Dreams about talking to someone who has passed on can be upsetting, comforting or both. And when that person is a close family relative, those emotions can be even more intense.

If you’ve dreamt of talking to your mother, and she is sadly dead, you may have all kinds of questions. What did the dream mean? What, if anything, should you do about it? And is it possible it’s a message from your mom?

We’re here to help you explore those questions. We’re going to look at seven meanings when you dream of talking to your dead mother. And we’ll consider some different causes that might lie behind those dreams.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started.

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Are Dreams Messages from the Other Side?

Many people believe that dreams can spring from supernatural sources. They believe that they can foretell the future and give advice or warnings.

For others, dreams are products of our subconscious minds. If they give insights into our futures, it’s because these have been drawn from our own observations in waking life.

And some people believe that both can be true. In some cases, our dreams are rehashing information from day-to-day life, helping us process it. And in other cases, there’s a more spiritual dimension to the dream experience.

At present, there’s no way to disprove any of these theories. Some people take great comfort from the belief that a dream of a dead parent indicates a continuing connection to their spirit. For others, there’s comfort simply in reliving an interaction with their loved one in their dream.

But whatever you choose to believe, it can help to understand what meanings such dreams may hold. The rest of this article talks through some of the possibilities.

Remember – there are no hard and fast rules to dream interpretation. In almost every case, you will be best placed to unravel the meaning of your own dream.

To do that, look carefully at each of the elements that stood out to you. Those might be people, objects, circumstances, or feelings. If you’ve remembered them when you’ve awoken, the chances are they carry some meaning to you.

Now let’s explore some of the possible meanings when you dream of talking to your late mother.

talking to your dead mother in dreams

1. You Miss Your Mom

Whatever our relationship with our mother, it is often one of the defining aspects of our lives.

For many, even most, children, the mother is the primary caregiver. It is she who takes responsibility for our physical and emotional wellbeing. And however well she is able to satisfy those needs, she is the single most important figure in our young lives.

The death of a mother usually occasions feelings of intense grief and loss. These can echo through the years, but it is in the time immediately following death that the pain can be most acute.

You can feel this pain even if your relationship with your mother was problematic. In some cases, this can even intensify the sense of loss. You may have believed yourself reconciled to the nature of your relationship. Even so, death brings the certainty that it cannot now be anything different.

All this gives your mind an enormous range and weight of emotion to process in the period after her death. Your mother is likely to be on your mind both consciously and subconsciously. It is hardly surprising, then, that she appears in your dreams.

Dreaming of your mother, particularly soon after her death, may simply reflect this emotional reality. You miss her, and your dreaming mind is summoning her back to you.

In some cases, people have reported dreaming that their mother has told them she is not really dead.

Some people take this as a comforting message that they will be reunited in the Afterlife. For others, it’s a message from their own brain. Denial is known as one of the stages of the grieving process – your dream may be your mind’s literal denial of what has happened.

2. You Are Trying to Resolve Your Feelings

In some cases, a dream about your dead mother may represent unresolved feelings about your relationship. This is particularly likely to apply where you dream of the same scenario on more than one occasion. That’s a strong sign that your brain is trying to work something out.

Think through all the details in your dream, and what they mean to you. Do they relate to a single event from the past, such as conversation or argument? Or are they symbolic of a longer standing question or uncertainty you had about your relationship with your mother?

These kinds of dreams may be more common in the period immediately following your bereavement. But there’s no template for how long it takes to process your grief. Dreams like this can be experienced even years after your mother’s death.

However difficult it may feel, talking about your feelings can really help. You might choose to confide in a friend or loved one. Or you might feel more comfortable talking to someone who doesn’t know you on a personal level.

There are no right and wrong answers to how to respond to the feelings your dream is highlighting. A strong emotional reaction is a natural part of the experience of loss. You may find it helpful to contact one of the many organizations who provide support after bereavement.

3. You Are Seeking Comfort or Protection

Dreams of loved ones don’t always relate to that individual. In some cases, they may be representing something else. And with so many qualities attributed to the classic vision of motherhood, your brain could be using your mother as a symbol.

Mothers are typically associated with providing comfort and protection. If you looked to your mother to provide those qualities as a child (or even as an adult), your dreaming mind may be doing the same thing now that she has gone.

Perhaps you are struggling with a difficult situation – maybe at work, or in a romantic relationship. The appearance of your mother in your dream could signify your own need for comfort.

If this strikes a chord with you, be kind to yourself. We all need help from time to time, and it isn’t always easy to know where to find it. Perhaps you could confide in a friend or other family member. Or it might be helpful to seek counseling or join a support group of some kind.

4. You Need Help to Overcome a Problem

As well as sources of emotional comfort, we can often turn to our mothers for practical advice. If your mother has appeared in your dream, it might be because you’re searching for just such words of wisdom.

Now that she’s passed, we can’t any longer drop by, or give her a phone call. But that’s not to say that we can’t ask ourselves what our mother would tell us if we talked through our situation with her. And our subconscious mind may be doing just that – and supplying us with an answer.

By sifting through our memories and observations, our clever brains can often create a convincing response. After all, we have probably had years of our mother’s advice to draw upon.

And some people believe that our dreams provide a real gateway to communicate with the dead. Words of advice from a dead parent, they believe, are precisely what they appear to be – messages to guide us.

Whatever you believe, it’s a good idea to listen to any advice given to you in your dream. Whether it’s the product of sifted memories or a literal message from your mother, it has value.

Write it down as quickly as you can. Even things you remember vividly on waking can disappear from your memory in no time at all. By recording your dream, you give your conscious mind the opportunity to reflect on its message at your leisure.

5. You’ll Need to Rely on Yourself

Some dreams invert the traditional roles of seeking and receiving advice.

If your mother has sought your advice in your dream, it could be a sign that you need to rely on yourself. Your mind may be playing out this scenario to underline the message that you are your own most important counselor.

That might sound scary, but dreams of this kind can also be very reassuring. They may be accompanied by feelings of confidence, and even excitement. Such positive feelings are a good sign that you’re recognizing your own ability to overcome the obstacles facing you.

6. You See Your Mother in Yourself

Sometimes the people we see in our dreams represent parts of ourselves. They may be particular aspects of our own personality that we identify most strongly with that person.

In the case of our mothers, our biological connection means we were once literally part of them. And however little we might want to acknowledge it, it’s likely that we share at least some of their traits.

Your late mother appearing in your dream might actually, therefore, represent an aspect of yourself. Perhaps you find it easier to analyze your behavior when it’s presented as coming from someone else.

Dreams in which you argue with your dead mother can also carry this interpretation. Such dreams may be an expression of the tension you feel between different parts of your personality. That tension might be coming into stronger focus because of events in your life.

That can often be the case when you’re confronting the prospect of significant change. If you’re looking at promotion, for example, you could be torn between the drive to succeed in your career and a desire to focus on other pursuits.

Your mother may be playing the part of one of these aspects of your personality. That’s probably the part you most closely associate with her views when she was alive. By presenting “her” case, your mind is allowing you to work through your different feelings about the situation.

7. You’re Feeling Troubled About Your Actions

Parental figures often represent authority. If your mother was upset with you in your dream, it may reflect your own feelings of uncertainty or guilt.

As with all dreams, the details will give you important clues about whether this is the right interpretation. There may be objects, locations or other features that symbolize different aspects of your situation.

Was your mother giving you a dressing down at your place of work? Perhaps you’re subconsciously worried about something you’ve done in your professional life.

Perhaps you had your angry mother sitting in the passenger seat of your car. You know you should have got your vehicle serviced last month. Or perhaps she’s staring in dismay at the interior of your dirty oven!

For many of us, our mothers are among the people we most fear to disappoint. That doesn’t stop simply because your mother is no longer alive. If you’re troubled by some aspect of your behavior, it’s natural for your subconscious mind to summon her to point it out.

Grief, Loss and Connection

Dreams of mothers who have passed on are frequently connected to feelings of loss and grief. But they can also offer the hope of continuing connection, advice and guidance. And in some cases, they reflect back to us aspects of our own personalities and behavior.

Whether you believe that dreams carry messages from the dead or just from our subconscious minds, their meaning remains important. So try to record every detail of your dream while it’s fresh. And don’t forget to note down the feelings you experienced too.

All this information will help you achieve a more accurate interpretation of your dream. Then it’s time to look at it in the context of the things you’re experiencing in your waking life. You’ll often find that your dream offers you fresh insights to guide you on your path.

Finally, don’t be afraid to seek help if you’re struggling to come to terms with the death of your mother. For many of us, it’s the most intense pain of our lives, and it can stay with us a long time. Finding sources of support, whether professional or personal, is important to help us through.