While you are sleeping, your unconscious is screaming messages at you. I know that there are many theories to understanding dreams. Most of them have some merit. Depending on the theory used, you are left with a vastly different understanding.
After the death of a loved one, dreams take on a new “life” of their own. The themes after this kind of literal loss are amazing. Some examples are: being caught in a fire, fleeing or escaping while being chased, or being lost on a trail. They introduce you to parts of yourself you didn’t know existed, and fears you didn’t know you had. Depending on your spirituality, they can feel/be at times, quite literal.
Dreams are so important to a healing heart and psyche. They inform you about your own growth and fears of mortality. Safety is huge. So many themes of being chased or out of control in some way, can become very frequent. Don’t ignore these dreams. Your unconscious mind is teaching you. Listen and learn.
Nightmares tend to increase for a while. Don’t panic. Look for themes. They will always be there. If you are too close to the dream, ask a professional for help. A good therapist will help you find meaning. Don’t wait until you are afraid to close your eyes to explore their message(s). You need your sleep.
Never be afraid of your inner thinking. This will lead you to a continued state of anxiety. Who needs more anxiety after a loss?
Lastly, remember your dreams are therapeutic. Intrinsically, they are not designed to scare you into another dimension. Their purpose is to soothe, calm, teach, inform and motivate — even if they come in an ugly state.