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Dreams about loved ones who have passed away

(15 Posts)
MackerelOfFact Mon 08-Aug-11 17:26:10

I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so apologies in advance if this is in any way insensitive.

I have lost three family members, one friend and a beloved dog over the past three years or so. Often I have very vivid dreams, almost nightmares, where my loved ones have 'come back' for a special day (eg. Christmas) and I am the only one who realises that there is anything at all strange. I spend the dream trying to either a) make people realise that the loved one in question has in fact passed away, as everyone has somehow forgotten, or don't realise that death is permanent, or b) trying to convince people that the person who they thought had passed away actually hasn't.

Either way, it's quite distressing and exhausting. I've had the dreams since I was quite young, probably about 14 when I lost my cat. I would dream that I saw him in the garden and would have to catch him and tell everyone he hadn't died. Except he would slip through my fingers every time.

I've had seperate dreams where my grandma, grandad and nan have each come back for Christmas or a birthday and nobody but me has batted an eyelid, and I've been frantically trying to stop them from 'going back'.

I dreamt that my friend had knocked on my door and begged me not to tell anyone she was really alive, and we had to hide it, and we had a fun day out even though I was desperate to tell her mum the 'truth'. Last night I dreamt that we'd moved house to somewhere pets would be welcome and I got my (dead) cat and dog back, as though they could just be returned from the dead if you wanted them.

The dreams are sort of comforting in that the deceased really feel real and alive and with me, but they're underpinned by a sense of panic that stays with me all day.

Does anyone else have this? Or have any comforting/upsetting dreams about loved ones who have passed away?

crispyseaweed Mon 08-Aug-11 19:27:18

I truly believe dreaming about someone who has passed over/died, is actually them really coming back to you when you are asleep.

My great aunt died and then came to me in a dream and gave me a big hug. Then my ex father in law died and came to me in a dream and was really really lovely to me (without even saying anything).. Whereas when he was alive he was very unfriendly, unchatty, and barely acknowledged me. (He was a bit odd really)

tesco1 Mon 08-Aug-11 21:44:47

I do this alot too with my mum. The last one was horrible and it really freaked me out. She was lying dead on a bed and suddenly started talking. I have also had a dream where we were empting her bungalow but she was alive in it.
My mum used to dream about deceased friends and relatives alot. She used to feel that it meant they were not at rest and would have a mass said for them. This of course makes me feels worse.
Sorry for all your bereavements. I have also had 3 in less than 18 months. Not nice.

karyncake Sun 14-Aug-11 20:04:48

I have these types of dreams too about my sister, they are so confusing aren't they?
I always feel emotional all day after one and most of the dream is a desperate attempt to keep her safe and to change the past.
I have had a couple where we have met up and just hugged in beautiful places but mostly the dreams are random and sad.
Sorry that you have had to deal with so many loses. x

MackerelOfFact Mon 15-Aug-11 12:29:54

Thank you for sharing your stories. Yes, the dreams are so horrible and confusing aren't they. The last few nights I have also had dreams that living friends/relatives have died, so I guess my sleeping brain is just struggling to make sense of death. I was in my mid twenties before I really experienced anyone close to me dying, and then I lost lots of people quite close together.

Sorry for all your losses. x

Yougotnae Mon 15-Aug-11 17:23:53

I have these kind of dreams. I had a friend tragically killed in an accident many years ago. I used to dream she was still alive and I would tell her everyone thinks she is dead...then wake up and realise it was all a dream. Very draining.
Haven't had that one for many years.
However I lost my father 2 years ago to cancer. I have recurring dreams that he is still alive. Weirdly though he is still sick and still 'dying' in my dreams and I cannot get my head round how he's still alive when we've had a funeral/cremation for him. So this dream, although still draining, leaves me under no illusion that he is still alive in his former glory.
I do dream/nightmare with some frequency and especially during times of stress of bereavement. For me it is the same theme.
You have suffered many losses and they may be manifesting in dreams for you as that is a lot for one person to cope with.

sh77 Tue 16-Aug-11 11:55:30

I had dreams of DD in the first year after she passed away. They were so real and gave me so much comfort. I haven't seen her since. I used to pray for these dreams.

I also had a v ugly dream of an uncle who died - in the dream, I cried when I saw him as I said to him I thought he had died. He had a very troubled life and this is how he appeared in his afterlife - dirty, uncontrolled.

Bloodybridget Tue 16-Aug-11 13:29:53

Mackerel, I'm very sorry for your losses. One of my dearest and oldest friends died suddenly five years ago and I have had many dreams about catching sight of her somewhere and "realising" that she hadn't really died, or that she had come back somehow. Always terribly sad on waking. I see it as part of the struggle to comprehend the fact of her death, which I obviously still find impossible in some way.

It's so hard to cope with bereavements, but perhaps it helps to know that other people have similar feelings and experiences?

missdisorganised1 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:40:48

Only a very few times and one of these was while I was medicated in hospital. They stood beside my bed looking rather puzzled. I always thought that was because they had zero warning of their death (a road accident) that when they arrived at wherever you go when you die they would wonder what had happened. And also perhaps they wonder why I wasn't with them?

As Nan says - it wasn't my time to go.

trumpton Thu 18-Aug-11 19:51:41

It's the anniversary of my mum's death today. I had a nap this afternoon and I was with her. Very frail and more like her mother than herself. but I was able to hug her ( very weird sensation as it felt real ) and tell her I loved her.

Just after she died I dreamed of her and she opened her eyes and looked at me and I said

" Oh mum, they said you you were dead !"

and she replied

"Oh they DO exagerate darling ! "

I woke myself up laughing at her.

weegiemum Thu 18-Aug-11 19:56:00

My very beloved Gran died 3 year ago. I have a dream about every 6 months or so that I am in her house, having qfternon tea, having a chat.

I always wake up thinking "that was nice, I saw Gran ...... oh! It was a dream!!"

I'm estranged from my birth mother, so Gran was all I had on that 'side'. I feel like my nights with her are a 'gift' - time with the one person who was always there for me!

limetrees Thu 18-Aug-11 19:58:03

I think it is normal. My best friend died young almost 10 years ago and I still have dreams about her. Sometimes, she is alive again, having beaten the disease that killed her. Sometimes, she is alive and I am dead. Sometimes, I catch sight of her in a dream. Sometimes, she is alive and I won't allow her to do anything, I am trying to frantically protect her from anything because she is so fragile. I wake up feeling quite shaken.

echt Fri 19-Aug-11 09:05:42

I have dreamt of my DF and DB a very few times, always joyful, and waking to a sense of refreshment. I would love to have such dreams more often.

Oh, just remembered the dream I had of by DB dying, I was there in RL, and in the dream it was transformed into horror, not like the peaceful way it was in RL.

On the other hand I've had frequent dreams of my DM, where I've killed her (the act is not part of the dream) and tried to bury her but not got away with it. The terror is of being caught. Needless to say, my RL relationship with her was not an easy one.

Hope I've not lowered the tone here, but the OP did ask.

newpup Fri 19-Aug-11 09:56:42

My Dad died a few weeks ago and I had such a real dream last week. I dreamt that he came home for a day but he had to go 'back' after one day! It was a beautiful day and it felt so real that I was sat with him and he talked to me. He said he did not want to go again but he loved watching us and not feeling any pain. My dad had been in pain for years before he died.

I know it was a dream and my imagination but I found it comforting in a dreadful time. sad

Thumbwitch Sat 20-Aug-11 15:49:12

In the week after my Nanna died of a sudden massive heart attack, at least 3 of us had a dream in which she came back and told us she was ok. I say at least 3, because there may have been some who didn't mention it.

It was very real indeed, not like normal dreams that skip all over the place - the family were all gathered at my grandparents' house as though at a normal birthday gathering; and she was there and told us that she was in a good place, no pain etc. and we should be happy for her.

Sounds trite, doesn't it. But as I say, I and at least 2 others had very similar dreams - so you do wonder. We didn't tell each other about the dreams before they happened either, so no "power of suggestion" going on.

I dreamt about my mum shortly after she died - but that was quite horrible because although she was alive, she looked dead. Very disturbing. Since then I have dreamt about her a few times but never the horrible version, she has always looked normal in them.

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