We often dream about the people who are most significant in our lives.
This is because either we regularly see them so that they are in our recent memories, and dreams are thought to process and consolidate recent memories into long term storage.
Dreaming about someone dying, whether it be a friend or a family member, can mean that you have fears for their safety.
Your dream may also have been influenced by the emotional content of the preceding day, as Emotional Continuity Theory states that the emotional events of the day often carry forward into the dreams of the night.
Sometimes dreams can combine distant memories with current memories, and perhaps you had the experience of someone close to you dying.
We all have a fear of death
We all have a fear of death, or of dying too early, or of losing someone close to us. The world is often portrayed as a dangerous place so that fearing for someone’s safety is not unusual, and can appear in our dreams.
Depending on when you saw your friend last before you had the dream, perhaps you parted on disagreeable terms, or there was a note of sadness in the friendship that you may have picked up on unconsciously.
Our sensory awareness is bombarded with a vast amount of information on a day to day basis, and dreams help to filter out all this random information, storing only the significant memories and discarding the rest.
As for premonition, there have been recorded cases of premonitory dreams, such as the Mothman Prophecies Movie, where the person dreamed of a train crash a week before it happened.
But cases of premonitory dreams have never been proven. I had one friend who dreamed of sharing a beer in a Welsh Pub with an old teacher colleague of his who had moved overseas and whom he had lost contact with.
A couple of months later my friend found out that his teacher colleague had died around the time he had the dream.
Case Study on Dream Interpretations
There is a great case study book that explores the scientific concepts relating to dreams and which explores dreams that were recorded during emotional trauma.
It might help to answer this question further. It is called “Dreaming and Trauma Recovery”