Dreaming about people who have passed away can be unsettling, even more so when the person who has died behaves in a way which is unkind or unexpected in the dream. I have worked with dreams following bereavement for many years, particularly those bereaved by murder and suicide and it’s not uncommon for people to describe what you have.
It can be useful to explore the relationship you had with these people and consider if there is any “unfinished business” or unresolved thoughts and feelings, perhaps a conversation you wish you’d had. It may be that you feel guilty about things which were said or done prior to their passing or you may wish you had done more to prevent their death happening, however impossible or unlikely this may have been. You may also wish they had done more to be with you. These types of dreams are common after someone takes their own life.
You mention in your dreams that your friends and relatives ‘snub’ you – this seems like a very deliberate act on their part but in essence may represent your acknowledgement they are no longer here. It may be, on some level, you have processed them dying as them no longer wanting or choosing to spend time with you. This naturally feels painful and personal to you, both in the dream and in your waking life.
Some people believe that dreams are a way to communicate with the deceased and it’s fair to say that many cultures consider this a way of receiving helpful messages from the other side. However, it’s important to emphasise that these types of communications are always received as enlightening in some way – the content is never unkind or hurtful- but instead provide valuable information for the dreamer to take positive action in some area of their life. People who have pleasant dreams of people that have passed away often wake up feeling as if something very special has just happened. For this reason, dreams where deceased loved ones appear in a way which hurts you are more likely reflecting a worry or issue you have about their passing. Some people don’t dream about their dead relatives or friends at all, and this can equally be painful.
Bereavement is rarely straightforward and dream content during the grieving process can seem cruel, even years after the person has died. Dreams after a bereavement is a huge topic (ones which I cover in my tailored workshops and events) and so one I can only cover briefly here. But it is important to allow yourself time to understand your relationships with the people who have passed away, how you’re dealing with their death and consider how this may be having an impact in your waking life. Talking things through with a close friend or a professional can be a helpful way of understanding your loss.
Don’t forget to keep a dream diary to see if there are patterns developing with your dreams. You may find that you dream of those who have passed away around the time of anniversaries such as their birth or death. If you recognise a pattern developing, this can also help you understand your dream’s hidden message. Dreaming about someone dying who is still alive is another post (coming soon).
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