What Does It Mean to See a Dead Person Alive in Your Dreams?

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For centuries, various cultures and religions have believed in and held discussions about death and the afterlife, with each holding different opinions on the matter. For many, death is a concept that they have yet to make peace with, even though it has been a part of the world since the very beginning. For others, it’s just a transition from one life to another, a mark of a new beginning.

No matter what beliefs one subscribes to, one thing remains constant; the death of a loved one leaves in its wake a myriad of emotions. After all, even though you believe it to be a part of a natural process or a journey to a better place, the mere thought of having to live without that person in this life can be devastating.

With that said, dreams surrounding death are commonplace and can be intensely emotional. In fact, a lot of people find these dreams scary and devastating but that is unnecessary. But of all these, one of the most common is the dream of a dead person coming back alive to tell you something.

What Does This Dream Mean?

Dead people coming alive in your dreams could be your subconscious processing difficult emotions or a way for the unconscious or even the universe to communicate with you.

Neuroscience elucidates that dreams are strongly connected to our memories. The amygdala part of our brain stores and helps us process emotional reactions. On the other hand, the hippocampus consolidates information from short-term to long-term memory.

When we are in REM sleep, frontal theta activity retrieves, decodes, and encodes these memories and emotions thus shaping the course of our dreams.

1- You Are Aggrieved

Losing someone close to you can be extremely difficult. Seeing them alive in your dreams means that you are scared of losing them, so you are tightly holding on to memories of them. 

2- You Miss Them

This happens most especially if you are thinking about your deceased loved one a lot. You miss their company and their insight so much that your subconscious is retrieving their memories and creating dreams.

3- They Miss You

The affection goes both ways; just as you miss your loved one, their spirit also misses the time they spent with you. An indication that you are missed by the spirit of your loved one is having dreams of both of you doing the things you used to do together when they were still alive. This is also a way of telling you that you are not alone and that they never really left you.

4- Unresolved Issues

Psychologists purport that dreaming with the dead is an indication of unresolved issues that bring about guilt and depression. If you have one of these dreams, examine yourself and see if you have any suspended issues that need to be completed. It could also mean that there are people in your life that you need to reconcile with.

5- Regret

Dreams of your departed loved ones may also be an indication of remorse that needs to be taken care of. It could be remorse concerning the deceased if, maybe you feel like you failed them or the two of you were not at peace at the time of their departure. Alternatively, it could be an indication of a sad past or shortcomings and embarrassment that you feel are holding you back. In this case, your subconscious is alerting you to the need to seek closure and let go.

6- You Need Their Guidance

This mostly happens if the deceased was an elder, a mentor, or simply someone you depended on for guidance. You may find yourself having to make a tough decision and yearn for their advice or encouragement.

 Spiritually, it is believed that the departed return via dreams to give guidance and warnings. Be that as it may be, scientifically, your mind can recognize the need for trusted guidance and so it can choose a friendly, familiar face to disseminate this wisdom. If that familiar face is that of a deceased person, then you are likely to dream about them talking to you.

7- You Have Not Accepted Their Death

One of the most common reasons you see a dead person alive is that you have not come to terms with their passing. Consciously, you know that they are gone but deep inside, you still expect them to swoop in with their beautiful smile and the banter that made them so lovable. Because a part of you has refused to let them go, it’s no surprise that you will keep seeing them in your dreams.

8- You Need to Be Present for Your Loved Ones

Dreams about your deceased loved ones come to serve as a reminder that life is fleeting, and you never know if time spent with those you love may as well be the last. You are being reminded to be there for them and enjoy them while you still have them.

9- You Need Consolation

Seeing someone you loved and lost in a dream can be very comforting. It makes you feel that you are not alone and energizes your mind with positivity. These dreams are an indication that the universe is trying to console you, energize you, and tell you that everything will be okay.

Other Interpretations


Sometimes, the meaning of seeing dead people alive in dreams depends on the relationship you had with the person. Here are some of those meanings.

1- The Dream of Dead Relatives Being Alive

Sometimes you may see dead relatives in your dreams appearing to be alive, healthy, and happier than they were when they are alive. When this happens, you are comforted that everything will be okay. This is also their way of telling you that they are in a better place than they were when here on earth. 

2- Dreaming of Dead Mother Being Alive 

Motherhood is the embodiment of care, naturing, love, and shelter. Seeing your deceased mother in your dreams may mean that you lack these things in your life and that you crave them. If she used to be your place of peace and affirmation while alive, it could also mean that your subconscious is seeking inner peace and confidence.

3- Dreaming of Dead Father Being Alive

Fathers are figures of authority, protection, and providence. Seeing your deceased father in your dream is an indication that you lack these qualities in your waking life or that you crave them.

4- Dreaming of Dead Sibling Being Alive

On the one hand, this dream could mean that you miss having someone in your life that you can play with, comforts you, and always has your back. On the other hand, if you fight with your sibling in your dream, then that is your subconscious preparing itself to break off a friendship or connection in waking life.

5- Dreaming About Refusing to Follow a Dead person Somewhere

Seeing a dead person asking you to follow them somewhere and you resisting is a warning. You are being told that you are getting yourself involved in something dangerous and while you are doing so willingly, deep down you know that you shouldn’t go down that road. You are being encouraged to resist that pull.

In a Nutshell

When we dream of the departed coming back alive, it could be because they’re trying to tell you something. This depends on who the person is and the relationship that you had with them when they were alive.

In the words of A. A. Milne (author of Winnie-the-Pooh), “We dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long, for if we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time”. Seeing our dearly departed alive in our dreams keeps them with us and that way, they are never really gone neither are we really alone.

Rose Mulu

Rose Mulu

With a keen interest in understanding why life was and is as it is, Rose has been studying religion, culture, and history for over fifteen years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and uses this, together with her knack for literature, to share her knowledge and insight with the world.

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