Dreams of Father Dying: A Symbolic Rite of Passage

In Dreams About Family by Jesamine Mello21 Comments

Dreams of Father Dying: A Symbolic Rite of PassageDreams about your father dying mark a significant development in your psyche. This is not a dream that should scare anyone. These dreams tell you in no uncertain terms that it’s time to break free from your psychological attachment to your father and step into your own life.

Before you read this post, I suggest reading the main post of Father Dreams because there I give you more details about Father symbolism.

Working with Dreams About Your Dad Dying

Sometimes dreams of your father dying are very upsetting. For example, a young woman, prone to depression, had an exceptional relationship to her father.

She dreamed that they were riding together on a motorcycle.  He said to her, “time for me to die now” and suddenly the motorcycle split into two.  He drove off the road on his part of the bike and crashed, and she continued onward on her own motorcycle.

Dreams of Father Dying: A Symbolic Rite of PassageHer father was her hero. She was the proverbial “daddy’s girl”.  Not obviously dependent, but clearly psychologically attached, as though she were still “his child”.

Her psychological dependence on him held back her psychological development into adulthood, hence her vulnerability to depression.

I talk a lot about the movement of our psychic energy: when it moves forward, that’s progression. Progression means consciousness develops.

When that energy moves backward, that is regression.  When we regress, we can fall into old patterns and get stuck.  That’s what a depression is:  psychological fixation, stagnation, or inactivity.

Lock-on Regression by Mental Crash

In order to get things moving again, we have to change something in our current attitude. Don’t get me wrong, though.  Regression is not always bad or neurotic.  Sometimes we have go backward to pick up something we have left behind.  That something is always precious life force which has gotten stuck somewhere along the way.

Naturally, that dream of her father dying upset this young woman. However, I offered her congratulations on finally breaking free from the father-complex.

Well, that’s only partially true:  psyche was telling her it was ready to break free.  She, however, still had to work on making that a reality.  That’s what we mean when we talk about integrating the dream material.

Dreams About Your Father Dying Mark a Time for Change

4377 - Bern - Kindlifresserbrunnen am KornhausplatzAs I have already said, in general, the father in dreams symbolizes your attitude toward life.

An attitude toward life has many facets.  It is our normal point of reference.  Our attitude is how we respond to typical life events without even thinking about it. You may know your typology, meaning, introversion versus extroversion and thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuitive.

All of that is part of your habitual attitude, which is exactly what you want to look at if you dream of your father dying.  You may be stuck in your typological identification.

Your goal in individuation is not about becoming a better INFP or ESTJ. Your goal in life, at least according to C.G. Jung’s idea of personality development, is about developing all of those functions where you are weak.

We need all of those psychological functions in order to adapt to the ever-changing world around us.

Anything we do habitually consumes us, as in the image we see of the Ogre eating children. That’s an image of the Father eating anything that wants to come into its own life.

The Father Image: How We See the World

Remember that an attitude can be both conscious and unconscious. Whatever the dream of your father dying represents in your life, it has something to do with how you see the world.

Our relationship to our actual father, or to anyone who served as a father figure in our childhood, affects our lives in profound ways.  This applies whether our relationships with our fathers were good or bad.  Believe it or not, psychologically speaking, too good of a relationship can as bad as too bad of a relationship, as in the young woman whose dream we have already talked about.

Dreams of Father Dying: A Symbolic Rite of PassageHere’s another example.  One of my closest friends has an amazing relationship with her father.  He’s an awesome man, who is lots of fun to be around.  She once said to me that no man could ever compare to him.

Oddly, that did not cause her to be too picky about men; instead she drew into her life, men who were nothing like her father – men who were abusive, weak, impotent in life, or troubled in some other way.

Here’s yet another example of the father dying in dreams.  A woman who had a terrible relationship with her abusive father hadn’t spoken to him in over 30 years.  She dreamed her father died and that she gave the eulogy.  The woman was finally free.  Again, amazing psychological healing is depicted in this dream.

Dreams of Father Dying in a 21-Year Old Woman

Reach for the Stars by Jen Norton

A young woman once asked me about recurring dreams of her biological father dying, a man with whom she had very little contact.

Naturally, this woman had fantasies about what it must be like to have a real father.  Certainly in some ways we need those kind of healthy fantasies. The can actually nourish the Father image within.

However, we cannot let the fantasy keep us in an infantile state, longing for the father we never had.

I told her that this dream imagery was profoundly moving, especially given that it came to her when she was 21 years old.

In the world of psyche, 21 years old is a powerful turning point in your life, as long as you can recognize the significance of it. You are at that precious age when it’s time to take your first step into the world as an adult. Your whole life is before you and the world is full of opportunity.

Archetypally speaking, that new world is the world of the Father.  It is a time in your life which naturally constellates the archetype of the Father.

By constellate, I mean that the archetype is instinctually stimulated into action. When this happens,  underlying forces start driving us – psychic forces which should carry us along a course of psychological development.

A New World Awaits You

Dreams of father dying: a rite of passage in your psycheI say that archetypal forces should carry us along because in this day and age, too many people resist stepping into adult life, and instead, neurotically cling to childhood. We cling in a number of ways: feeling sorry for ourselves, blaming our pasts, indulging our weaknesses, or by just doing whatever we have been told is the right thing to do.

A woman’s actual father, when he is capable, should usher her into the world. This is not so she can follow his way, but rather so she can find her own way in life. So again, if you dream of your father dying, psyche is telling you something about your readiness for life outside of the old family dynamic.

In general, when a woman is in touch with and guided by her inner Father, then she will discover her own ideas about life and its meaning. She does not accept conventional opinion or authority as her own.

Father Dying in Dreams:  The Meaning for the Good Sons

A young man who told me that he had a great relationship with his father, dreamed that his father died.  As I told him, this is not a dream that should scare anyone. To repeat myself in case you didn’t get it the first time, dreams about the death of the father mark a significant development in the psyche of anyone who has them.

Dreams of father dying: a rite of passage in your psyche

Aboriginal rite of passage from boy to man

In general, the father is an extremely important figure for a son. The father is the one who first breaks the son free from the psychological ties of the Mother, and then, initiates the boy into the ways of world. This is the idea behind all primitive initiation ceremonies, as shown above or in the video below.

Integrating the Message of the Father Dying

After a dream of the father dying, the boy’s next step is to break himself free from the ties to the Father.

Dreams of father dying: a rite of passage in your psyche

The Prodigal Son Returns

For a man, before he can step into his own life as an independent man, he must psychologically break free from the ties to his father. Only then can he become the Father. Until he makes this break, he is forever, only the son.

A dream of your father dying is an indication that it’s time to step into your own life as a Man. Now, you become the Father (even if you don’t yet have children, for this is a symbolic image).

As an aside, even if you have had terrible relationship with your father, this dream’s message is similar: you’re ready to break free from that and live life according to your own terms.

Jesamine Mello
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Blanche Aponte

What does it mean when your dead father tells you that your mother has passed awat.


So I’m 15 and my biological father left me when I was about 6 and when j was 7 or 8 I had a stepdad. Okay so now for the dreams. In the one that just happened, it was a regular day but My parents were packing for some trip and then it like skips or I forget. They’re telling me they’re going on a road trip and left, then it skips again and I hear a knock on the door and I see it, my nanna. Hence, I opened it and she’s like holding back tears so I ask… Read more »

A person

Hi I just woke up from a nightmare I had. It really upset me so I’d like to share in case anyone else should come upon this comment. I’m 13 right now. Anyways here’s the dream, it actually starts out as a long dream. So here’s a backstory to it, this weekend is my grandma and her sister’s birthday and they want me to come over to celebrate. Now here’s the dream, so I’m getting my coat and ice skates and getting ready to go to my grandmas house or something and I go outside and I am standing out… Read more »


A Father dying dream: I’m glad it was only a dream In my dream I saw my dad with a long and deep laceration to his abdomen on his right side. My younger brother was in my dream too, and I asked him if he knew how my dad got this laceration, he said yes. In my mind I wondered why he didn’t rush him to the hospital and who gave him that laceration, but I didn’t question him. I placed my dad in the back of a truck bed (not familiar with). In my dream I made several attempts… Read more »


I had a dream that my dad died. It was on the news headlines with an image of his face on the tv, it said, “father of two gone missing”. I was eating breakfast while watching, I remember squinting my eyes to actually see if it was my dad. Then I believe I went to search for him. The dream “skipped” and I went to another suburb which is on top of a hill out looking the harbour. I looked up and saw a UFO coming towards me. I wasn’t panicking, instead I was just using my hand to block… Read more »


My dad passed away from lung and liver cancer in 12 days after the diagnosis its been a year and almost 4 months tonight i dreamt about him being shot…. When i got to him he looked dead but when i touched him he was still alive the dream was confusing but i cried both in my dream and real life…. When my dad was in hospital before he passed away i saw his last breath…..i dont know how to react to this or what it means…… My mom had cancer since i was 7 i got cancer at the… Read more »


Hello, I dreamt that I was in a room of some sort with sister and friends. A couple of people brought my dad in and was telling us he was very sick. They placed him on a table on his stomach where he jersey a couple of times and vomited everywhere. projectile brown orange vomit on walls ceiling and floor. I left to find mom (didn’t find her) and when I came back my dad was gone and I was sure he was OK but found out that he died. Whatever he had was highly contagious and several people died… Read more »

zaria myles

Hi….well I’m 16, my mother died when I was really young. So my dad is my only family, our relatives cast us out mainly because we weren’t up to their standards. My dad is 67…and he has a lot of health issues, I have no other immediate family so I cling to him as my hero. My dream, my brother woke me up and he said that dad wasn’t breathing. I ran to the living room but he was gone, and I looked at the paperwork, I started worrying about the bills, thinking about the memories and I was so… 


My dad has cancer and his bone marrow transplant has a 5 year fail rate (20% chance of living after 5 years). Ive never had to deal with grief before. I keep having dreams of his death. Most recently I dreamt that we were together and suddenly he told me that it was time. I took his hand and led him to a bed. I wanted to get my mom but I knew there wasn’t enough time- he was leaving us. I watched him deteriorating and I sat on the bed with him, holding tightly to his hand and I… Read more »


Hi Joan, thank you for sharing something so personal with us on the site. ?  Psyche, that mysterious dimension of being from which our dreams come, does want us to think about death, something which is very clear from this dream.  The first scene is peaceful and it shows that something in you is willing to usher your father through this experience and let him go.  That means something psychologically, as I have said in this post.  Work with that. After the peaceful passing, your mother takes you for a drive.   I can’t say what that means personally for you… Read more »

Angelica | Takanta

Hi Jesamine, these are very interesting interpretations and how you talked about the importance of progression, the change of direction starts with the change of thoughts.


Hello, I had a dream that I was in a small very tight spaced corridor and then the floor turned to ice and my dad who was with me fell under and had his leg bitten off by a shark, I am very scared of sharks. I then had to watch him bleed out until he died in my dream and while this was happening I was crying hysterically like never before, the only time I have ever cried like that was when I lost my grandpa in real life. The dream then kept going as I watched my dad… Read more »


Hi Olivia, thank you for sharing your dream. I have given a lot for you to work with in this post, so I suggest you go back and try to understand your dream, and all your dreams for that matter, given what I have said throughout my site. If you want to learn to work with your dreams, then you need to understand what I have already written. Crying in dreams could mean many things. My intuition says in your case, you are resistant to grow up and leave your “infantile” fatherly attachments behind. With that in mind, go back… Read more »

Olivia Sullivan

Hi….well I’m 16, my mother died when I was really young. So my dad is my only family, our relatives cast us out mainly because we weren’t up to their standards. My dad is 67…and he has a lot of health issues, I have no other immediate family so I cling to him as my hero. My dream, my brother woke me up and he said that dad wasn’t breathing. I ran to the living room but he was gone, and I looked at the paperwork, I started worrying about the bills, thinking about the memories and I was so… Read more »

ajani pritchett

I had a dream ubat my being shot as he is robbing his job

Candace Skannal

My dream was about my dad being rebellious to an authority figure (police officer). We were parked on a bridge and he told my dad to keep the music down but as he walked away he would inch it back up. We got to a point where my dad was outside the car and he lit something and it exploded and blew him off the bridge. I slid all the way down the bridge bawling my eyes out and then it was over.

Carlos Alberto Guerrero Jimenez

Hello Good afternoon, First of all im from Mexico so i apologize if i had bad grammar, now if you could please provide an interpretation of my dream would mean so much to me and i truly appreciate it, thank you for this amazing post. Dream: i had a dream last night in which i killed my father, i grabbed his head and stumped it on the floor like 7 times, until i realized i did not killed my father, i thought i did but that body that was my father dissipated, but then in the same dream i appeared… Read more »


Hello Carlos, thank you for sharing this dream. The post really explains what this kind of dream can mean for you. Is there something that you don’t know how to apply from the post? Can you ask a more specific question about your dream? I can’t give you an interpretation without you scheduling a private session.


In the past play was interwoven with the nature of work as symbolic gestures and rites in order to promote fertility, abundance, and the passage of certain liminal phases; thus, work and play are inseparable and often dependent on social rites.


Well , with me all the above had no reference. I dreamt of my father dying and he did. The exact same day. The entire furnal was the same as my dream. And before he died I told my mother and she showed my father the messages I sent her about his death.
I wanted comfort so I shared my dream cause I usually dream very rare and if I do. This happens they come true.