Dreams About Lost Loved Ones – What Do These Dreams Mean?

Over the years, the most asked questions and requested Dream Interpretations consistently involve dreams about lost loved ones. I think there are several reasons for this.

  • Some people want to know what the dreams mean.
  • Some dreamers believe that their loved ones are trying to communicate with them.
  • These dreams are often recurring and people want to know when they’ll stop.
  • If the wounds are still fresh from having lost this individual, dreamers want the dreams to go away and are seeking advice on how to make them do just that.

First of all, having never been “on the other side,”  I have no idea whatsoever if lost loved ones try to (or are even able to) communicate with their loved ones through dreams.  However, I’ve lost a lot of loved ones – including my mom and dad, each who passed away far sooner (and younger) than anyone would have expected.  From these experiences, I do know feel 100 percent that our loved ones communicate with us in the waking world.  I’ve had far too many beautiful experiences to even begin to doubt this.  However, I’ve never had a dream that I, personally, felt was from a lost loved one.

They weren’t dreams that left me happy or encouraged – they always caused me to feel sad.  I KNOW for a fact my loved ones wouldn’t have wished that on me.

For this reason, I believe that when we dream of our lost loved ones, it’s a clear case of one thing and one thing only:  Our brains are trying to find a way to deal with and come to terms with this most unthinkable situation.   The grief, complete and utter devastation and helplessness that associate the loss of loved ones is almost too much for our brains to handle.  The “WHY“s and “WHAT IF“s are overwhelming.  We wonder why it had to happen, what we could have done differently (while they were living), what if something different had happened – something that would have kept them with us, etc.

If you think about it, that’s an unreal amount of information and grief  for our minds and hearts to cope with.  During the day, we “stay busy” and “keep our minds occupied” (in other words, we do what we have to do to keep from crying and/or throwing things 24/7).  So, when we’re finally asleep, it’s as though our mind says, “Finally!  They’re still.  They’re quiet.  Let me try to sort this out.”

You’ve heard of the saying, “I’m trying to wrap my mind around something,” right?  In this case, it’s as though the mind is trying to wrap itself around something.  Something that, frankly, can’t totally be wrapped around.

Unfortunately, these dreams are as much a part of the grieving process as tears are.  Trust me, they do go away – and, fortunately, they don’t happen every single night for most people.

The only advice I can give is this:

  • Try not to focus on the dreams. Don’t replay them in your mind over and over again – it’s sort of like a slow torture.  The more we relive a dream, the more likely a similar one is to recur.
  • During the day, try to keep your thoughts directed more on the loved one’s life than their death. Keep them alive in your mind and heart by thinking of things you did together, times they made you laugh, times you made them laugh, the sound of their voice, etc.  A lot of people try to avoid these thoughts because they think they’ll make the dreams worse.  They’ll actually help.  By contrast, however, don’t dwell on the funeral, regrets, etc.  Don’t take part in the typical (and understandable) conversations that ask what could have been done, “Why did this happen,” and so on.  Looking for answers that don’t exist will only frustrate you mind further, which will lead to it trying to sort things out while you’re asleep.
  • A word about regrets. Never, ever allow regrets to dominate your thoughts.  Don’t let them rent a room in your mind’s chambers and NEVER let them move in!  Think about it this way – what if it had been YOU who’d passed away?  Would this loved one have things he or she would regret?  Of course!  We’re all human, capable of human frailties and faults.  But, would you want them to be haunted by regrets or guilt?  Of course not.  You’d want to tell them, “Forget about that.  I never gave it a second thought – I know you loved me.  Only remember the good times.  I don’t want to be remembered with tears or pain – I want to be remembered positively with laughter and smiles.”

Your lost loved ones soon become a normal part of the fabric of your dreams.  They’ll often show up, just as though they were still alive and had never gone anywhere.  My dad was in a dream of mine a few weeks ago, eating green beans biscuits, and chicken that I’d cooked for him.  I woke up smiling because it was like a sweet little visit with someone who always made me laugh.

If you’re experiencing unsettling dreams, just keep reminding yourself that they’ll soon become dreams you look forward to rather than dread.  Until then, bear down and get through this part of the healing process as well as you can.  You’re in my thoughts and I’m truly, truly sorry for your loss.