“What if I dream of my dead uncle telling me to come to him in my dream? What does it mean?”
As a member of Quora’s Dreams and Dreaming group, this dream question was emailed to me by another Quora member. It seems like such a simple question, but it is quite complicated and has multiple answers. The tricky part is deciding which one is right for you because our dreams are filled with a dream language that only we can understand.
Here is my answer based on the research for my dream books.
Dreams of the deceased are one of the most exciting and confusing aspects of dreams and dreaming. In the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life, distributed by Simon & Schuster, many of the 30 life-saving dream stores contained visitations from deceased loved ones and family members during times of crisis.
One dreamer in Part VI, Chapter 42 of the book shares two dream stories about deceased loved ones appearing in her dreams during a time of extreme stress. She had Cystic Fibrosis and was undergoing a triple organ transplant.
One dream is about a previous dead lover who appeared to her in her dream.
On September 11, 2001, (9/11) I received a letter officially listing me for a
double lung and liver transplant. This day symbolized a new beginning for me.
From that day on, my struggling shared space with waiting for the phone call
saying my clinic received organs for me. On August 18, 2001, I got a welcomed
visitor in a dream.
Dream: Mario Is With Me.
Mario, the dead friend I hadn’t thought of for so many months, or get a chance
to say a proper goodbye to, stopped by in my dream. We were sitting in a
house in the living room, just talking as we always did, while there was a lot of
activity around us. It appeared as though someone was moving in or out, but
I wasn’t sure. And while we talked, I couldn’t help but wonder why Mario was
here in my dream, sitting right next to me, while being dead.
The moment I started to wake up, I knew Mario was dead, of course, but still
here with me and would protect and take care of me during the transplant. This
feeling was so clear and real, I immediately wrote down my dream.”
The other dream is about a strange man who keeps returning in her dreams. He hides his face and runs away in the pouring rain. His tan raincoat flaps in the wind behind him, which turns out to be a clue as to his identity as the dreamer had never seen this person before.
Dream: The Face of Death?
It was a dark night on an empty street in the city. It had rained, the streets were
still wet, and the light of the streetlights reflected on the puddles. I stood on
the street alone, not sure what I was supposed to do or why I was there, when I spotted a telephone booth. In it was a man standing in a long coat and a hat,
beige fabric reminiscent of 1960s attire. Every time I spotted him, he half-turned,
opened the door of the telephone booth, and started to walk down the street.
Every time I saw him taking off, I knew as long as I could see him, as long as I
didn’t lose him, as long as he didn’t turn around and show me his face, I was safe.
After I was able to talk, I told my mom about this dream, and she knew immediately
who the man was. It was my uncle, her brother. He always wore long coats
and hats in beige. I had never met my uncle, because he died from Hodgkin’s
lymphoma, at the age of 37, 10 days before my birth.
When she relayed the dream to her mother the description of the man and his raincoat led to the realization that the man was the dreamer’s uncle who had died before her birth.
At the time of the dream, the dreamer was on death’s door after having had a three organ transplant. It turns out the Uncle was just checking up on her and trying to reach-out or speak to her using the phone in an old phone booth, a hint that the Uncle was much older and unaware of cell phones.
This is a classic example of a dead relative trying to communicate with the living in a dream.
Are the dead relatives in our dreams real, aspects of ourselves, or just wishful dreaming to see a loved-one one more time?
Often the people we see in our dreams are aspects of ourselves. If this were my dream and I were not terminally ill, I would ask myself what aspects of my uncle I like to integrate into myself and my life. Was he joyful, or perhaps a strong emotional and intellectual fighter?
Although I always encourage people to look for the answers to dreams using their own dream language, sometimes a dream dictionary can be useful, especially when trying to interpret something that may contain a symbol that may be a play on words, like “Cry Uncle.”
Uncles hold an exceptional spot in the family dynamics. They are often Godfathers to children and the person most entrusted with the lives of their brother’s children.
According to a Jungian dream dictionary: to see your uncle in your dream represents some aspect of your family heritage and trait. It also symbolizes new ideas and emerging awareness. Consider the idiom “cry uncle” to mean surrender or admit defeat.
This begs the question, “Is someone asking you to cry Uncle? Who and why?”
In your dream, your Uncle is telling you to come to him.
Maybe your unconscious feels that you should surrender to something that’s going on right now?
Our dreams concerning passed over loved ones can also be what is known as a duality, two things happening at once that contain different meaning.
A dream-duality can speak to two things happening at once, a conflict, or an opposition. It may contain aspects of ourselves in life and the actual dead relative who has come to help us and give us guidance.
Perhaps the conflict is life and death with the dead visiting the living in a dream in order to secure life from a place of death.
What is your life like emotionally right now? Are you stressed? Is this a time of challenge?
When we are in a place of emotional or physical turmoil our dead relatives are often given permission to return to us in our dreams during our darkest hour to help change the darkness into a defining moment. With them they bring celestial light into a dark place; another duality.
Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Disease; Findhorn Press/Inner Traditions; distributed by Simon &Schuster (April 17, 2018)
Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing; Cypress House; 1 edition (March 28, 2014)
All book quotes are used with permission from the author, Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos and Dr. Larry Burk.
Photo credit: Cancerland Poster used with permission by the author.
About the Author: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos-three-time cancer survivor whose guided dreams diagnosed her illness as seen on Dr. Oz, NBC News, American Express Open, in Newspapers and magazines, and detailed in her book Surviving Cancerland, and Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She’s a Contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul, TV/Radio Host/Producer- Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™, the Kat Kanavos Show, Internationally Syndicated Columnist in BIZCATALYST360, and Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and Spiritual guidance. www.KathleenOkeefeKanavos.com