What does it mean to dream about death, or to be visited by someone who has died?
Dream: I’ve had this dream for many, many years. I dream that I am at a funeral home and there are three coffins with dead bodies in them, however, the bodies begin moving in jerky motion, I then go to the director and he tells me that’s what dead bodies do. Sometimes I recognize the dead people, other times no.
DreamsMaster: Interesting. Let’s take a look at each of the symbols in this dream and then piece them all together into a theme…
Funeral home: A house or home in a dream often represents our personal space or self. Along these lines, a funeral home or a “house of the dead” could represent a part of yourself that feels obsolete or lifeless, that harbors old memories or ways of being.
Three coffins with dead bodies: The number three may be a religious symbol (such as the Trinity), or it could mean something personal to you. Is there something in your life that comes in threes? Or do you have any other personal association to that number?
Dead bodies moving in jerky motion: When I project myself into your dream, I visualize this jerking as being similar to when we first fall asleep and sometimes jerk ourselves awake. How did you feel when you saw the bodies jerk? Were you afraid, or just confused?
Funeral director: This character could represent the part of yourself that is in charge, in control of the situation, even when another part of you doubts or questions.
“That’s what dead bodies do”: Even though one part of you questions what you see, another part of you “takes charge” and provides an answer for you. Interesting that you appear to take the director’s words at face value, despite the fact that the answer does not seem logical with your felt sense of the experience. Do you tend to give your power away like this in the waking world, question your intuition?
A dead person in a dream generally represents some aspect of ourselves that has become obsolete, has “died off”. If the dead person is someone you recognize but is not someone close to you, think of how you would describe that person and then consider how that person may represent your shadow side, an unseen or personally unacceptable part of yourself with those same traits you described. If the dead person is someone you know well, then seeing them dead may have to do with your relationship with that person – for example, some aspect of the relationship is over, outmoded. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the other side of death is new life. Old parts of ourselves and/or of our relationships need to die in order for new aspects to be born. This is what growth is all about.
All that said, this recurring dream may be a metaphor for “out with the old, in with the new” in regards to different aspects of growth occurring in your life. The fact that the bodies are dead but still moving may represent resistance to accepting the finality of transition, not allowing the past or obsolete to “rest in peace”. Next time you have the dream, think about what was on your mind the night before, and this may provide more clues as to the message the dream is trying to relay.