I die in the dream at the age of 37. I have a choice between my life or a child’s (innocence) life, and I choose mine. This is a VIVID dream that started in 2008. It feels real. Usually I can go back to sleep upon waking and continue on with my dreams, but with this one. When I go back there is nothing. It appears to be a vehicular accident. Most of my dreams are awesome – I am a superhero, I fly and they are exciting and fun dreams. This one has me scared. Am I actually seeing my death?
male, 30, Canada
We can understand why this dream may scare you. It is not often that people have vivid dreams about their own death. You’ve also described the striking contrast between this dream and dreams that you normally have. We are glad that you’ve reached out to try and understand what this dream means.
One of the most important things to understand about dreams is that they are messages about you: how you think, feel and act. These messages come from the subconscious mind in the form of picture metaphors. In other words, they are symbolic and provide insights that we can use each day when we remember our dreams.
While precognitive dreams do occur, they only portray lines of probability. Nothing is ever set in stone. There is a lot of time between now and when you turn 37. A lot of things can happen between now and then, and it is important to realize that you always have the power to shape your life by your choices in each moment.
With that being said, your dream reflects the power of change. Death in a dream represents change and children in dreams represent aspects or parts of yourself in development. Therefore, your choice to keep the child alive over your own life in the dream shows your willingness to cause change and transformation in yourself to insure your own evolution.
You mention that this arises from a vehicular accident. Cars in dreams represent the physical body, while traveling down a road in a dream represents your mind’s direction towards a goal. When the dream is put into this context, it makes sense that you would change as an individual when moving towards your goals in life. This is the real reason for living. It isn’t the accomplishments of our lives, but how we change in the process of moving towards them that makes the difference.
Because of its vividness, this dream will be very important to reference. Oftentimes the level of vividness in a dream is the subconsciousness mind’s way of saying, “Remember this, please.” As you form an idea of who you want to become as a person while you move forward towards your goals, the feeling of needing to make drastic changes (my life or the child’s life) will lessen, because you have prepared your mind in advance for the changes to come.
We recommend watching the award winning documentary called The Edge of Dreaming, directed by Amy Hardie. Like you, she had a dream of her own death at a specific age, and decided to film her life up to that point. In watching it, you’ll have the chance to see not how her life ends, but how it begins.