Death and Dying Dream Symbolism and Meaning

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Dreaming about death and dying can be quite a scary experience, especially if you dream of the death of a loved one or even yourself. A lot of people naturally wake up very worried when they have a dream about death or dying!

Fortunately, dreams about death and dying are usually not precognitive types of dreams that predict the future – death is usually just a symbol in the dream – often signifying a change.

How to Interpret Your Dream About Death:

You will always be the best interpreter of your dream, so it’s important to learn how to analyze the dream on your own. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you make sense of the dream:

What are your personal experiences with death?

Most people are very uncomfortable with the notion of death, though some are very comfortable with talking about it and are very accepting of it. Your own personal experiences and meanings for death (as well as your beliefs about what happens when someone dies) will all play a role in understanding the symbolism of death in your dream.

How do you describe the person who died in the dream?

Alone boy stay near sea. Cloudy sky and foggy water

Are these any qualities you recognize missing in yourself or that have gone under a change? What is your relationship to the person? Many times people in our dreams represent parts of ourselves.

What else happened in the dream?

Death in dreams is usually a way of getting your attention, but the other objects and details in the dream will provide more clues as to what really needs your attention or what message the dream is trying to convey to you.

What Type of Death Was It?

Did you dream of a peaceful relaxing death or a violent murder? A peaceful relaxing death might signify a transition or change you are experiencing.

A violent murder or dreaming about killing someone might symbolize anger, hatred, or fear. The way someone dies in a dream will give you a lot of clues as to what exactly the dream may mean.

How Did You Feel When You Woke Up?

Were you scared? Sad? Angry? Relaxed? The way you feel during a dream and after you wake up from a dream can provide you a lot of insight into the meaning of the dream.

Common Dream Symbols for Death

death dream meaning

Death is usually a symbol for something – often your feelings about someone or something. Below are some of the common symbols for dreaming of death and dying:

Fear of the Unknown:

No one really knows for sure what happens when we die. Some believe we go to heaven, some believe nothing happens at all.

There is a lot of uncertainty about death, and dreaming about death could symbolize uncertainty or your fear of the unknown. This is especially likely if your dream about death happened in a dream of an apocalypse.

Coming to an End:

Many see death as the end of life and to be the end of everything. There could be something in your life that is coming to an end – maybe in your relationships, your career, or even the end of a problem/burden that has been bothering you.

On a positive note, it can also symbolize the end of bad habits, such as drinking, smoking, or gambling. Maybe you are making healthier food choices.


Grief is a very powerful emotion that often accompanies death. Are you grieving something in your waking life? Again, it could be related to your relationships, losing something of importance and value to you, or losing control of something in your life.

Many people are afraid of losing what they have, so this is not an uncommon theme we see in dreams. Ask yourself: Is there anything that has changed recently in your life that you are mourning?


Many people believe that death is a transition from one life to the next. Change is one of the most common dream interpretations for death in a dream. Dreaming of death in some cases could mean seeing a change in your problems, your relationships, or your career.

Common Types of Dreams About Death

There are many different types of dreams about death. Here are some of the most common themes we see in dreams:

Death of a Loved One:

To dream of a loved one dying can mean that you are afraid of losing something important or valuable. Think about your relationship with the person – is it changing? Or does the person symbolize something else in your life?

Death of Yourself:

To dream of your own death could mean a number of different things. It could mean you are feeling fear or anxiety about a situation in your waking life, or that things seem uncertain.

It can also signify you are going through a change in your life – be in your relationships, career, or quitting a habit.

Death of a Child:

Dreaming about the death of a child can be especially upsetting. If it is your own children, it may symbolize that they are coming to an end of a stage of their life (such as going from toddler to school age, or from teenager to college) or it could symbolize that you are fearful for their well being.

Dreaming about the death of a child could also symbolize your own inner child – maybe you need to be more playful or spontaneous or creative.

Death of a Friend:

Dreaming about the death of a friend often means that something is ending in the friendship, or that the friendship is undergoing a change. What is your relationship with this friend like in real life? Does your friendship need some attention?

Also, think carefully about how you describe the person – are these any characteristics that you see in yourself that are missing or are undergoing a change?

Death of an Animal:

Animals in dreams can mean a number of different things. To dream about the death of one all depends on the type of animal and your relationship with it. For example, dreaming of a pet dying may symbolize a change in companionship or friendship.

To dream of a ferocious animal dying may symbolize overcoming a fear or obstacle. Also, think about qualities you would use to describe the animal. Are any of these qualities ones you identify with that could be going through a change?

Dreaming About the Deceased:

Dreams of those who have died is not uncommon, especially if you were close to the person or had a deep connection over something. Sometimes these dreams are just a part of the grieving process, others believe they may be true communication with the loved one. Learn More About Visitation Dreams.

Have you had any dreams about death? What have your experiences been? Do you have any possible interpretations or meanings for related symbols we may have missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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