Have you ever dreamed of someone who has died and wondered whether they are actually communicating with you?
These are something special that I call visitation dreams, and I’ve experienced them my whole life since I was a very young girl.
Today I thought I would explain these types of dreams and help you understand them better. I also want to assure you that you are NOT crazy if you find yourself talking to dead people in your dreams.
It is perfectly normal, but it’s not something most people share or talk about that often.
So, if you’re looking for help in understanding dreams about a passed on friend or family member or other loved one, today I hope that my 30+ years of experiences will help you understand what’s going on.
First: What is a Visitation Dream?
A visitation dream is best described as a dream experience where you truly do feel as if you have communicated with a deceased loved one.
Typically these dreams are of friends and family members who you were close with – but it can also even be acquaintances or even non-human loved ones, such as a pet dog or cat!
Many of us will experience both visitation dreams and release dreams at some point in our lives, and both are completely normal.
While the Visitation ones aren’t ones we talk about very often, they usually are the ones that leave a lasting impression and memory in our lives.
Release Dreams Vs. Visitation Dreams
There are many different reasons why we may dream of someone who has passed away. Sometimes, our dreams are release dreams, where we are simply just processing our own feelings of grief or sadness when we lose a loved one.
As you may already know, we experience different types of dreams. Release dreams are a little bit different from true visitation dreams.
Release dreams help us process and understand the different feelings and emotions we are currently dealing with in life. They can help us to let go of past feelings we may be holding onto.
In a release dream, you are often processing your own feelings and emotions. Some of these dreams can be quite confusing!
These are the types of dreams where nothing seems to make logical sense. You can be driving a car one minute and flying to the moon the next.
Sometimes they can even be scary in some ways, especially if the feelings you are releasing and working with are ones of fear, worry, or sadness.
Many times, dreaming of a person who has passed on can simply be a release dream in which your feelings about the person come to your conscious awareness.
You may have a dream about a person as a natural part of dealing with the emotions involved when you are experiencing grief.
The dream may also be one in which you are simply remembering the good things about a person or our subconscious way of expressing our love/sorrow for a person.
Let’s take a look at the 7 signs and characteristics of visitation dreams to help you determine whether your dream may have been a visitation dream or whether it may have just been a release dream.
7 Signs & Characteristics of Visitation Dreams
In the examples of these dreams I have shared, you will notice that some of these have very distinct characteristics.
In every visitation dream, there have always been some very clear characteristics of the dream for me to know it was truly a visitation dream and not just a release dream.
Understanding the common signs of a visitation dream will help you better be able to identify whether you are truly communicating with the spirit of a passed-on family member or whether your dream may simply be a release dream of processing thoughts and emotions.
1. The Person Will Seem Happy & Healthy
If the person in your dream seems sick, injured, angry or upset, it is more likely this is NOT a true visitation dream. In these cases, this is usually a reflection of our own feelings of grief.
Losing a loved one is never easy. There are a lot of emotions and thoughts we have to process. Sometimes in our dreams we may surface up feelings of regret, guilt, sadness or even anger as we work through the healing of grief.
In visitation dreams, it is common for the person to seem younger and healthier. If the person was ill before their passing, you will notice in the dream they do not look sick. This is because illness does not carry over with us through death.
2. The Dream Will Have Logical Sequence
In most visitation dreams, the sequence of events are very logical. You know those dreams where you are flying in one place and then driving a car and then in some weird room the next minute? Those are more characteristic of release dreams where you are processing different feelings and emotions.
In dreams of the deceased, it is more common that the sequence of events will be very natural and logical. You know exactly how you get from A to B.
3. The Details of the Dream Are Very Vivid
If you have a very vivid dream where you remember fine details or even experience sensations of touch, smell, or sound it is very likely that it is indeed an actual visitation dream.
In most of my dreams, I can remember fine details of these more so than I would with ordinary dreams – and I’m already a very vivid dreamer!
In many ways, a visitation dream is every bit as vivid as a lucid dream. You will notice everything you felt and pick up on details that may not ordinarily be apparent in other dreams.
4. The Message is One of Love and Peace
Most often the message and feeling in the dream is one of love and peace. During a visitation dream, our loved ones most often simply want to communicate they love you.
They may have messages for others, or they may even want to clear up any unfinished business they may have on earth to make things right.
If you dream of a deceased person who is angry or yelling at you, this is more likely a symbol for your own feelings while you process the stages of grief. It’s important to remember this if the dream is not a pleasant one.
5. Other Symbols in the Dream Relate to the Person or Communication
Symbols are the language of dreams. When we dream of a loved one, it’s not uncommon for other symbols in the dream to be something we associate with them.
For example, in the dream with my aunt, we were sitting at the kitchen table because for me that was where we were very comfortable talking together in real life.
The telephone in many of my visitation dreams is an example of an obvious symbol for communication. In your dreams you may experience a radio, a television, a letter, or other signs and symbols that relate to exchanging a message.
6. You Don’t Even Have to Say Words
It’s not uncommon to have full conversations with loved ones who passed in our dreams, but it’s also not necessarily required.
A few years ago I had a dream of a friend who passed away unexpectedly after a drug overdose. In the dream, I was walking down a path through the woods when I came to a clearing where my friend stood.
In the dream, we simply hugged and a huge washing sense of “everything we needed to say was not necessary to say” came over me. This dream confirmed it was not so much the communication, but the connection.
7. It Feels Real
If you have a visitation dream, you will have no questions of whether or not it was one. You will just feel it.
Of course, saying, “you will just feel it” sounds pretty vague! But if you wake up from the dream thinking, “I saw grandpa last night” or questioning “how did I talk to that person? they are dead?” – it’s quite likely you had a very real connection with the person in the dream.
Can Deceased Loved Ones Really Communicate Through Dreams?
Are visitation dreams real? Can the dead really talk to us through dreams?
I have had many different visitation dreams in my life, and yes, I do believe they are real. However, there have also been times when I have dreamed about deceased relatives when they were NOT visitation dreams.
When you dream of someone who is deceased, it is important to look at the context of the dream and identify whether you felt a real connection or whether you were simply exploring your own emotions and feelings.
Naturally, it is impossible for us to prove much about the afterlife. However, there is enough evidence to support the belief that yes, loved ones can communicate with us through our dreams.
If you read through the hundreds of comments at the end of this post, you will see many more examples of visitation dreams!
For many of us, the proof is not necessary. The dreams themselves are enough “proof” we could ever need, even if it is not something we could share or show to others.
A Few Examples of Visitation Dreams
One of the best ways to understand a visitation dream is to show some examples. Here I will share a couple of the different visitation dreams I’ve had, starting with the very first one I had as a small child.
Example 1: Dream of My Grandma When She Passed On
My first visitation dream was when I was six or seven years old. I don’t really remember all the details of the dream (it has been over two decades since the dream now!) – but I do remember my grandmother coming to me, telling me she loved me and saying Goodbye.
In the dream, she didn’t actually say the words goodbye, but I knew in the dream that was why she was there. It is best described as a feeling or sense that just surrounded me. One minute she was there, and then she wasn’t.
I woke up at that moment, knowing she was gone. Sure enough, a few minutes later my mother called the house to let us know what I already knew from my dream.
As a six-year-old, I didn’t really understand much about what happened, or even what it meant for someone we love to pass away, but I still to this day vividly remember the dream.
Visitation dreams are very common in these instances as someone is about to leave this plane. Often times our loved ones wish to say goodbye to us before they cross over into the spirit realms.
Example 2: Messages From Spirits on the Telephone
Another visitation dream happened when I was 12 and involves my other grandmother, who called me on the telephone.
In the dream, she left a message on the answering machine in the dream (yes, we still had answering machines back then!). She was very clearly leaving me a message!
Since then, I have noticed the telephone has been a very popular dream symbol for spirits trying to communicate, especially dead loved ones.
I’ve had many dreams of phone conversations with my deceased family members and friends!
Example 3: Conversation With My Aunt & Messages for the Family
More recently, I had an interesting visitation dream with one of my aunts who passed away. We were sitting at a kitchen table, and she looked good – much younger, vibrant, and healthy – how I remembered her when I was a young child.
We had an interesting conversation, where she explained how her physical body was just too tired to keep going in this world.
We talked about the day she died and how sad it was for her to leave her kids and grandchildren behind. Our family had been through a lot of losses, and so she mentioned feeling sad that she was also leaving my dad and the other siblings behind.
However, she told me that she knew her body would not keep up. She was trying to do a lot more in the physical world than that tired old body could handle. She could do a lot more by watching over for her loved ones “on the other side” so to speak.
Of course, she then laughed and said, now don’t give anybody any ideas – nobody better be doing anything dangerous or dying anytime soon! We don’t need any extra work around here!
How to Be Open to Having Visitation Dreams
The next question that most people have about a visitation dream is wondering how they might be able to have one, or if it requires some sort of special psychic gift or ability.
The good news is, anyone can have a visitation dream – you do not necessarily need to have a natural ability to communicate with spirits. While it can be helpful to practice your intuitive abilities, it is not required by any means.
If you are wondering how to have a visitation dream, there are some things you can do to help open yourself up to communicating with a loved one who has passed away.
This is called “programming your dreams” and it is a good habit to do at night anyways, even when you are not looking to have a visitation dream.
Practice Meditation Before Bed:
Meditation can greatly help you with calming your body and soul to help you be more open to receiving your dreams.
Guided meditation can help you get started with meditation if you have never tried it before. You can also just try some deep breathing exercises which will help relax your body and your mind.
Affirm You are Open to Communicating With the Person:
Sometimes you need to say affirmations that you want to see the person. This is because subconsciously you may be unsure or afraid of having such as dream.
Say to yourself, “I am open to dreaming about [insert person here] and would like to receive a message from them” or another similar affirmation.
It may take several attempts, but after several nights or weeks, this will increase your likelihood of dreaming about the person.
Keep a Dream Journal:
Getting in the habit of remembering and writing down your dreams will help you better understand the world of dreams. Keeping a dream journal is always a good idea – even if you do not always want to know the deeper meaning of dreams.
The simple act of writing things down will make it easier for you to remember dreams and process any emotions and feelings you might have.
It can also help you clear through any other “energetic gunk” such as feelings of sadness or fear that might be standing in the way between you and a loved one trying to communicate with you.
Why Your Loved Ones May Not Appear in a Visitation Dream
Of course, it’s important for us to cover that not all deceased family members or friends will appear in a dream. There are a lot of possible reasons for this – and it’s not because there is anything “wrong” with you!
One of the things that is important to remember is our passed-on loved ones have their own spiritual needs and goals. Some people who have died are not able to communicate through dreams – it’s simply not a skill they have. It may not even be something they would have a conscious awareness of being possible – even when they are a spirit.
Others simply may not want to. Free will is not something that we only have on earth – it is something that we have as a universal law in any type of manifestation of consciousness.
If someone you cared about deeply has passed on and you have not had a visitation dream, it’s possible that the person has already crossed over very quickly and is absolutely “done” with the physical world in which we live. They are very likely already onto the next part of their own spiritual development journey.
This does not mean that they are “too busy” for you – but it may not have any true benefit to them or you to communicate with you. Sometimes those who have passed on are simply done with this life and this world – and so in that reasoning, it does not make any logical sense for them to come back.
There are also a lot of other variable factors that can affect whether or not the spirit of a deceased loved one might not be present. If you need to heal from a traumatic experience or are in need to move into the present moment and your current life, it may be that the communication from the person would not help you do these things.
It is not always beneficial for you to communicate with a dead loved one – sometimes this is simply a clear sign that it is time to move forward and begin to heal from feelings of grief or loss.
Lastly, it’s important to know that our passed on family or friends are not always necessarily good for giving us guidance.
Just because someone is in spirit form does not automatically make them a spirit guide or enlightened being.
Just like those of us who are in the physical world, there are many spirits who are still in their own phases of development of consciousness.
Other’s Experiences with Visitation Dreams
Since the date of original publishing, we have received thousands of comments and messages from others who have shared their experiences about visitation dreams.
We have imported the majority of these original comments from the old website because it can truly be uplifting to read through these and certainly validates that the experiences of a visitation dream are real.
Please take a moment to read through the comments on this article, because it can truly be quite interesting to read! And, if you would like to share your experiences or dreams, we would of course love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you had a visitation dream? What was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!