What if you dream

Dream Interpretation: what does it mean when you dream of death

Photographed by Michael Beckert.
A few months ago I dreamed that my mother had died. Then I woke up drenched in sweat, panic and was about to cry. I knew it was just a nightmare. Nonetheless, I called my mom at six in the morning to make sure she was okay. Of course she sounded grumpy (at least I woke her up), but hearing her voice this morning was more reassuring than any love ballad could ever have been.
When someone dies in our dream - be it a loved one or a stranger - we are always very worried, explains dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. Because we then often ask ourselves whether it might be a premonition. But Loewenberg can reassure you: in most cases it is not!
“You should always look at dreams symbolically. You mustn't take them literally, otherwise you'll freak out right away, ”she says. “When you dream about death, it actually means that some kind of change or an end is happening in your life. For the subconscious, this goes hand in hand with the end of life ‘as you know it now."
The details of the dream can give more insight into what is really on your mind. The person you imagine plays a big role in this. “Usually they are representative of a trait or a personal quality that you have,” writes dream expert and psychologist Ian Wallace in his book The Top 100 Dreams: The Dreams That We All Have and What They Really Mean. “The death of a loved one in a dream indicates that your special quality is being transformed in some way. The transformation is often the result of a major change in your waking life in which you will let go of old habits and experience new ways of acting. "
For example, my mother is very warm and caring. I am too. But I sometimes worry that people will take me less seriously, so I try to put that side of me off at work. Maybe my subconscious took up this fight.
The same goes for dreams in which you see a star die. "I had a client who kept dreaming that she was Madonna's best friend ... and then she died in her dreams," says Loewenberg. “In therapy we found out that Madonna represents motherhood for her, not just because her name translates mother means, but because Madonna has quite a few children, ”says Loewenberg. “My client considered having her fallopian tubes tied off, which meant the 'death' of her ability to be a mother again. Her dreams let her know that it is okay to let go of that part of you. "
The way in which death occurs in the dream is also important. “A natural death represents a change or an end that occurs naturally. A murder, on the other hand, stands for a forced change or a forced end - for example when you delete someone from your life. When you stop smoking or drinking, you may dream that you are being murdered because that part of you is being killed. "
If you dream of being in a hospital, it could mean that you “have an unhealthy dependency on a loved one and need to be more responsible and independent in your waking life,” Wallace adds. But if you are in a cemetery, your subconscious might want to convey to you that you have to slowly let the past rest.
Last but not least, it always depends on how you feel after getting up: “The joyful realization that your loved ones are still alive shows that your connection with them is being reborn and renewed. It will help you bond with them even more, ”Wallace said.
It was definitely true for me. After my nightmare, I could have talked to my mother for hours; but unfortunately she wanted to go back to sleep and make a phone call a little later - who can blame her?