Can Dreams Foretell Death?

Grim Reaper

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It is quite common to dream about the death of someone close such as friend or relative.  These dreams can be very upsetting because the natural tendency, especially for those who have not observed dreams in depth, is to assume the dream has a literal meaning.  Therefore, the dreamer will often mistakenly assume the person in the dream who died will really die.  In many, and perhaps in a majority of cases, this is not the meaning of the dream.  So what does the dream mean?  In fact, the dream could have one or many meanings!

Dreams as a Reflection of One’s Own Energy

Dreams can come from many sources and have different levels of meaning but one thing is certain: Dreams always have a spiritual meaning in addition to possible literal, physical or emotional meanings.  It is important to consider a death dream first from the spiritual perspective and consider that everything in the dream is representative of energies within oneself.  So one might ask a question like the following that fills in the blanks with a descriptive adjective (happy, ambitious, generous, etc.) such as:

This _______ person reminds me of times when I am ________.  Lately, I haven’t been so _____.  Could this dream mean that that part of me has died or is dying?  Why?  Does the dream give clues?  How does the person die in the dream?  Is something similar happening to me right now?

Dreams that Make a Statement on Our Relationships

Dreams can also give us insight into our relationships with people.  To dream of someone dying may be telling us that our relationship with that person is dying or changing so dramatically that it may be unrecognizable.  It is important to reflect on the relationship and ask if the relationship might be ending or changing dramatically and perhaps make choices that will resuscitate or enrich the relationship, if that is desired.

Dreams that Foretell the Future

There are times indeed when dreams do foretell the actual death of a person, often in a graphic and realistic manner that also comes true.  I had a dream of watching my mother die in the arms of my father.  As soon as I had the dream, I “knew” this dream was a predictive one.  I made the decision to go back to the family home to visit with my parents, suspecting this might be the last chance I would have to see my mother.  I was glad I did because a short while after she passed away. What surprised me was that she died just as my dream indicated, in the arms of my father.  It was as if I had been a fly on the wall and had seen it all transpire ahead of time.

It is possible to also see one’s own death ahead of time.  Abraham Lincoln had a famous dream just a few days before he died of seeing his coffin laid in state in the White House.  A person may also dream about the Grim Reaper visiting, or an angel or possibly a relative who has already passed come to get the dreamer.  Again, the dreamer usually knows at a deep level the meaning of this kind of dream.

So when you dream of someone dying, go through the reflection process above and don’t let false or neurotic fears carry you away.  Chances are, if your dream is a predictive one, you will know it at the gut level, giving you a chance to prepare for the end.

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Many Mansions: Dreams of a Dying Young Man

In my Father's house, there are many mansions...

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Because so many dreams concern themselves with the major transitions in life, dreams not only help us prepare for life, but they also prepare us for death.  There are grief dreams which prepare us for the death of another person or help us through and after that loss.  However, there are also dreams which prepare us for when our time comes.

I am reminded of the dreams of a terminally ill young man.    He was a hospital patient with a rare disease and wanted to share his dreams before he died.  I was asked to come and talk with him because I had recently taught a class at that same hospital on the relationship of dreams to health and well-being.

When I met with him he had perhaps several weeks to live.  He was pale and weak.  He thanked me for coming and said he just wanted to talk to someone who appreciated dreams because he valued his own and wanted someone who would not take his remarks lightly.  Often it is hard to find people who take dreams seriously, and one certainly doesn’t want to be laughed at or about when sharing a dream.  So I told him that I had studied dreams for many years and had taught classes on the subject.  I was very interested in his dreams and would be glad to listen.

Dreams of Many Mansions

The young man told me about a series of dreams he had in the weeks before about seeing a city of many gorgeous homes and magnificent buildings.  He thought that he would be going where those buildings were and live there.  I asked him how he felt about this.  He said the dreams were so beautiful that he wanted to be there.  He said the dreams made him feel comfortable.

Quite often, images in dreams with remind one of imagery in the Bible; however, at the time, I didn’t connect the imagery of many beautiful homes and buildings to Jesus’ quote (John 14:2) that in…”in my Father’s house there are many mansions…” but somehow, I think the young man did.  He passed away a few weeks later.   I would like to think he is there in those mansions.  Certainly, his dream comforted me, fulfilling another role of dreams:  that they often have meanings for others besides the dreamer.