Dreaming of Dead Relatives Meaning - Alica Forneret (2023)

Sometimes deceased relatives appear in our dreams, but what does it mean when they visit? What do they want?

Well, we will answer these and other questions you might have about dead relative dreams in this post.

Usually, dreams about dead family members can feel scary and downright unsettling. But it’s quite normal to experience such dreams, especially if you lost your loved one recently.

Dreaming of Dead Relatives Meaning - Alica Forneret (1)

It’s a way for your unconscious mind to deal with the trauma of loss. Consider the dream a natural part of the grieving process.

With that in mind, join us as we explore the different meanings and interpretations of dreams about dead relatives.

Why Do I Dream About Dead Relatives?

There are many reasons dead relatives might knock at your subconscious doorstep while sleeping. For instance, maybe you feel alone in your life or stuck at one point.

The visitation is a sign you need guidance or reassurance that all is well. However, a dead relative dream serves as a warning of unexpected changes.

Below are some reasons your family members might visit while in your REM stage of sleep.

1. A Way to Process Grief

According to research, dreams of relatives assist us process trauma related to loss. It helps us maintain a connection with the dead and balance our emotions. These are necessary when grieving.

When dealing with loss, it’s natural for your thoughts and feeling to get buried in your subconscious mind. These thoughts tend to get amplified when sleeping and sometimes they can overwhelm you.

As a result, you might see the deceased in one of your dreams. If this happens, don’t get scared. Remember, the dream serves to comfort you. It assures you everything is well, and it’s fine to move on.

Nevertheless, if you can’t stand the dreams, it would help if you hire the services of a counselor or psychologist with dream interpretation knowledge.

2. You Need Guidance

When you encounter a dead relative in your dream, it’s a sign you need guidance. Maybe the deceased possessed a problem-solving skill that might come in handy in your life.

It’s common to experience this dream when dealing with tough situations or when stuck at one point in life and needing to move ahead.

Through the relative, your subconscious mind can help you find a solution to your problem. Probably, you already know the answer, but just having a difficult time finding it.

Sometimes a difficult situation can make you feel scared. Because of this, you might desire the reassurance of a deceased relative with whom you felt safe and at peace.

The individual will set your mind at ease so you can relax and find an effective way to deal with whatever troubles you.

Dead relatives simply appear to assure you that everything will fall into its place, no matter how impossible the situation might seem. So, you don’t need to worry.

The dream can also work the other way around. In that, the deceased loved one is the one seeking guidance from you.

At times, the souls of the dead get stuck or feel lonely in the spiritual realm, and they might need help to move along. Through dreams, they can contact the living and receive help to cross over into the next realm.

3. Emotions Projection

Most dreams about dead relatives are often positive and comforting. Nevertheless, there are cases when the deceased might be disappointed, upset, or angry at you. Dream experts say such dreams are probably a projection of your emotions.

When the dead relative is mad at you, it’s not that their spirit is crossing over. Rather, it could be that you are mad at yourself for not meeting your goals, not doing more for your relationship, or for some other reason.

Adding to that, you might experience dreams of dead relatives if you had unfinished business with the deceased or if their dream come about suddenly.

4. Signs of Self Sabotage

Sometimes the dead relatives in the dream might try to harm you. If that’s so, the dream most likely shows a self-sabotaging part of yourself that’s similar to behaviors or patterns as the deceased.

It’s wise to take time off from everything and evaluate every aspect of your life. Identify the thing you’re doing that’s self-sabotaging. Maybe it’s something the dead relative struggled with and you’re doing it now, whether it’s substance abuse issues, extravagant lifestyle, and so on.

5. You’re Seeking Closure

More often, the death of a loved one often leaves individuals with feelings of sorrow, remorse, or guilt. So, whenever a deceased loved one appears in your dream after a sudden or unexpected death, it could mean that their soul seeks closure.

Similarly, you may be the one looking for closure by wanting to say goodbye to them.

Another potential reason for experiencing this dream is that you’re yet to come to terms with the situation.

The departure of your relative from your life has forced you to acknowledge the strong bond you two developed.

For this reason, you feel alone and wish you had one more chance to tell them the things you didn’t say when they were alive.

When you recreate the events leading to the death of your loved one in the dream world, chances are you’re trying to determine if you could have prevented their death. Or perhaps you wish to say sorry for all the things you did wrong.

6. Your Dead Relative Has Unfinished Business

Last but not least, such dreams could indicate that the relative might have some unfinished business. They may want your help to execute it.

If the person died a sudden death, most likely they have several loose ends they might want to clear up before leaving for the next plane of existence.

For instance, if the loved one got killed, he might show up in your dreams to provide hints about the killer or even ask you to take revenge on them (but let’s hope that’s not the case).

Example of Dreams About Relative and Their Meanings

Dreams About Dead Relatives Giving You Money

In most dead relatives’ dreams, the deceased often give dreamers something as a sign that they want to help them deal with issues in their real life. The gift can include, but not limited to, kindness, the power of spirituality, wisdom, etc.

If the relative gives you money, it could mean you will attain great financial achievement or receive something good in your life.

In the case of vast sums of money, most likely you will gain the things you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you’ll afford that trip to the Maldives or buy that Porsche Cayenne you’ve always wanted.

But according to some dream experts, this dream might symbolize a bad time approaching or an unfortunate event hitting you. Therefore, it helps to look out for unique details in your dream and how they relate to your current situation and emotions.

Dreams About Dead Relatives Dying Again

Dreams of a dead relative dying again can symbolize improvement, pleasant changes in your life, or self-discovery.

You may go through a transitional period that’s making you more spiritual and receptive. It’s also a sign that you will leave the past behind as you experience a profound internal change.

Most people might experience these dreams when dealing with major life events like getting married or divorced, moving to a new town, or getting a promotion.

Dreams About Dead Relative Talking to You

Sometimes, dead relatives might talk to you about your dreams. While this might sound scary, the dream should not give you chills.

Consider the dream a warning about some kind of trouble or challenge you’re about to face. It might also mean that you will receive unexpected news soon.

While you can’t determine if the news will be positive or negative, it helps to prepare yourself for both outcomes.

The other interpretation of this dream is that you’re currently dealing with some problems and don’t know how to handle them.

You’ve probably done everything within your ability to address them, but nothing seems to work. Now you’re thinking of a relative who can provide you with guidance.

It’s also possible you’re dealing with loneliness and you want someone to share your feeling with. If that’s the case, you will wake up feeling better and relaxed after pouring your heart out in the vision.

Also Read: Dreaming of a Dead Person Talking to You Meaning

Dreams About Dead Relative Being Alive

While this dream might appear strange, it symbolizes restoration. It represents the things you lost along that you wish to recover. It could relate to your lost values, pride, or faith. The dream encourages you to remain hopeful, irrespective of the hurdles in life.

Also Read: Seeing a Dead Person Alive in Dream Meaning

Hugging Dead Relative in Dreams

Dreaming of hugging a dead relative it’s usually a comforting experience. It means you have not fully forgotten the deceased, and from time to time, you miss them. Chances are you’ve never managed to fill the void they left or you miss certain qualities they represent in your life.

Hugging a dead loved one might also mean that you’re not ready to let go, especially if the individual died recently.

But remember, life goes on no matter what, and sometimes letting go is the only way to move forward. Plus, your relative doesn’t want to see you stuck in life, feeling sad.

In some dreams, you might see the dead relative hugging another dead individual. Here, the dream reminds you to accept things happening in your life, whether positive or negative.

Dreaming of a Smiling Dead Relative

A smiling dead relative in your dream might seem creepy and unsettling, but there’s no need to worry. The smiling loved one means you no harm.

A bright and beaming smile from your relative shows the deceased is happy for you and proud of the life you’ve created for yourself.

This dream also reveals that you’re yet to process the loss of the dead relative. It’s possible you are overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, anger, disbelief, and loneliness. Or you miss the loved one and the energy they brought into your life.

The dream informs you it’s time to let go of all your bottled-up emotions, even if it means crying for some time.

However, if the smile seems sinister, most likely you’re feeling guilty about something. It could relate to a mistake or bad decisions you made in the past that could have some serious consequences.

Then again, the dream could show that some people in your life don’t want to see you succeed. You should, therefore, take caution and fully assess the individuals you consider friends.

If you feel someone is dishonest or fake, stay away from them. By doing this, you can reach a state of calmness, positivity, and peace.

Spiritual Meaning of Dreams About Dead Family Members

The spiritual meanings of dreams about dead family members vary from one culture to another.

For instance, the Wiccans believe the spirit of our loved one communicates with us through dreams, since they have no physical bodies. So, you need to treat them the same way you would have if they were still alive.

In Chinese culture, dreams of dead family members symbolize good luck. It’s a sign that you’re being looked after by loving and kind spirits.

As for Hinduism, the meaning of this dream depends on the dominating feelings you will experience while dreaming. Sometimes, the dream might symbolize wealth and prosperity or danger.

Christians, on the other hand, consider having such dreams as having dreams of ghosts. The ghost visits your dreams because they have unfinished business in the real world. Some Christians also believe the ghosts are demons trying to harm them.

Related Dreams:

  • Dreaming of Deceased Mother Meaning
  • Dream of Dead Grandmother Meaning

Final Words

As we come to the end of our piece, it’s wise to highlight that dreams of dead relatives can have several meanings and interpretations.

They can represent your grief or need for guidance and reassurance. Either way, it’s crucial to remember the context and setting of the dream for a correct interpretation.

While these dreams might seem scary, don’t let them intimidate you. Keep calm as you try to figure out the right meaning of the dream.

Hopefully, this article will act as a guide in your quest to understand your dream better. Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Dreaming of Deceased Mother Meaning: 14 Scenarios
  2. What Does Fighting in A Dream Mean?


What does it mean when you dream about a family member that has passed away? ›

You're projecting emotions.

This is you being mad at yourself for some reason," she explains, adding that these types of dreams are common if you feel you had unfinished business with this person or things left unsaid, and/or they died suddenly.

What does it mean when you see someone who has passed away in real life? ›

After someone dies, it's normal to see or hear them. Some people also reporting sensing the smell or warmth of someone close to them, or just feel a very strong sense of their presence. Sometimes these feelings can be very powerful. They may be comforting but also feel disturbing. These experiences are normal.

What are visitation dreams? ›

Visitation dreams are known to help you cope with your grief, loss, and sorrow. They are dreams of a deceased loved one that is so vivid that you confuse them for a visit from their ghost or spirit.

What does seeing family members in a dream mean? ›

A family member

According to Dreamhawk, dreaming about a family member is connected to your own identity as family represent our attitudes, values, and emotional responses. Dreaming about your mother can convey your maternal instincts. While dreaming about your father could reveal your authoritative instincts.

Is it normal to dream about dead loved ones? ›

Is it common to dream of your loved one after loss? There is limited research on the topic, but my research suggests it is very common for people to have at least one dream. I have heard from people that it sometimes only took a month before they remembered a dream of their loved one, while others report it took years.

How do you connect with someone who has passed away? ›

It is still possible to communicate with or about a loved one after they have died. This can include writing them letters, sharing stories about them with close relations or strangers who ask, or speaking to them directly.

What does it mean when you keep thinking about a deceased person? ›

You're experiencing obsessive or intrusive thoughts.

Obsessive thoughts of death can come from anxiety as well as depression. They might include worrying that you or someone you love will die. These intrusive thoughts can start out as harmless passing thoughts, but we become fixated on them because they scare us.

How do you know if someone who passed away is with you? ›

Common Signs
  • Dream Visitations. One of the most commonly described signs from the other side is a visitation from a departed loved one in the form of a dream. ...
  • Familiar Sensations or Smells. ...
  • Animal Messengers. ...
  • Pennies and Dimes. ...
  • Lost and Found Objects. ...
  • Electrical Disturbances.

Is it possible to see someone who has passed away? ›

After someone dies, it's normal to see or hear them. Some people also reporting sensing the smell or warmth of someone close to them, or just feel a very strong sense of their presence.

What are the signs of dreaming someone? ›

Dreaming about someone might represent a relationship with them in your life. The person might also be an aspect of yourself that you are struggling to understand or have not dealt with. What is this? Dreams can help us understand ourselves better as they often reflect parts of our personality we are unaware of.

What does it mean when you see your brother in your dream? ›

Dreaming about your brother is almost always an important sign from the Universe or your subconscious mind about something that's about to happen, or already is happening in your waking life. Such dreams are significant even if you don't actually have a brother.

What does it mean when you dream about family members you haven t seen in a long time? ›

What does it mean when you dream about a family member you haven't seen in years? It's normal to dream about people you haven't seen in years, even if you used to be close. It's usually because your brain is trying to work things out and fix your feelings on a certain person in your life.

What does it mean to see your mother and sister in dream? ›

Seeing Your Mother and Sister In Dreams:

To see both your mother and sister in dreams means that you need to take care of your mother and sister and they need your support. They are very much dependent on you and you can not ignore them as they are the one, who stood up for you when you have no support in your life.

What does it mean when you dream of your mother who passed away? ›

Dreaming of your deceased mother, especially if her death was recent, simply means you miss her. You miss the role she played in your life. You could also be thinking of all the good and bad times you spent together. This could make you wish to relive those memories and, in turn, trigger you to dream of your mother.

What does it mean when you dream about your dead sister? ›

Dreaming about your sister dying might indicate that there's some kind of stress or anxiety in your life that you're not addressing. Maybe your sister is going through changes or facing some difficulties that are also affecting you. If you're feeling stressed about it, it might also influence your dreams.

Is it healthy to talk to someone who passed away? ›

If you've ever found yourself having a conversation with someone you love who has passed away, don't worry. If you've ever wondered whether this is an unhealthy coping mechanism, experts argue it is a completely valid and healthy way to cope with loss.

How do you let go of someone you loved who died? ›

How to deal with the grieving process
  1. Acknowledge your pain.
  2. Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
  3. Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
  4. Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
  5. Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
Feb 24, 2023

How do you communicate with a dying loved one? ›

Using your body language
  1. Maintain an open posture with your arms uncrossed.
  2. Keep eye contact.
  3. Avoid barriers between you and the person you're talking with.
  4. Sit at an appropriate distance so that the person you're speaking with doesn't feel overwhelmed.
  5. Leaning forward may help to indicate that you are listening intently.
Aug 31, 2011

How long can a person hear after death? ›

The researchers monitored brain responses to tones and found that the auditory systems of the dying patients responded similarly to the young, healthy control groups just hours from the end of life.

What happens to the soul 40 days after death? ›

There is a belief that the soul continues to wander the Earth for another 40 days after the initial death. While wandering, the soul visits significant places from their life as well as their fresh grave. At the end of the 40 days, the soul finally departs from this world.

What to do when someone reminds you of a deceased loved one? ›

Tips for Coping When Someone Reminds You of or Looks Like a Deceased Loved One
  1. Introduce yourself. ...
  2. Accept your loss. ...
  3. Trust your intuition. ...
  4. Control your emotions. ...
  5. Don't be afraid of letting go. ...
  6. Ask for support. ...
  7. Seek therapy for intense yearning. ...
  8. Meditate for clarity.
Jun 15, 2022

What does it mean when you dream about your sister that passed away? ›

Dreaming about your sister dying might indicate that there's some kind of stress or anxiety in your life that you're not addressing. Maybe your sister is going through changes or facing some difficulties that are also affecting you. If you're feeling stressed about it, it might also influence your dreams.

Is it true that if you dream about someone they miss you? ›

When you dream about someone, it is more likely a reflection of your own feelings or emotions than theirs. In other words, the dreams are not always a sign that the person misses you. If you have been thinking about them and missing them, this may be why you're dreaming of them.

What does it mean to see your mother in a dream? ›

As a symbol, the mother can represent nurturing, intimacy, attentiveness, gentleness, kindness, commitment and unconditional love. She may appear in dreams to guide and support you through difficult periods.

What does it mean when you cry in your dream? ›

Crying in dreams symbolizes any suppressed emotion you experience in your waking life. This dream means that your emotions are taking over your ability to remain calm about certain situations. If your emotions are heavy enough to meet you in your dreams, try to take things slowly and handle the situation with care.

What does it mean when I dream of my brother who passed away? ›

A dream about a deceased brother most commonly indicates that there is something in your past you need to let go of. It can be something you know about, something you're actively getting ready to put behind you, or something you have yet to properly realize.

What does it mean when the dead talk to you? ›

One of the blatant meanings of a dead person talking to you in your dream, especially your loved one, is that you are still trying to process their death. It doesn't matter how long it has been since they died, it could have been years, but the sorrow and grief of their death are still very fresh in your heart.

What does it mean when I dream about talking to my dead brother? ›

Dreams about talking to a dead sibling could mean that you are dealing with unwanted competition or rivalry. You tend to have this kind of dream of you being in a working space with too many competitions.

Why does a person come in your dreams? ›

According to sleep specialist Alesandra Woolley, someone will often appear in a dream if we spend a lot of time with them. It can also happen if someone is able to get us interested in them in real life. Because we think about them so much, the chances of seeing them in our dreams are higher.

How do you know if someone is constantly thinking about you? ›

You Dream About Them

This is especially true for people who have not seen each other for a long time. If they are thinking actively about you, it might be enough to trigger a psychic manifestation in your dreams. Sometimes, these dreams are so vivid and intense that they might hint at what the person is thinking.

What does it mean when you wake up crying? ›

Why adults wake up crying. Unresolved trauma, grief, anxiety, and stress are common reasons adults might wake up crying. Nightmares tend to be less common in adults, although they can happen. People with PTSD are known to have nightmares and sleep disturbances that sometimes lead to awakening.

What does it mean when you see your dad in your dream? ›

The symbolic father in dreams can represent experience, wisdom, commitment, support, guidance, protection and unconditional love. The father may appear as a great source of inspiration and comfort, even a deep connection with the Divine, and provide a sense of knowing your place and purpose in the world.


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