Dreams are our brain's way of processing things that are bothering us, or things that have some impact on us; that we're either not consciously aware of, or else that we haven't processed on a conscious level.
I've found that my own dreams usually include a lot things I've encountered in the days preceding the dream (in "awake life"); but it's as if the brain puts mundane images/issues "on top of" deeper (even if not all that serious) feelings. I've also discovered (at least for me) that the bigger the emotional matter my dreams are processing, the more dreams it may take. Simple feels can be processed in one dream (especially if I recognize them the next day). Bigger, more disturbing, feelings that have been too disturbing to even think about (as when my mother died after a long, complicated, illness) have been processed over a period of months, and clearly in a way that started with the "surface issues (most obvious) first and worked the way down to the deeper, harder-to-figure-out, issues. It was clearly a layer-by-layer process. Interestingly (at least to me), my sister had parallel dreams with mine. (Different "stories" but very similar in the processing of the issues.)