What is it about?

The bereaved often wonder why they have negative dreams of the deceased when others have positive ones. This paper examines this question.

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Why is it important?

There is very limited information on this topic and this can hinder the bereaved in their grief journey. We now know that dreams of the deceased are a very common experience after loss. This paper examines the common question of "Why are some dreams of the deceased experienced as comforting, while others are distressing?” Support was found for there being different types of dreams serving diverse functions (processing trauma, maintaining a continuing bond, and regulating emotion). In addition, there was evidence that post-dream reactions can impact both the perception of the dream and grief.


I hope this article makes people more aware of grief dreams and the importance of asking about them. To know more information on the topic please visit www.griefdreams.ca or listen to the Grief Dreams Podcast.

Dr. Joshua Black
Brock University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Comforting Versus Distressing Dreams of the Deceased: Relations to Grief, Trauma, Attachment, Continuing Bonds, and Post-Dream Reactions, OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, February 2020, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0030222820903850.
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