When I dream of a loved one in Spirit, how do I know if it is really them or just my imagination?

QandADear Melanie Jade,

I had a dream of a family member who has recently passed away.  How do I know whether it is really him or just wishful thinking?

This is a great question! Here are some of the ways you can distinguish a “normal” dream from having a visitation from a loved one in Spirit.

Does it feel real? 
When we are being visited by a loved one (often called “a visitation”), the dream feels more real than a normal dream. There is an otherworldly quality or a “realness” that sets it apart from a typical dream. Compared to a visitation, a normal dream feels flat.

Were you aware that you were dreaming?
Instead of being caught up in the story and watching it unfold, you might have had an awareness that you are dreaming and that your body is asleep. That kind of awareness is not typical for a normal dream.

Did you consciously choose how to behave or what to say in the dream?
In most dreams, we watch the story unfold and don’t seem to have conscious power to change what is happening or what we are saying. However, when a loved one visits us, we may find that we are consciously choosing what to communicate with them. We choose what to say and respond to what they are saying, just like in a normal conversation.

Were they a character in your dream, or were they talking directly to you?
Sometimes our loved ones might show up as random characters in our dreams. I don’t count those as visitations. In a visitation, they often seem to be standing in front of us, talking directly to us and giving us meaningful messages.

Did it feel meaningful to you?
It’s very important to trust your intuition. Visitations feel very meaningful. They stay with us when we wake up, whereas normal dreams may be easily forgotten. Visitations may also make us feel emotional – strong feelings of love or connection, for example.

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Your loved one may show up in dreams that aren’t visitations, but when they are visiting you, it will feel very different from a typical dream. You will know in your heart that you were given a special visit from them. It is common for people to have visitations in dreams because our minds are often more open to receiving messages while we are sleeping. I recommend keeping a journal of the visitations so you will always have a record of them.

In the future, when you see your loved one in your dream, you can ask them to tell you something that will act as confirmation that they really visited you. For example, I once had a visit from my mother’s aunt. I asked for a confirmation that she was really here with me, and she said, “Your husband burned the pancakes.” I thought that was unlikely (my husband is a very good cook), and when I went into the kitchen, everything looked great to me. I was instantly disappointed. Then my husband said, “I’m so sorry honey. I accidentally burned these pancakes.” He flipped them over to show me the burned side. I have never been more thrilled to see burned pancakes 🙂

I hope this helps you in distinguishing normal dreams from visitations from your loved ones in Spirit.

Many blessings to you,

Melanie Jade 🙂

P.S. To learn more about how to remember your dreams, check out my article, Dreams: Remembering and Interpreting.

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  • Donuts1

    I had my first dream of my father after he passed two months ago:
    I was aware I was dreaming. I was in a place that was unappealing to me, I remember thinking “these colors suck!” so I concentrated on new ones and then I found myself in a “wooded” area, and everything was a gold, gold/brown color , it was so pretty. I found myself twirling around, enjoying the brown and gold trees. And I thought “please let me see Dad. I know he is weak, but maybe someone could bring him here so I can see him?” and then there he was, kind of coming around a corner, and he was wearing his black dress pants and a yellow dress shirt like he always used to. I was aware that he was being assisted by maybe two people, but I could not see them. He looked about like he did when he was 65 – 70 years old. I was so happy to see him, but for some reason did not run over and hug him. I approached him and said “Hey! You look great. How are you doing?” and he did not look me in the eye at first, it was like he was looking straight ahead and didn’t want to really acknowledge me yet. He said “oh, I am doing alright”. I was smiling broadly, and then he tried to smile likewise; I thought it was strange that it seemed an effort for him. I felt like he was doing it for me. And then he turned away and said, “I am still having a few problems” and I wanted to know what they were; I was concerned. But then I slowly woke up, and I was aware I was waking up and not going to get to hear what his problems were.

    I am very sad that he didn’t seem to want to acknowledge me. I just wonder if he is still too overwhelmed by all that has happened to him.

    • http://MelanieJadeRummel.com/ Melanie Jade Rummel

      Hi Donuts1,
      It may be that he is just still getting used to how things work now that he is in Spirit and figuring out how to communicate and how to appear for you. He definitely won’t be having the physical problems he may have experienced while in a physical body, so maybe he was referring to problems communicating or figuring out how things work in the spiritual dimension.

    • http://MelanieJadeRummel.com/ Melanie Jade Rummel

      Hi Donuts1,
      It may be that he is just still getting used to how things work now that he is in Spirit and figuring out how to communicate and how to appear for you. He definitely won’t be having the physical problems he may have experienced while in a physical body, so maybe he was referring to problems communicating or figuring out how things work in the spiritual dimension.

  • Zakurah

    Hi! I would like to have an opinion about my dream last night/dawn (I slept at almost 2am). I am not sure if it was visitation or just an ordinary dream. A close friend of mine passed away exactly 3 weeks ago (Sept. 21). Before I went to sleep, I saw an outline of shirt but just dismissed it as a migraine symptom or aura. I have a feeling that I had a long dream but the only that I can clearly remember is the first part. My position before I fell asleep was the exact position when I “woke up” in my dream. My friend was kinda waking me up. There was a floating flashlight as if it was hovered over me, I couldn’t see him yet. Then I called out his name and asked if it was him. I could clearly remember that I want to take a picture of it to show it to our other friends as evidence. But when I used my phone, some electricity would go to my phone as I press the shutter button. Then I though maybe it’s not permitted to take photos at times like this. Then when I believed that it was him, he slowly showed up then he said, “Finally, you can see me!” flashing me his usual wide grin. Then we sat on the bed. I was facing him and the first thing that I asked him, “Is there heaven?” He flashed his usual wide grin again and side, “I don’t know.” His expression is still clear in my head I can even paint it. The expression he was showing me is that usual expression he’d usually wear whenever we ask him something he knows but just keeps us guessing. Then I smiled humorously and replied, “But there sure is afterlife for you are here right now.” Then he smiled again. After that, I can no longer remember what happened. But I feel like we talked a lot. When I woke up, I finally accepted that he can no longer be with us physically. These past few days I was constantly saying that if there’s heaven, I hope he’d give me a clear sign. So maybe that was the message? Is it a visitation?

    • http://MelanieJadeRummel.com/ Melanie Jade Rummel

      Hi Zakurah! It definitely sounds like your friend was visiting you last night. Although your friend will most likely visit you again, I hope you have written this experience down in a journal somewhere to make sure you remember it for years to come. Thank you for sharing this experience with me! 🙂