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Dream Interpretation: Death

Updated on June 30, 2013

Death is a very common theme in dreams, particularly if you have recently experienced a death in your waking life. But, what does it mean when you dream about death and you are not grieving the loss of a loved one?

Many people approach death with a sense of fear and anxiety. Surprisingly, death in dreams is considered a very positive symbol. Death is a transformation or end to things. This may be an end to bad habits or a change in some negative event in your life. There is no need to worry about these type of dreams being a premonition of some kind. Typically, death dreams are not about death but instead about life. Dreams of death and dying can be scary but once they are understood they can provide you with great insight.

As with any dream symbol, it is important that you consider the context of death within the dream prior to interpreting. Was the death natural? Was it violent or forced? What is your relationship with the person that died in the dream? These type of questions may give you clues into the possible meaning of the dream and aid in developing a more accurate interpretation.

If You Dream About...
It May Signify...
The Death of a Loved One
This may signify that you feel you lack a certain quality that the loved one embodies.
Death of Living Parents
This may symbolize a change in your relationship with your parents. Your relationship may have evolved into a new realm.
Death of a Child
This often means you are feeling a need to let go of your immaturity and start taking life more seriously.
Your own death
Self-discovery and transformation
Faking your own death
This suggests that you may need a change in your life and that you are looking for a new start.
Dying in a dream
This signifies inner change, positive development, and self discovery. You may be becoming more spiritual or enlightened. It may also signify that you are involved with some unhealthy or destructive behavior in your waking life. You may be feeling depressed or preoccupied about a situation.
Being told you are going to die
Signifies that you are being pressured to make an important decision or change. It may also mean that you are about to embark on a new adventure.
Someone dying in your dream
This signifies that your feels for that person are dead or have significantly changed.
The smell of death
This represents a situation that is dead and that it is time to move on.
The waking dead or someone in rigor mortic
May signify aspects of yourself that you are denying
Dancing, meeting, or running from death
Dancing or meeting death often means you are developing a new attitude or facing up to something. Running away from death means you may be avioding a change.

Though dreaming of death can be quite disconcerting, the probable meaning of the dream is typically nothing to fear. Death is a part of the natural cycle of life. It is a point of transition and transformation. Understanding death in a dream can give you insights into your waking relationships and help you make necessary adjustments in order to produce the life outcomes you desire.


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    • Abby Kadabra profile image

      Abby Kadabra 

      9 months ago

      Not too long ago I dreamt about being in the morgue and feeling the the tag being put on my big toe. It was the worst feeling in my life. Now I can say at least I know how it feels.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      ...I have dreams of my pet coming back to life. He's dead. I always run from him (some say because I'm scared of zombies). Whatcha think?


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