I was 14 years old when I began frequently dreaming about death. My great aunt had just passed, and I woke up in a cold sweat, having reimagined details of her funeral, and more chillingly, my own. To this day, I still wake up in the middle of the night, blinking back the images of what it will be like to die, and while I've often wondered what dreams about death mean in this context, they may not be as morbid as you think.
I've always just assumed that my dreams about death were part of my brain's subconscious effort to make sense of the one thing in life that humans are both figuratively and literally left in the dark about. For a lot of people, death ranks near the top of their list of fears; to others, it's just a part of life we'll all endure. Despite how you may feel about it, experts describe these seemingly melancholy dreams with a surprisingly positive demeanor.
If you ask me, alternative rock band Semisonic sheds a perfect light on this idea in their song "Closing Time." Lead singer Dan Wilson belts out, “Every new beginning starts from some other beginning's end.” Death, like any other big life event, is a person's closing time, and while outside of our night visions this is meant literally, dream deaths symbolize what's to come.
Dreaming about your own death could be symbolism for a new beginning.
From breakups to quitting a job, everyone experiences various series of endings and beginnings in life that bleed into one another like a compound sentence. Like death, the end of something -- like a friendship or opportunity -- can be scary and sad, but there's always a bit of beauty in the breaking.
Psychotheraphist Jeffrey Sumber, M.A., M.T.S., L.C.P.C. told Huffington Post that dreams about death can often indicate “the symbolic ending of something, where that's a phase, a job, or a relationship.” Our worries about these types of goodbyes can manifest into nightmarish depictions, but they don't necessarily mean that whatever it is you're going through will lead to imminent death.
Dreams about death can also shed light on your anxiety surrounding the subject.
As someone who grew up in a large family, I've always been surrounded by death, and have lost more relatives than I can count on two hands. You'd think that because I was so familiar with this part of life that I'd at least be comfortable discussing the subject, but the fact that, one day, I'll close my eyes and my life will only be a memory, terrifies me -- which, according to dream specialist Delphi Ellis, could be why I frequently have dreams about it.
She told Mirror Online,
Dreams of death -- whilst disturbing -- mainly serve to remind us how precious life is and that we should make the most of every moment with the people we love and care about. Death dreams can be caused by anxiety, particularly if we have heard news of a passing or there is someone precious on our mind; as we start to consider our own mortality we may be thoughtful about how time could be running out.
But dreaming about someone else's death could mean you're unhappy in your relationship with them.
If you're constantly waking up from a dream in which either a family member or significant other comes to an untimely death, chances are you've got it out for them.
Maybe you're picturing an ex falling off a cliff while you stand and watch, or you have visions of fixing the floral arrangements at your mother's funeral. According to online guide to dream interpretation Dream Moods, envisioning someone else's death means you're "harboring some deep seated resentment" toward them.
Of course, these types of dreams could very well suggest you feel a genuine concern for another person's well-being, but the next time you experience something similar, it might not be a bad idea to give them a call and let out whatever it is that's bothering you.