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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Some aspect of your outer or inner life is fading, or being superseded by a changed approach, so may be shown as dying.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.



-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


    -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.



-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?


    -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



-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 :)


    -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.



-Alba Villegas 2016-10-10 1:13:08

Hi Tony,

I have always had recurring dreams of people trying to kill me since I was a child. Or that I am running from being killed and always escape. I am now 29 years old. I am currently seeking treatment for depression and anxiety and after a year I have made a lot of positive changes with my mind and body.
Yesterday I did an EMDR session with my therapist and the goal was to help release a lot of anger, sadness and hurt in regards to my ex boyfriend whom I loved very much but I ultimately left him because he wouldn’t change his cheating ways. I was with him for 8 1/2 years. I am now with a wonderful man who loves me and treats me with what I prayed for years to find. The session was very effective as I feel great.
Today one of birds died and I was very saddened by it. I took a nap and had a dream that a witch and dead woman were trying to kill me and keep me away from my current boyfriend. I’ve struggled with my current boyfriend with jealousy and trust issues for no reason. He has done nothing to harm me in any way. I was hurt so much and kept projecting my feelings to him and causing many fights.
Reading through your website I’ve maybe concluded that some of those suppressed feeling from my ex continue to leave my body and now I can truly give myself to my new boyfriend who I’ve been with for about 2 year now. Do you interpret something different?
I’ve also struggled with being bullied as a child and woman always being mean to me or jealous for no reason. At my current job i feel targeted by several women who talk about me so I’ve kept to myself and am looking for another job.
I also have a lot of fears of scary things such as scary movies or seeing things I shouldn’t especially at night.
Dreams are important for me to interpret because I’ve never had good dreams during my life. I either have nightmares, no dreams or dreams of me losing or missing people.
Thank you for any help


    -Tony Crisp 2016-10-10 9:36:33

    Alba – There is so much to learn about dreams and how to approach, explore and benefit from them. To understanding your dreams, you need to realise that the images in our dreams are just emotions, thoughts, fears. traumas, ideas and feeling projecting out of you and appearing as images, people or scenes outside you on the screen of your mind. Also 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, so 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.

    Being frightened of your own fearful emotions shows how you have got so deep into anxiety and projecting your fears onto others. Because the images and scenes of dreams are projections onto your own mind and emotions, it is worthwhile and makes sense to imagine taking them back into you. Obviously in doing this you will face the fears and anxieties that haunt you, but in doing that you will be slowly dealing with what has set these fears in you.

    Your dream that a witch and dead woman were trying to kill me and keep me away from my current boyfriend, is full of information. To put this into understandable words, your mother or another woman, who was herself full of pain, gave you a rough time and awful messages that is slowly killing the real living person you are, and also making it hard to accept a man in your life. The messages were maybe not given in words but in attitudes and emotions. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-conjuring-trick/

    It would be helpful also to use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/ and http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

    To begin to get a fuller understanding of your dreams it would also be useful to read the following – take your time though http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing – and all of the following :) http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/what-we-need-to-remember-about-us-3/



-Lilly 2016-10-13 10:59:20

Hi Tony!
I woke up this morning not feeling good. I dreamt of my husband’s wife who passed away a few years ago. This is the third time she appeared in my dream. In my dream she turned the light on and was trying to get me out of bed and seems like she’s mad at me. She also tried to pull my hand and when I looked at her hand it looks scary. I shouted and rebuke her in the name of the Lord Jesus, she disappeared for a while and then manifested herself again several times and every time I rebuked her in the name of the Lord. I am not really sure if I am dreaming because I know I heard something in our room and I looked at my husband he was in deep sleep and then I tried to get some sleep and my half closed eyes saw that the light in the room was on so I closed my eyes and tried to sleep but then it went straight to dream. I felt like I was half awake when I was dreaming as if everything was real. I woke up with a headache and told my husband I dreamt of his deceased wife again and told him I don’t really like dreaming about her. What does this dream mean? Thank you and would appreciated your reply


    -Tony Crisp 2016-10-16 10:46:58

    Lilly – You cannot be hurt in your dreams. You cannot drown, you can’t die in a dream, no demon, spirit, tiger or other animals can harm you. Of course you can feel feelings of dying, or being hurt, or drowning, but they are all images you create because you feel afraid and you haven’t faced up to your fears.

    The only thing that can do you damage is fear, hatred, suspicion or a feeling of being a victim. Such feelings are the creators of all our sense or dreams of evil, or things that scare us.

    I know because I have met zombies, the devil, and they are all things we create out of denying wonderful and holy life in us, and the repetition of the name of Lord Jesus is a trick to make us a little more confident. But it doesn’t work because the evil is in us – the fear, hatred, suspicion or a feeling of being a victim.

    Your dream may have been caused by feelings you have about yourself and your relationship with the dead wife. Find out for yourself by ‘being’ in imagination the dead wife.

    Dreams images – the dead wife – are projections onto the screen of your dreaming mind of real and active parts of YOU. So taking them back into you by imagining merging with them, is a way of meeting your own feelings. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson



-Jorge Monrroy 2016-10-19 17:48:39

Last night I had a dream where my mother worked in a hospital and she had to take the dead bodies down to some kind of morgue where she had to dressed the bodies. For some reason I was with her when a little unknown boy had died and she had to take it to get dressed. While we were in an elevator I stared crying and saying why does this has to happen he is just a baby! (He was around 5-7 years old) when the elevator door opend i asked my mom what she was gonna do with the body and she said ” I have to grt him dressed so his family can see him” i got so scared and for some reason I told her “and you only get paid 8 dollars and seventy five cennts for all of this!!? You should at least get 20!” Then i said i dont want to watch. As she was getting ready to dress the boy i lost sight of them. Then i saw another unknow person doing the samething my mom (getting a body ready to get dressed), but this time it was an old unknown man. I could only see part of his face and gray hair. After that i wounder around the place only to find some kind of doctors working in a young mann (around his late teens or aerly 20s) and on a woman around 40-50 years old. They both were bleeding alot. There was also next to them another male, i think he had just died because no one was helping him no more. All of the doctors looked wierd they had no feelings beeing expressed through their faces they were just so serious. My mother also was acting like resignated to do that job and she looked so comfortable doing it. (In real life she would never ever even get close to a morgue). After this i dont remember anything alse. The next thing i remember was totally unrelated to that dream. It was that my sister who has been living in mexico for the past 2 years and a half came back to the usa, and she just said i feel like going to the state fair. So we planned and went to the state fair.
If i could get a little bit of explanation i would thank yall for ever! I am alittle bit comfused and scared!


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