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Dreams about Dead People

Dreams about People We Know who have DiedDreams about a Dead PersonDreams about a Dead Husband or WifeDreams about a Dead Mother - Dreams about a Dead ChildSummary of after death experienceComing back to earth See also Journeying Beyond Dreams and Death

Dreams about People We Know who have Died

Dreams in which dead people appear are sometimes expressive of our attempts to deal with our feelings, guilt or anger in connection with the person who died; or our own feelings about death. When someone close to us dies we go through a period of change from relating to them as an external reality, to meeting and accepting them as alive in our memories and inner life.

But dead people can simply be people from our past. Considering that the major part of our learning and experience occur in relationship to other people, such learning and experience can be represented by characters from the past. For instance a first boyfriend in a dream would depict all the emotions and struggles we met in that relationship, and what we learned from it or took away from it that still influences present relationships. Therefore dreaming often of people we knew in the past would suggest that past experiences or lessons are very active at the moment, or we are reviewing those areas of our life. A woman who had emigrated to Britain from a very different cultural background frequently dreamt, even twenty years afterwards, of people she knew in her native country. This shows her still very much in contact with her own cultural values and experiences.

Example: ‘My husband’s mother, no longer alive, came and slid her arms carefully under me and lifted me up. I shouted ‘Put me down! Put me down! I don’t want to go yet.’ She carefully lowered me onto the bed and disappeared.’ E. H. – In this example the dreamer is feeling fear about being carried off by death.

Example: ‘A dark grey sugar loaf form materialised. This pillar lightened in shade as I watched. It didn’t move. I began to think it was Mrs. Molten who died in 1956. The feeling grew stronger but still the colour lightened. Then it bent over and kissed my head. In that instant I knew it WAS my mother. An ecstatic joy and happiness such as I have never known on earth suffused me. That happiness remained constantly in mind for the next few days.’ Mr M.

Here the dreamer has not only come to terms with his mother’s and his own death, but also found this inner reality.

Example: ‘A couple of months ago as I was waking I felt my husband’s arm across me and most realistically experienced my hand wrapping around his arm and turning toward him which I had done so often in his lifetime and saying ‘I thought you had died. Thank God you have not.’ Then I awoke alone and terribly shaken.’ Mrs I. – The example both shows the resolution of the loss, but also the paradox felt at realising the meeting was an inner reality.

A critic might say this is only a dream in which a lonely woman is replaying memories of her dead husband’s presence for her own comfort. Thus her disappointment on being disillusioned. Whatever our opinion, the women has within her such memories to replay. These are a reality. The inner reality is of what experience was left within her from the relationship. Her challenge is whether she can meet this treasure with its share of pain, and draw out of it the essence which enriches her own being. That is the spiritual life of her husband. The ‘aliveness’ of her husband in that sense is also social, because many other people share memories of the same person. What arises into their own lives from such memories, is the observable influence of the now dead person. But the dead also touch us more mysteriously, as in the next example. See: Dead Husband or Ex

Example: In a recent news program on television, a man who survived the Japanese prisoner of war camp in Singapore had been given a photograph of children by a dying soldier he did not know. The man had asked him to tell his family of his death, but did not give his name. The photograph was kept for forty odd years, the man still wanting to complete his promise but not know how. One night he dreamt he was told the man’s name. Enquiries soon found the family of the man, who had an identical photograph.

Dreams about a Dead Person – General Meaning:

This can represent some area of your life that has ‘died’. It can refer to death of feelings, such as hopelessness in connection with relationship and the loss of feelings about someone; the depression that follows big changes in your life such as loss of a loved partner, job, or child. It can also reflect the sense you have of your life in general, that it is without the stimulus of motivation and satisfaction, as when one feels oneself in a ‘going nowhere’ relationship or life situation. The dead person in the dream may link several of these feelings together, as symbols often represent huge areas of our experience. So the dead person my be a part of oneself you want to leave behind, to die out.

Some dreams are so clearly about the person who died. Here is an example of such a dream by a young child.

With his brothers and friends he went to bathe in a mill pool. He was only four or five at the time, and could not swim. In the recklessness of their-play, one of the children pushed him into deeper water. At that moment, the mill gates opened and water rushed through carrying him along. He was drowned – but some adults who were hastily called to the scene managed to pull him out and revive him.

As his father carried him home in his arms, the boy talked about his mother, who had died some years earlier and at first his father smiled at his story.

The boy said that as he went under the water he felt himself sinking down and down into darkness. Then there was a change and he felt himself rising up slowly until at last he rose to the surface.

He was in a huge sea. Around him, other people were also surfacing, and all were being gradually washed towards the nearby shore. There on the beach, people waited, and greeted those who were brought to them by the sea.

And as he himself drew near there on a small promontory were his grandparents waiting to welcome him – and in front – his mother, and she bent to draw him into her arms. She took hold of his hands and as she did so, a cross around her neck swung before his face. Sparkling in it were seven stones. But at that moment, something seemed to pull him away, and he sank into the sea and at last awoke on the riverbank.

The other half of the Story

At the conclusion of the story, his father’s condescending smile vanished. They were now at home and his father left the room, obviously deeply moved. Only years later did he tell his son the other half of the story.

The boy’s mother had died when her son was tiny and she had died on her birthday. For many weeks before, her husband had saved for a special present which he had kept secret. On her death, heart-broken, he had crept down to the coffin in the middle of the night, unscrewed the lid and given the present to his dead wife. It was a cross with seven stones, and the secret of it had been buried with her.

Putting together a picture of many such death experiences, we can begin to see a general view of what it might be like, what it certainly is for some, to die.

First of all comes a lessening and eventual disappearance of bodily sensations. Although all pain and physical awareness goes, most people are still conscious of their physical surroundings and of other people. In fact they often watch their own body breathe its last struggling breaths.

Usually people see themselves in a body, but it’s sometimes more perfect than the body they have just left. Their perceptions are nearly always enormously heightened in many ways. There seems to be no sensation of gravity or weight – the whole room or area can be seen instantaneously, as if with circular vision, and there is an awareness of the thoughts and emotions of those present.

See Talking with those who have passed on

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 meeting become easier.

But as with the example above, there are many cases where people meet their dead in dreams and have tremendous assurance.

Dreams about a Dead Mother:

As with other ‘dead person’ dreams they usually show how we are working out or unfolding our relationship with them. They can be wonderfully confirming of continued existence.

Example: ‘A dark grey sugar loaf form materialised. This pillar lightened in shade as I watched. It didn’t move. I began to think it was Mrs. Molten who died in 1956. The feeling grew stronger but still the colour lightened. Then it bent over and kissed my head. In that instant I knew it WAS my mother. An ecstatic joy and happiness such as I have never known on earth suffused me. That happiness remained constantly in mind for the next few days.’ Mr. M.

Dreams about a Dead Child:

When our child dies it is one of the most heartbreaking experiences we can meet. Sometimes it takes years to adjust to what has happened. Not only is the adjustment emotional and psychological, but also your way of life is often built around the person you have lost. Therefore the changes we meet can be enormous. However, we each have enormous resources of healing and ability to meet the new if we can access them. Very often there are experiences we have, or dreams, that continue our relationship with the child. Unfortunately we live in a culture that often denies the possibility of this.

The example below shows how this can be possible.

For instance, Dr. Morse, in his book Closer to the Light, tells of a mother who came to him because she hadn’t slept properly for 1041 nights after the death of her son. She showed him a picture of her son, but Dr Morse was suddenly called away to a ward emergency. Having dealt with the sick baby, he was writing up the notes and a nurse who had been helping said to him, ‘Who was that person who came in with you? Is he a student?’

Morse did not understand what the nurse was talking about as nobody had come into the hospital with him. As he was trying to find a pen for the notes he was writing he pulled out the photograph of the woman’s son. Immediately the nurse said, ‘That’s him. He kept trying to get your attention’.

When he returned to his office Morse asked the mother if she had ever been contacted by her son after his death. She said, ‘Oh yes. After he died, for several nights he would stand at the foot of my bed and tell me he was alright, and that I should stop crying. But that was only a crazy dream.’ However, such things are not crazy dreams, but insights into a greater reality.

After her conversation with Dr. Morse the woman slept properly for the fist time in nearly three years.

Summary of after death experience

Because after death we are still in a dream like existence, we tend to create around us those things we expect to see or experience. So someone who has no previous information about death may wander around for awhile confused. A Christian may see Christ welcoming them, so the beginnings are very varied, and a Buddhist might meet Buddha, or a Muslim might see Muhammad. But there is some sort of life review. This is about harvesting all of value from the life experience. Not only do we gathered the lessons we learned from our life, but we also relive it moment by moment, feeling and reviewing our own feelings, but also the feelings we engendered in others. But because we are no longer living a life in three dimensions and time, it will be an all at once experience, not stretched over time.

This can be quite a trial considering the life we have lived. But it is not a judgement from outside us, but a self judgement of the quality of our life. We need to pass through this because after death we have left the physical world and moving toward the spiritual. We can see this as the Big Self; the Self with Enormous Love. But there is an enormous transition taking place at death. We lived within a body, and now without it we have to be ready for life without it in what is called the spirit world. That is why the life review is necessary. All our earthly experience has to be put through a transformation to make it fit for a wider life. The wider life works through universal connections, and the less we personally can connect with the universal the less fit we are for the universal life.

Something that I have noticed is that some people believe, and therefore experience, that ‘heaven’ is exactly like life on earth except better. They see it as having houses and living much the same way. But that is not really the whole truth, because just as our body grows and changes, so do we in the after death state.

It seems as if there is a great difference between existing in a body and surviving in the grand world of the spirit. For in the spirit world there has to be found something that will link the life with giving and receiving from others, and of course the integration with a greater purpose.

Many people say they go along a tunnel toward a great light, and then a great spirit leads them through life review. Others go through a door to the light, and others go up a flight of grand stairs.

Having lost their body and its appetites there may be a period of adaptation to a life in a world without boundaries. Also because the spirit world is similar to the world of dreams, you create around you an environment made up of your own inner state. So if you are full of hate, murderous impulses and selfishness, you create a world like that; usually called hell. We are not ‘cast into hell’ we create it ourselves.

The same with heaven, it is created out of all the attitudes and ideas and feelings that are in harmony with the way the universe works or is. As a friend told me after his death, “I cannot escape myself. This is because everywhere I look is like a mirror. Every direction I find a reflection of me. It is  three-dimensional. It doesn’t matter if I look up or down, left or right, all I see are expressions of who I am.”

At first one will look much as you did at death, except if you are old or ill, then you have quickly gained a more youthful and healthy appearance.  But of course that is only your physical shape, and you will create that because that is who you think you are. But a great and probably slow swing over will occur. Because your body is gone, and you are moving toward the spiritual being that has always stood behind your life and witnessed it and given it impulses to try to live out, so gradually you may lose any sense of being male or female.

It is possible some people will not make it that far, but will go into a sleep state until their next life in the body. But if they can maintain consciousness as they meet these changes they will slowly become a greater being, and have an awareness that could be seen as super human, touching all around them. This is why some dead relatives come back to us in dreams and visions and tell us things they would never have normally been capable of knowing.

Another conversation with a dead friend stated some of this:

I seems to me that things are different for me now. I feel something that is difficult to understand. I seem to be getting  less and less of the me I knew; yet at the same time more of who I am. More of me is being lost, but at the same time more of me is was being gained. A strange paradox.

Then there is the going beyond even more barriers toward what can be called real spiritual awareness.

In the next region, one sees how the person’s life has accorded not only with their own Self, but with the ‘true being of the world’. We see ourselves as we exist, in or out of harmony with that world consciousness, that essence of all beings, sometimes called the Christ, or Krishna, or Buddha. Here is the judging, the self judging, of the ‘quick and the dead.’

And finally, in this withdrawal, the seventh region is reached, ‘quick or dead’, asleep or awake to the highest in us. ‘The man stands here’ says Steiner, ‘in the presence of the “Life-kernels”, which have been transplanted from higher worlds, in order that in them they may fulfil their tasks.’ These ‘tasks’, expressing through the self, mediated by the soul, and materialised by the body, usually motivate us unconsciously. In this region, if consciousness remains, we know ourselves as the whole cosmos of sun, moon, planets, and stars; as all beings, creatures and kingdoms. When we look at these through our physical eyes, we are looking at our own wholeness. The ‘Life kernel’ is the doorway to other ‘cosmic beings’. ‘The life between death and a new birth, and is really a living through the world of stars: but this means, through the spirit of the world of stars,’ not the physical stars.

Coming back to earth

Having made this ascent to the innermost of our nature, the essence of the whole cosmos, there now comes for most of us, a return to a fresh physical experience.

There awakens a ‘desire’ or direction, to perfect one’s own being and that of the earth. ‘Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,’ is an impulse from this region. Depending upon what fruits were brought to each region, this descent enables certain things, qualities or strengths to be ‘claimed’ from each level of our being. A new spiritual ‘seed’ or ‘germ’ is fashioned which will play its part in fashioning our body. The essence of the future personality chooses the hereditary line and its parents. Steiner says the parents provide a seed bed of physical substance, impregnated with their own characteristics of body and psyche. At conception, the material substance is broken down into the germinal level of chaos, in which all physical form is dissolved. The spirit ‘germ’ of the new being takes hold of this.

At birth the ‘germ’ of the future personality and body, is clothed with physical substance drawn from the parents, along with inherited temperamental qualities. Working with these as materials is the essence of the past life and death experience. This spiritual impulse, takes the ‘model’ given by the parents, and works into it the pattern it brings from its central experience. So there comes into being, through life and death, another life upon the earth.

Just as there was a reliving of life at death, so just prior to birth there is a reliving of death. ‘He sees a tableau which this time displays all the hindrances he must remove, if his evolution is to make further progress. And what he sees becomes the starting point of forces that he must carry with him into a new life.  See Life and Death; Steiner Life after death

Another conversation with a dead friend provided the following information.

I am in process of creating a new life. But this is something like a work of art, not however, as we think of it with brush and paint. I felt it like a constant rise and fall of possibilities and forms that I, the Spirit I, was giving birth to. As one rose it expressed a certain quality, and this was in some way compared, or its harmonic compared, with all that existed in the changing spiritual and physical world. There was as yet no total interface between what was being created in this way, and what was expressed by the changing worlds. So I was gradually sifting the emphasis of all it contained from life experience and its possible future connections with physical life, moving toward a harmonic unity. It was explained to me that the unity would be a real connection with time, place, parents and the life that would emerge from them. When that harmonic unity was made the new life would begin.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Have I dreamt of any dead person?

How did I react to the dream?

Can I accept that we have an inner world?

See Inner World - Techniques for Exploring your DreamsQuestions

 

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Comments

-Kim 2016-08-02 20:00:34

The last two nights I have had dreams of my dead husband. The first one He got his ex wife pregnant and me and his daughter starting arguing. Then I woke up. The second on he was cheating with other women, and I was trying to intervene, and ask him why. But in these dreams my husband could not hear me. Its like I was not there. My husband never cheated on me and was very against infidelity. Could someone please help explain.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-08-06 10:05:53

    Dear Kim – What I see in your dream is that you are in conflict with certain aspects of your selves.
    To understand this idea of selves that live within your inner world I like you to read http://delos-inc.com/articles/Voice_Dialogue-_Discovering_Our_Selves.htm
    So your daughter, your husband’s ex-wife, your husband, the “other women” and your own dream figure that you call “I” in your dream all reflect different aspects of the family of selves that live within you.
    Your husband’s ex-wife may reflect a part of you that you have not expressed in a while; in a way you separated from “her”.
    It could be that while you lived with your husband you had decided to not pursue certain abilities or talents, for whatever reason.
    Now that your husband is not around anymore, you have met this unexpressed potential (again) and you realise that living with your husband has given it an impulse towards inner growth; “He got his ex-wife pregnant”.
    Being pregnant reflects a new you that can be born if you treasure it. The new life is a part of you that wishes to become active in your life now, a part of you that that hasn’t had the opportunity to be expressed before.
    The argument with your daughter reflects that your own dream figure still needs to sort out this idea of being pregnant of “a new you”, which is at the moment perceived as an inner conflict.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/conflicts/
    The second dream in which your husband is “cheating” with other women may reflect that you perceive expressing other aspects of yourself as “not being loyal to your former roles in life” that you lived when your husband was still alive.
    Your inner husband or inner male not hearing your dream figure may symbolise that you have not found an approach yet that enables you to communicate effectively.
    Perhaps being open to the needs of your inner male – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/ – rather than intervening will make a difference?
    If you feel like exploring your dream by entering it yourself you can use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    Does this give you a start with seeing your dream from a different perspective?
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-isaia 2016-08-04 5:03:58

i keep seeing my grandmother in my dreams once she was pointing to her grave stone
the other she stood in my room smiling at me
i have never met my nana til then she gave me my full name jst as my mum was giving birth to me..

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-Monaye Blair 2016-08-09 15:26:19

I had a dream of my baby’s father and his father both died the father I never met but we have the same birthday we are all Capricorns and I was trying to introduce the new baby girl. Please help me figure this out

Reply

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-08-13 9:39:59

    Dear Monaye Blair – Your dream expresses that your (dream?) baby’s father and his father are still alive in your inner world.
    Most people are often totally unaware of the massive experience they take in during a relationship and how it interacts with them when we love someone.
    In other words the memories and experience you have gathered unconsciously change you and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person/persons or event.
    Obviously your baby’s father has been influenced the same way by living with his father; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-conjuring-trick/
    Having a baby girl with “the father” may reflect that “a new you” has been born; so it shows how your relationship has changed you and helped you grow.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/pregnancy-childbirth/the-baby-in-your-dream/
    To explore this new baby girl – and the other symbols in your dream – you can use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Ann 2016-08-14 18:39:06

I’ve had a dream for the last 3 nights about my friend that passed from Cancer in April of this year. We talk in the dreams but she’s just sick not dead. Not sure why I keep dreaming of her?

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-Eronica 2016-08-23 3:14:39

I had a dream of an exboyfriend. I dreamed that I went to see him, he opened the door, and when I went in, he was standing there with no shirt on and black pants. He had a white towel in his hand, but he looked gray around his eyes as if he was tired and distressed, as if he wanted to go but something was holding him back. I asked him was he ready to see his son and he never acknowledged me. I woke up because I was afraid. I woke up feeling as if he wanted to leave this realm and crossover but was being held back by something. Please help me understand thisdream. Thanks

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-Reed 2016-08-31 21:10:47

Alright so I’ve had a few that I’m trying 5o make sense of.

Fiancé committed suicide December 2015.

The first one wasmt exactly a dream but I was falling asleep and it was like an automated voice calling my name, when I finally said what it said “it’s Anthony” I woke up immediately.

Another one was us being with each other but he just kept falling asleep. (he would slunch over in the dream, jus how i dld found him when it happened.)

Second one was of me picking up the car he did it in( i moved out immediately) and in it I found a letter that was saying it was about financial reasons.

This last one which I’m most curious about was us just having conversation, but I couldn’t see him, and I kept asking him if I could come home but he would go silent every single time.

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    -Reed 2016-08-31 21:15:32

    Sorry for the typos! My screen is broken. Also all of those dreams were after he died. We had a conversation about how we would let one another know we were around if we died, and this conversation came up after our first died in 2014. I told him to mess with our seconds apnea machine. I told him her high heart rate never goes off so do that and I’d do the same.

    It did. I have proof of it even. It went off over 15 times in one night.

    Reply

    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-02 8:32:06

    Reed – I believe your dreams are a mixture of trying to fathom why your fiancé commited suicide and communication with him.

    When someone we know dies through suicide it is like standing by a big hole wondering how they fell into it. Maybe your dream about finding the letter about financial problems is correct, but it could equally be you attempt to find an answer.

    The other dreams appear to be a fairly clear communication. Maybe you could find out yourself by using http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson

    Tony

    Reply

-Heidi 2016-09-16 15:47:26

I had a very clear dream about my father and my ex father who both passed away, in that dream me and my ex was reunion together, in real life we are far and I’m married, with our close families including my father and his father and had a delicious food to celebrate our joining together. I was so happy and I was next to his father and had a great time. I remember very good moments plus flowers that really would liked that that wasnt dream! Could you please help me what does it mean?

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    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-18 12:07:48

    Heidi – You are talking about dreams as if they are unreal. True they are not about your everyday waking life, but they are true and real about your inner life. Please read http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/#MakesInner

    As I say in that entry, “When we enter our inner world we enter a state of mind that includes the death state, the near death state and of course the sleep and dream state. In that condition you leave the limitations of the physical world and enter an endless wonder.”

    There is another world that doesn’t have limitations like that. There is actually no separation between people in that dimension of experience. Quantum physics has demonstrated this. They call it non-local. In other words you are not in a particular place in time and space. That part of you is beyond time and space. No limitations.

    So of course in the death and dream state you are united with all your family. And of course they are sharing wonderful food, for food in dreams represents the satisfaction of your inner hunger, the hunger for love, for knowing each other fully, for giving of self, and a close walk with what has created you all.

    Tony

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