Dreams and dreaming when you’re grieving

I had a dream not long ago. It was realistic but it wasn’t real. It probably came as a result of various thought processes and a bit of TV. The story was, it had been discovered that my daughter had a son, that I was just now finding out about. I was over the moon. I was a grandmother. I was thrilled and excited. Something of my daughter had lived on. You cannot imagine the joy, absolutely joy I felt.

Waking up after a dream like that was not too welcome. The intensity of joy in the dream was matched by the intensity of sadness on waking. The harsh reality is that my daughter has died, as my son did 30 years earlier, and I have no descendants. There are no grandchildren on my side of the family tree.

I suppose in our dreams, our mind unravels the story of our lives, and sometimes our dreams are visions of our deepest wishes. On the other hand, sometimes dreams seem to be vehicle for a psychic/spiritual connection. They can’t be easily explained.

Lots of people who are grieving dream about their loved ones, and these dreams can be immensely comforting. Some people attach great significance to their dreams, perhaps believing that they are actual visitations, whereas others just take them as a simple function of the brain. Sometimes we receive in our dreams what we wish for the most and can have a few moments of peace as a consequence, although waking from these dreams can be bitterly disappointing, as I told my experience above.

When the Bible speaks of dreams, it seems to indicate they can be divine messages. “Visions of the night” have often been God’s communication vehicles, it appears:

“In a dream, for instance, a vision at night,
    when men and women are deep in sleep,
    fast asleep in their beds—
God opens their ears” (Job 33:15-18)

Some people wish desperately to dream of their loved ones, but it doesn’t happen. Others wish their dreams would cease. Bad dreams or nightmares can reawaken memories of the difficult circumstances of our loved one’s illness, accident or death.

Like just about everything related to grief, it seems we all have a unique experience, although we might have some aspects in common. Whatever meaning you attach to the dreams you have, I hope it brings you comfort.


This article is still on dreams and death, but from a different angle – it concerns the frequent dreams and visions of those who are nearing death. (External link)

Here’s a talk (YouTube) with more about the “end of life” experiences that are often reported.  (about 17 minutes)


Is a dream of a loved one a visitation or the workings of our brain? Whatever you believe, I hope you will find comfort in your dreams.

2 thoughts on “Dreams and dreaming when you’re grieving

  1. Your post is perfect timing for me. This week I dreamt of my adult daughter. The dream felt like what heaven might be to me. I did not want to wake up and I cried a bit before I processed the dream. This was a healing and comforting dream – so different from the bad dreams I have had of her in the past. She came to me in love and light. I interpret this to mean my spiritual work I have done for myself was the right thing for me. I keep an open heart. Thank you for your sharing of thoughts and healing posts.


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