / or neck down; dead to the world; play dead.

Dreams about a dead person: Dreaming of someone who is dead, a relative or loved one, is quite common. After all, the person may have played a big part in your life, as for instance a husband or wife. Therefore the influence of their existence is still very much a live in you.

As an example of this, you will probably be able to realise that some of your traits, some of the ways that you think or respond to things, have arisen because of the way you related to the person you dreamt about. So in many cases the dead person indicates the feelings you have about the, the traits you still have alive in you from them. When someone close to you dies you go through a period of change from relating to them as an external reality, to meeting and accepting them as alive in your memories and inner life.

Some dreams of dead people are expressive of attempts to deal with feelings, guilt or anger in connection with the person who died; or your own feelings about death.

Dreams about a Dead husband or wife: Many dreams of dead people come from women who have lost their husband. It is common to have disturbing dreams for some period afterwards; or not be able to dream about the husband or wife at all; or to see the partner in the distance but not get near. In accepting the death, meeting any feelings of loss, grief, anger and continuing love, the dream may become as in the third example. See: Death.

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-Kelley Roberts Christie 2016-06-17 14:09:54

Young teenaged girl who was slightly decomposing was following me around. I was trying to get away from her not out of fear but because she kept grabbing my arm and she was decomposing. Then a truck drove up with the back full of dead people who got excited when they realized I could see them. The girl told them to leave me alone. Also my father was there who passed year’s ago. But he didn’t seem dead.

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-Susan 2016-08-17 3:49:28

So my big sister dreamt i was dead and being laid in state.
As she cried ,a little voice told her to call out my full name so she did as she continued to cry, i opened my eyes and turned into a baby.

What does this dream mean please
I will really appreciate a reply
Thank you.

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-Scarlet 2016-08-25 15:49:43

My husband died 4 years ago. Since then, I have had a recurring dream about him that haunts me and I need to understand. In my dream, my husband is not dead. He is still alive and wants nothing to do with me. His death was faked and his family also knows that he is alive and I spend the entire dream trying to find him or get in touch with him but his family won’t help me and I am never successful in reaching him. I wake up scared and upset and the dreams stay with me; they plaque me. If you have any idea what this could mean I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you.

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-Matki 2016-08-30 3:47:05

Last night I dreamed I was talking to my husband who passed away in 2015. We were talking about normal stuff, but I had gone to visit him in a house that I dream of a lot, but never lived in. I waited to tell him some bad news, then blurted out that our daughter had died and that “everyone was gone.” He was upset and asked if I was sure that she was gone and I said that I was sure.

I woke up in a panic and my daughter is fine, but what I believe is that I dreamed of saying our daughter was gone and that everyone was gone, when it was actually me that dies. I think I joined him and thought everyone was gone but I was with him after death.

I’m a little nervous and wondering what that could mean.

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    -Tony Crisp 2016-08-30 9:14:33

    Matki – When you dream you enter a different dimension of your mind no longer connected to your body senses. It is a dimension very different to waking awareness, and it is my findings that you enter the same realm as the dead. In past ages sleep was called ‘the little death’.

    I mention this because of your feeling that you were with him ‘after death’. Of course those were your words arising from the belief that the death state and sleep are different. I have explained this at length in http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/journeying-beyond-dreams-and-death/

    Your dream of feeling your daughter had died is also the way we tend to see dreams as the same as waking life – they are also totally different. Nearly always when people dream about someone they know or a strange new person or situation they automatically believe the dream is about that person, situation or animal. But when we think of our friend or partner our thoughts are not them – just our thoughts and feelings about them. So dream images are ways of communicating via our associations not actual things or people. In the world of dreams our most intimate fears and longings are given an exterior life of their own in the form of the people, objects and places of our dream.

    So what do you associate with your daughter, for it is really about a part of you that has died. Many people do not realise that they have an inner person equally as powerful as the external person you know. You have taken in millions of bit of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by loving or living with them, and they are what makes you the person you are. The memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event.

    So from what you said and realised for yourself, it is not your daughter that has died, but a feeling in you. You spelt it out by saying, “I thought everyone was gone.”

    Perhaps a change has occurred in your or your daughter’s life. I know when my last child had become independent, and my partner was gone also, it felt as if I were dying.

    So try using http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson to see what your daughter – who does not appear in the dream – is associated with.

    Tony

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-Brian 2016-09-12 14:37:49

I dreamed I was flying a helicopter at a low altitude. Everything was nice and smooth while I followed a road and when I needed to go over a hill, the controls went nuts and pitched sharply upward until I was vertical. The helicopter’s warnings were sounding as it rolled over into a nosedive and crashed into the ground. What happened next was strange. I was walking along side the road, convinced I was dead, and saw a person in a truck staring at the wreckage. I waved both arms, and she waved back. I was astounded that she could see me. Apparently, there were no scratches or anything on me, but I was confused why I was still alive while I told her I was in that crash. I don’t remember actually crashing. This was strange. Thoughts?

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    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-13 12:28:03

    Brian – You realised a fundamental truth about dreams and life – you cannot die. Of course your body can be crushed as shown in the helicopter crash – but the real you, your consciousness still live. The silly thing they repeat in films when someone is buried, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust,” refers to the body which is built out of the earth and of course returns to it.

    Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

    See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing

    Tony

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-Cherylc 2016-09-21 6:46:53

I dreamt of my recently deceased father-in-law 2 nights ago…in my dream, I was walking past a bedroom room (in a unknown house) and there is a frame-up photograph of an unknown man on a table but as I was walking past, i saw the man in photograph changes into my father-in-law and I took a step backwards to take a better look then the photograph started dancing happily away. I don’t know what does that dream mean but I woke up with a terrible headache the next morning. For your advice, please. Appreciate your help. Many thanks :)

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    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-21 10:16:29

    Cherylc – I feel that you are not used to realising your father-in-law has an after death life. I see that because at first you couldn’t see the picture as him, and even then it changed again.

    The dancing shows he is happy and lively in his new circumstances. Your head could have many causes, but also it could be that to see what you did in the dream caused you to go through several stages, maybe using new areas of your brain.

    Tony

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