IF you’ve ever dreamed about a loved one or even yourself dying, you’re not alone.
Here’s how you can interpret such a dream and what to do if you have one, according to a sleep expert.
First and foremost, certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg told The Sun that dreams are not literal, so there’s no need to be fearful.
Instead, dreams can be used as helpful tools to connect your thoughts and feelings to timely events in your life – even if they’re about death.
There are various ways people can dream about death, and Loewenberg broke down exactly what different instances mean.
DREAMING ABOUT A CHILD DYING
“So a really common one that’s upsetting for people that I get asked about all the time is if you dream your child died,” Loewenberg stated.
She said that the dream isn’t in any way predicting the death of the child, but it’s likely helping your subconscious mind unravel its feelings about the child moving onto a new phase in life.
“So this is prevalent when there are milestones that are happening.
“When they start crawling, when they start walking, when they go to school, learn to ride a bike, start dating, go off to college, you know?
“All of these big milestones that mark the end of a phase in life and the mourning that you feel and the dream is that you’re actually mourning the ending of that part of the child,” she explained.
DREAMING ABOUT ANOTHER LOVED ONE DYING
Dreaming about someone close to you such as a spouse, best friend, or even a close co-worker dying also represents a change.
This time, it likely has to do with your relationship changing with them in some way.
“So you want to ask yourself what feels like in this relationship or with that person, what seems to be coming to an end?” Loewenberg suggested.
“And so these dreams are the way the subconscious mind is helping us let go of that which is no longer relevant or useful, of that that no longer serves us so we can be more open to what is to come.”
FALLING TO YOUR DEATH
While there are several ways you can die in your own dream, Loewenberg said the most common way is seemingly falling to your death.
“If you’re falling and actually die, then again, there’s something in your life that has come to an end,” she explained to The Sun.
“The fall can be a fall from grace, you’ve lost control of something, can even be a fall into a depression, and death, in that case, could be a change that needs to take place.”
FALLING TO YOUR DEATH BUT WAKING UP
Another common experience people have in dreams is falling but waking up before they actually hit the ground and potentially die.
Loewenberg said there’s more of a physical reason that you wake up rather than a symbolic one: Your body cannot tell the difference between a dream and being awake.
“[Your body] responds the same, so your heartbeat rises, your adrenaline rises, you go into fight or flight mode, and that shocks you awake before you hit the ground,” she explained.
Furthermore, she addressed the myth that if you don’t jolt awake you’ll actually die in real life, saying that it’s completely untrue.
“I have talked to people who did hit the ground and they were still alive because they told me the dream.
“I’ve never spoken to anyone who died in a dream and didn’t live to tell,” she noted.
Loewenberg added that dying of disease is also a common occurrence and that usually symbolizes an unhealthy situation the person having the dream needs to remove themselves from in real life.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If you experience one of these near-death dreams or someone else in your life has died in your dreams, Loewenberg suggested two methods to help realize the symbolic importance behind them.
“Of course, seeing a dream analyst such as myself is a great idea, but another way to help yourself connect the dots is to keep a day journal in tandem with a dream journal,” she said.
“Get a spiral-bound notebook and before you go to bed at night you want to write down what happened in your day on the left.
“So whatever you struggled with that day, whatever was on your mind the most that day, whatever conversion you had that day, whatever accomplishment you had that day, write it down on the left,” she instructed.
Then, when you wake up, she said to write down your dreams on the right side of your notebook.
She said this will allow you to “easily and visually connect the dots and see how your dreams tend to correlate to what happened in your day.”
And if you’ve had other troubling dreams, such as about your ex, Loewenberg gave some raw advice about how to analyze that as well.
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