How To Understand a Dream About the Death Of a Loved One

Deep down, whether we deny it or not, we all know that we’re on this planet for the length of our lives. That’s it.

The Earth has been here for a long time before we got here.

It will probably be here for a long time after we’re gone.

This is true for ourselves or our loved ones whether they’re our wife, husband, mom, dad, or a treasured friend.

Three possible meanings to the death of a loved one in a dream

There are three likely explanations for the dream you had where a loved one died.

Maybe you’ve noticed something off in your loved one’s health or behaviors and you have a feeling that it won’t end well. It’s a tough situation to be in, knowing that someone you care about deeply could be heading down a path toward a fatal outcome. Impending death is never easy to accept and when it could be a loved one, it can be especially difficult. It can be hard to know what to do or how to help when you are so close to the situation.

Approach the topic delicately, as you don’t want to make the individual defensive or resentful. Ask questions, listen, and be there for them in whatever way you can. You may not even want to mention the dream you had. Perhaps, just tell them about the reasons for your concern.

It could also mean your subconscious is trying to tell that you should appreciate and show your loved one just how much you care about them while they’re still here with you. It’s so easy to take people and the things they do for us for granted, but we need to make sure we don’t fall into that trap.

Show your loved one how much they mean to you—make time for them, show your affection, and cherish all the time you have together. Life is precious and we should never take it for granted.

Your loved one appearing in your dream could be functioning as a symbol, and if that’s the case, you need to try and figure out what it means. It’s possible that your dream is trying to tell you something about what’s going on in your life at the moment, or about something that may soon happen. It’s important to pay attention to the actions of your loved one, what they are saying to you and how you are feeling about them in the dream. These details can give you a good indication as to what your subconscious is trying to tell you. It’s a good idea to take some time to write down your dream and really think about what it could mean.

All three of these possible meanings could be true at once

Which meaning is most likely? It can easily be a little of all three.

As a child, after my father died, I had a dream of my uncle’s funeral where he had died too. That helped me understand my uncle was as valuable to me as my father had been, albeit in a different way.

I had a conversation with him about my concerns, which was that I had heard that smoking was bad for you. My uncle favored pipes, not cigarettes and he told me that the recommendations were against smoking cigarettes.

That, of course, makes no sense. Tobacco is tobacco no matter how you inhale it and a few years later he died of cancer.

Exploring the death of your loved one in a dream can feel unsettling and threatening, but it can lead to self-growth as you come to understand the role of the people in your life even if you ultimately don’t change their decisions.

Further reading:

What does it mean when you dream about death?

What does a dream about cancer mean?

Spiritual meanings to dreams


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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