Dreams about Dead People

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Dreams about People We Know who have Died

Dreams about a Dead Person

How can We Talk to the Dead and They can Talk With Us?

Dreams about a Dead Husband or Wife

Dreams about a Dead Mother

Dreams about a Dead Child 

Summary of after death experience

What Happens When Our Body Dies?

Coming back to earth 

The Journey Through Death and Back

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.

It is wise to understand something before you read what else has been said. For instance, a single cell, which is a seed from which all life forms evolved from, doesn’t become old or die because it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die. In dividing it constantly creates copies of itself, but as it does  so it gathers new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. We all started from the original one cell, and we, you and I,  are the result of gathered experience.

As adults we believe we are complete and whole. A seed is a return to the source of life and it/our beginnings under the sun. Consciousness on our planet started in the slime of creation, the slime we return to, to procreate. And from that slime which is a vehicle for our seed to exist in, our awareness goes through the whole process of evolution as we develop in mother’s womb, the dividing of cells, the forming of structure and organs, the creation of a creature with gills, and on to a human type form ready to breathe air, carrying your seed onwards.

As one textbook states, “A human is not constructed like a modern office building, as cheaply and efficiently as possible. . . but rather like an ancient historic edifice to which wings and sections were added at different times and which was not modernised until it was almost completed.” See Levels of the Brain

In doing so it uses many of the things that Life or Nature learnt from past life-forms that it  uses in dealing with human life. As an example plants use very clever system with bulbs and other root systems. A bulb can grow a new flower each year and each flower is a totally new and unique thing. The the flower dies and its essense or experience is drawn back into the bulb, and next season another unique flower emerges. This hold true for humans too.

Our present personality has never existed before. It lives with a new brain that doesn’t carry old memories. Searching within its own experience and memories it could never find memory of any past lives because our present brain has no connection with the past seeds, yet our seed is the collection of man, many lives lived. Tendencies, unaccountable fears or talents, give the clue to these past selves.  See Mushrooms

These past lives are not remembered easily because the new soul that developed in the new body had no past connections because it has a new brain. The soul or personality is built from the local memories stored in the new brain. So, memories of the past can only be attained by a deep awareness of our core awareness.

So, 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 is 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 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 God or 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. See What Happens When I Die?

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



-Gary 2013-10-29 21:35:07

Hi tony,
I came across your website whilst I was looking for answers to my dreams. I dreamt on numerous occasions that someone was chasing me and found myself in a dandelion field lying against this wall, my eyes started closing as if I was dying, I hear a soft voice call my name and as I slowly opened my eyes this beautiful women started to appear with dandelions floating all around her and the stars shined so bright. I recognised her voice but her face I could not picture, as she moved closer she said to me ” Gary it’s not your time yet but we will be together soon” I replied by saying am I dead?? She replied if you choose to be!! What about my family I replied! She started to fade away and that’s when I woke up crying! Could you shed any light on this?
Thank you x

    -Weedy 2016-06-02 8:02:05

    Hi Tony,

    your website was recommended in the course of Richard Grannon as a best source to understand unconscious speaking through our dreams.

    I remember my dreams very seldom. My first husband died 13 years back and I was married again but the second connection was not even near the deep connection I had before.

    I think it was the only time I experienced a real love and a very nurturing connection with a human being. My parents were distant and abusive. Speaking in realistic terms, my first husband was probably more of a people pleaser and I had my mom and dad in him.

    We were just 4 years together as he died in a motorbike accident. I do not think I ever recovered properly after this great loss.

    I dreamt of him around 4 times now. Each time it was a very vivid dream as if happening for real. He would just come back home as if usual. I would scream, where have you been all this time? He would just say, I had some business you know and then I would be so releaved things are ok again. To wake up to the shock of reality in the morning that would hit me for the next few days.

    Tonight it was a different dream. First I could not get to him immediatelly. Then when I met him he was with some man, his friend. He came close but acted distancing from me and not talking to me as if he was angry at me. Then I spoke to him is dispair and he dropped his defence, his face was loving again but he did not speak.

    I feel very moved and can’t find peace after this dream. If you or anyone would comment, appreciate that.

-susaas112 2013-10-29 13:49:22

I dreamt abt my dad….he died few months ago…abd suddenly,in my dream he was walking through the living dream……i suddenly went nd hugged him….if i remembered correctly i was surprised to see him

-Albert Reed 2013-10-27 14:54:22

I had a dream about a friend of mine who has been dead for years. He said you knew I was dead but now I am alive. What could that mean?

-Christine 2013-10-27 10:20:37

Hello Tony,

Last week, an old highschool friend died in a freak accident. He was crushed when his car feel off the jacks and crushed him…. He was young like me, 24yrs old. I alway had feelings for this friend just never expressed them. Last night I dreamt that we were sitting showing eachother the tadpoles we had in our mouths. I remember us mentioning that they were in our stomach acid. And I remember them swimming around feeling them on the inside of my lips. What does this mean?

    -Tony Crisp 2013-10-27 14:38:26

    Christine – I can only think it means that you were more in love with him that you realised. Also a woman who loves a man often wants to have a child from him. The tadpoles are often representing the move toward conception.


-AMANDA R 2013-10-24 20:03:07


-AMANDA R 2013-10-24 20:00:22


-Brenda Mcbride 2013-10-22 22:02:25

I dream often of my wonderful dad who passed 2 years ago. . I know it is a real visit, because it feels so different than an ordinary dream. He doesn’t say much. And, he doesn’t stay long in our visit, in the dream. Do you believe he can see me from where he’s at??? And, do they miss us too???
Please give me your input!!!
THank you.

-Danae Françoise D. 2013-10-22 21:30:26

A close friend took his life sept. 16th this year. I had been having nightmares, thrashing about in my sleep for a week after his death. It was a shock, getting the news. I can’t even really say it to myself still. One morning 2 weeks ago, I awoke, felt overwhelming grief, felt I had been crying out loud. I didn’t remember my dream until around 10 am. I met my friend face to face in a dew covered orchard with a low laying fog, early morning sun trying to burn through it. His family was huddled together on one side of us, my friends on the other. He reached out and held both my hands and said “I’m sorry..” I was crying, I didn’t want him to go. Then he said “it was a mistake.” I have continued to have nightmare but less frequently now. That one dream though, was beautiful. Some days I feel grief still, but others I feel ok. I truly feel that he spoke to me, and he knew that he could communicate with me. I’ve had dreams of all my family that has passed, and I’ve had one pure real near death experience when I was 7 and deathly ill from a rare disease spread by ticks. I do not take these experiences for granted. I just wish I could see my friend again. But I don’t think I will. I think that was him saying goodbye to me.

    -Tony Crisp 2013-10-25 8:10:24

    Danae – Please do not grieve for your friend. Why would you wish him to feel all the grief you experience, for that is what you are sharing with him.

    As he said, “It was a mistake” killing himself like that, that is why he said he was sorry. Life is given us to learn from and it is not ours to take away. I know for many that does not make sense, but what gives you life and keeps you alive daily – it is not your own cleverness.

    So send him your love, not your tears, for he needs as much love and support as you can give. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#TalkDead


-Victoria 2013-10-18 17:00:18

Hi Tony,
I had a dream last night about a free event, like a carnival with merchants giving out free food and prizes. My husband was trying to sell our electronic equipment. The day was partly sunny. We all saw a bunch of dark clouds approaching in the form of several sharks. We ran and I tried to go back and save some of the equipment, my dead father said “no, it is too late, run”. Can you interpret that strange one?

-JulieW 2013-10-15 18:53:52

I became widowed 2 years ago, my late husband died in his mid 30s from cancer. I have been having these dreams where he leaves me without a reason, and I am left in a desperate hope trying to find him to reconcile and find out why. If I do see him, he ignores me and wants nothing to do with me. One time, some random woman appeared with him, as if she was his new lover. It was so disturbing, that I was actually relieved when I woke up knowing that he is deceased and the dream wasn’t real. I feel so sad for a couple days after having these dreams. The part that gets me the most is this was so unlike his character when we were married.

-Gracie 2013-10-12 12:43:28

Hi TOny,

I hope you could answer my query posted last 10/04//2013. thank you!

-ihsan 2013-10-09 11:42:42

very nice info. actually there is nothing absoluet 100%

-Barbara LomBardo 2013-10-08 18:33:19

I drempt of my dead husband what does that mean

    -Tony Crisp 2013-10-10 8:09:22

    Barbara – It could mean a hundred different things, depending on what you actually dreamt – I need details.


-Gracie 2013-10-04 9:02:42

Hi tony,

I’ve learned about you website while i was searching for answers about my dream. My 6 yr old niece died last year and from then, i dreamed of her several times. She even appeared to dreams of three members of the family on the same day. I usually dreamed that she’s still alive or coming back to life. She appeared in my dreams as a grown up kid while she appeared so young in her mother’s dream. I’m so curious about the meaning or what’s her message to us. I Hope you can help me with this. Thank you!

    -Tony Crisp 2013-10-17 7:30:11

    Gracie – Sorry I missed your interesting dream. I have to jump so many to keep up.

    The dreams seem to be a very real communication from you niece. The difference in her age is easily explained because in dreams or in real life we are not receiving raw information. Your eye for instance only receives reflected light so we never know the colour of what we are looking at. Then the information is translated into nerve impulses, and these in turn are received by our brain and translated into images. This we all know because a TV set receives formless impulses that are translated into form colour and sound.

    See each person receiving the communication from you niece would see it slightly differently according to the way they translate the original message.

    The business about her being still alive is because she IS still alive but without a body. See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/

    It might even suggest she is ready to be reborn – “coming back to life.”


-Gracie 2013-10-04 9:01:42

Hi tony,

I’ve learned about you website while i was searching for answers about my dream. My 6 yr old niece last year and from then, i dreamed of her several times. She even appeared to dreams of three members of the family on the same day. I usually dreamed that she’s still alive or coming back to life. She appeared in my dreams as a grown up kid while she appeared so young in her mother’s dream. I’m so curious about the meaning or what’s her message to us. I Hope you can help me with this. Thank you!

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