Over the years, I have worked with dozens of people who feel they’ve had visitations from the deceased in dreams, loved ones who have passed over. One question I get asked is, “Can our loved ones communicate with us in dreams?” In my experience, it is more common than people think.

Whether family or friends, the people we have lost often appear or try to make themselves known because they want us to know that they are okay. They frequently appear in dreams since when we are asleep, all of the filters and beliefs that we generally operate from are no longer active. In our awake state, we are confined to the limits of the physical body, the denseness of matter. However, when we are asleep, our spirit is no longer limited by the confines of form. In the dream state, loved ones can reach out to make a connection, where you can see, hear, smell and touch them.

Here is a beautiful metaphor to explain an idea that physical dying does not equate to spiritual death. It just means that we can no longer see and experience our deceased loved ones the way we used to. In the film, “Let There Be Light”, a mother, named Katie who has a life threatening illness, is trying to explain to her two boys that dying does not mean gone forever. When her son tells her he doesn’t want her to die, she tells them both, “I don’t believe there’s any such thing as death. When I’m in the next room and you can’t see me, am I dead? Or am I just in the next room?” Her son replies, “You’re just in the next room.” She then responds, “Um hum, just in the next room, still loving you, still watching over you.”

When looking at it through this lens, we can see that visitations from the deceased in dreams are absolutely conceivable.

Examples of Visitations from the Deceased in Dreams

Here are some examples from dreamers I know who have had visitations from the deceased in dreams. One man in his 60’s had just recently lost his remaining parent. The other had already passed over some time before. He dreamed that he was outside on a patio and up in the sky he saw two large hands, each holding the other, with a heart in the middle. He knew it was a sign from his parents that they were together and that they were happy. It wasn’t a dream that needed interpretation, he said he just knew.

In another instance, my father-in-law Robert used to tell me that when his wife Susie passed away, she would come to him in the night and hold his hand. It brought him tremendous comfort because he felt sure she was visiting him, having been married for over 60 years.

In a dream from my friend Christy, “I was walking in a courtyard looking for my Dad. When I found him he was sitting with three buddies of his and my goal was to see if he was okay and if he knew who I was. When I approached them he was young and healthy. He looked right at me and said, “Hey Chrismon” (his nickname for me). That was it. I was elated, knowing it was a visit and not just a dream. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew in the depths of my soul.” This experience brought her such peace and reassurance of his well-being.

One notable aspect of all these dream encounters is that every one of the dreamers knew they had been visited. They knew that these were not merely dreams. This seems to be a defining factor when determining whether a dream is just a dream, or in fact visitations from the deceased in dreams. 

Communications While Awake

Sometimes, the same type of experiences happen when we’re awake. This happened to my mom Jo Anne many years ago while painting a kitchen window at 2:30am. Suddenly, she felt her deceased mother Lelo come into the room. She then heard her say, “Jo Anne, there is something I need you to do for me. Buy a gift for mom (Lelo’s mom Lillian) and send it to her. Tell her it’s from me. You’ve got to do this, you’re the only one who can do this.” So, my mom sent Lillian a bottle of perfume and pasted a small picture of Lelo on the front of it including a note sharing exactly what had happened.

Not knowing how Lillian would respond, my mom was thrilled when she received a thank you letter back. Lillian wrote, “You will never know how much this has meant to me.” She was thrilled. Unbeknownst to my mom, not long before Lillian bought and placed flowers at Lelo’s gravesite saying it was from all of them for Christmas. It had been three years since her passing. Receiving the gift from her deceased daughter confirmed for Lillian that Lelo did in fact know about the flowers she left and how much her mother missed her. Lillian knew that Lelo wanted her to know she was alright and still here in spirit form.

Visitations, Dreams and Healing

Lastly, I want to share one more special story that recently happened to a dear friend of mine who experienced a visitation from the deceased in a dream. Not only does it validate—certainly for this dreamer—that the deceased can communicate both in dreams and waking life, it also shows us that synchronicities are another way that they communicate and make their presence known.

In 2009, my friend’s son who loved nature was hiking in Yosemite. He was with friends when he accidentally fell down a snowfield on the side of a mountain and died. He was only twenty years old. It was a devastating tragedy that has left his family completely broken hearted to this day. 

Not long ago, his mother needed surgery. She told me that for first time in years she prayed to her son that he watch over her during her procedure and to show up if possible so that she could see him. While under anesthesia she had the wildest, lucid-feeling dream:

“In the dream, Austin and I were walking in a beautiful nature setting loaded with daffodils. Crystal blue water surrounded us. He was bumping into me, and laughing. I almost forget how his laugh was—the nuance of his voice. It was a shock to wake up and be in recovery and the nurses telling me my procedure was all over. I wanted that dream to continue forever of course, hoping he was with me during surgery and that this dream was the indication of it. Upon returning home after the surgery, to my complete astonishment, my daughter turned up with a huge plant of daffodils. She has never once bought me this type of flowers before and I thought, “Oh my goodness what a connection!” She felt it was a divine synchronicity.

Synchronicities as Communication

This story didn’t end there however. “Days later, in the middle of the night my husband woke up and there was a beam of light from the ceiling down to his desk. It only lasted about twenty seconds and then it went away. Our son is definitely here. I am so relieved because he’s been gone for some time and his presence has been missed. After these experiences, I started to let our grandchildren play with all of Austin’s toys that we had put away. So all his items have been out and about again. I don’t know if that was an invitation or not, but it has brought us joy to feel movement around our sons passing.”

Then, there was one more unreal and welcomed experience a few days later. We were just coming back from a walk at our park. My husband and I were sitting in the car listening to American Pie by Don McLean. Our son also shared our love of music from that era. My husband wanted to get going, so I suggested we just listen to one chorus. We sat in the car remembering how great the song was. The moment the first chorus was over, the song ended abruptly. The radio turned off by itself and that was it, we were done! We didn’t even touch any electronics, it happened completely by itself.

These other-worldly experiences have brought Austin’s parents, tremendous peace, and a sense that “something has awakened.” Grateful that these experiences are happening to both of them, it has confirmed a knowing that their son is with them still—like a person in another room who you cannot see but know is there, watching over you. Just as it has brought peace of heart to the many other people who have also had this experience.

If you have ever had visitations from the deceased in dreams or similar experiences, please share in the comments below.