Dreamt Of Someone Dying Who's Still Alive? Here's What It Really Means, From Dream Experts
From dreaming your teeth fell out to dreaming you were attacked by an animal, there are a number of nightmarish dream scenarios that many of us experience at some point. One of those scenarios is dreaming of someone dying who's still alive in real life.
If you've been having this dream, here's what it really means, according to dream experts—and no, it is not a death prophecy.
What does it mean if you dream about someone dying?
It goes without saying that dreaming about someone dying can feel extremely troubling. If you're superstitious or believe in prophetic dreams, for instance, you may even fear your dream will come true.
The good news, according to professional dream interpreter Lauri Loewenberg, is that this isn't a dream you need to take literally. Rather than speaking to an actual death in your life, she says these dreams often relate to endings or change.
"The subconscious will use death to represent a change or ending because it is the way the subconscious is helping us come to terms with, and understand, the finality of what's going on—to allow us to let go of that which is no longer viable or that we no longer need," Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen.
Further, she notes, characters in our dreams actually often represent us in some way. So even if it's someone else who died in your dream, that could speak to something about yourself or your relationship with that person that's changing. Sometimes, she adds, other people dying in dreams indicates there could be something changing with that person or within the dynamics of your relationship, as well.
Let's break this dream interpretation down further, depending on some specific dream scenarios of someone dying in your dream:
If it's a family member, friend, or partner
Whether it was your mother, partner, or best friend, Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen that dreaming of someone close to you dying often indicates something is changing between you and this person, or something about your relationship with them is changing or ending.
If it was your mother, for instance, perhaps she's going through a divorce, retiring, or something of that nature. Otherwise, Loewenberg says, your loved ones can actually represent you in a dream. In this case, your mother may represent your more maternal, nurturing side.
If they die in a nonsensical way
As clairvoyant and medium Catharine Allan previously wrote for mindbodygreen, sometimes our dreams get particularly wonky when we're stressed or processing a lot in our waking lives. If you're having an especially strange dream and someone dies, she says it could indicate pure fear of change or loss.
"If you dream of someone you love dying in a haphazard way, this is not a predictive dream—you might just be feeling scared to lose this person, literally or emotionally," she explains.
If your child dies
According to Loewenberg, it's not uncommon to dream that your child gets into a fatal accident. But have no fear, mamas—she assures mindbodygreen that these dreams typically relate to grieving the passage of time and your child growing up.
These dreams are usually connected to some kind of milestone in that child's life, she explains, adding, "Maybe they've started walking, or maybe they've started going to school and they aren't at home all day anymore. The subconscious perceives all these different phases of the child's life as a death because it is the end of that phase of the child's life."
If you murdered them
Unless you're actually a violent person, dreaming you murdered someone usually indicates you want to force a change in your life, Loewenberg says. As she puts it, "Death in a dream is the natural changing or ending of things—murder is a forced change or end. So you may dream of murder when you're forcing a change, like trying to quit smoking or you're forcibly trying to kill off an unpleasant relationship or issue in your life."
If you watched them die
If you witnessed someone die in your dream but you weren't an active participant, Loewenberg notes that this often represents some sort of change or ending happening around you that you aren't as immediately impacted by. "You're aware of it and it's important to you, but it's not of your doing," she explains, adding this could apply to changes happening at your workplace, in your neighborhood, or within your family.
If you're only aware that they died
Sometimes in dreams, we have a vague awareness of something in our mind without it actually being a part of the dream's imagery. In this case, Loewenberg says, hearing about or knowing that someone died in a dream can relate to a change or ending that happened in the past that needs to happen again now.
For instance, if you have a fair-weather friend die in a dream, that may be your subconscious reminding you of how you once cut off a different fair-weather friend years ago.
Or, Loewenberg adds, this dream can indicate you're anticipating some sort of change or ending that hasn't come to fruition yet, such as having an inkling that a friendship is falling through.
If you see someone's corpse
Dead bodies in dreams represent an issue in your life (including relationships) that is now "dead" and needs to be buried in order to move on. In this instance, Loewenberg says that anything you can remember about the body can help clue you in to what it represents.
For example, she explains, a corpse in a blue dress could be telling you that a recent depressive streak is over because the color blue usually represents 'the blues,' or general sadness.
If you attend their funeral
In some dreams about death, you may attend the funeral of the person who died. In this case, Loewenberg tells mindbodygreen that funerals are the way we celebrate the life of a person and say goodbye to them, so if you dream you're at a funeral, you're likely actively in the process of getting rid of something in your life.
"What situation or what part of your life do you need to 'close the lid' on and lay to rest?" she suggests asking yourself.
If they become a zombie
Last but not least, you may have the unnerving dream that someone you know has turned into a zombie. According to Loewenberg, this one's more common than you might think and often indicates you're holding a grudge, aka "not letting something die."
As she explains, "Because zombies are the undead, there's something—or a grudge with someone—that should be dead, buried, and moved on from, but they're still walking around."
How to work through this dream
If you've been having dreams about people dying that are still alive in real life, first things first, according to Loewenberg: "Know that death dreams are common, so don't let it freak you out. They indicate change, and changes can be hard and difficult—but changes also help us grow."
Knowing that dreaming of someone dying often relates to changes or endings (whether in your life or the life of the person who died in the dream), you can then pinpoint exactly what situation the dream is referring to. Assess whether you feel this change or ending in your life is a good thing or if it's something you need to try to keep alive, she notes.
The sooner you can address this change in your waking life, the more likely you are to stop having the dream, especially if it's a recurring dream. This might mean burying a grudge, moving on from a recent change, or diving right into whatever the change is without fear.
Your best course of action will depend on the specifics of your dream, but generally speaking, these dreams are pointing to parts of your life where you're experiencing an ending, as well as your feelings about that ending.
What does it mean when you dream about death of alive person?
Dreaming of someone dying who is still alive in real life typically relates to endings or changes, whether in your life, the other person's life, or in your relationship with that person.
What does it mean when you dream about your partner dying?
Dreaming your partner died can simply relate to fears around losing them, as well as indicate there is a change happening within your relationship.
What does it mean psychologically when you dream about someone?
Dreaming of someone can indicate something about your relationship to that person is top of mind for you lately but can also relate to qualities of that person and how you relate to those qualities yourself.
If you dreamt that someone in your life died, hopefully you're relieved to know it wasn't a prophecy. In most instances, dreams about death simply serve as a metaphor for a change or ending at play in your life, in that person's life, or within your relationship to that person. Rest assured (literally), they rarely mean someone will actually die.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.