My experience with deceased family in dreams as if alive, speaks of old doctrines or ways of life or attitudes or practices, or uses or trends back in our lives that used to be out of our lives. For instance, dreaming of an ex-boyfriend driving in a car with us, speaks of an old doctrine or belief, that we have discarded in the past, suddenly being back, like a person who stopped believing in generational curses, but who decided to revert back to believing and practicing that doctrine. So, in this case, the person who had the dream was motivated (vehicle sometimes symbolizes motivation) to believe and practice the doctrine again, after he or she stopped believing and practicing the specific doctrine.
It can also be positive, like grandfathers and grandmothers representing the previous generation (the experienced and wise old folks) who are good examples that we can follow. They can also represent a bad unwise man-made type of people who should not be followed. They are the opposite of the cloud of witnesses.
Sometimes those people do not even fit the doctrine or the practice or belief (cannot be connected to) but they represent the fact that something was dead and now alive again. So it often has nothing to do with the deceased family. God shows us that we are back (again) doing something that we stopped doing, or that we should look at the good examples of the past generation or the wise and experienced generation or the opposite in some cases.