5 characteristics of dream visitations

5 characteristics of dream visitations

When someone you care about who’s passed over appears in one of your dreams, it’s a singular experience, one that fills you with love and gives you another piece of the Afterlife puzzle.

In the past 15 years, I’ve been fortunate to receive two distinct visitation dreams. Through my experience and researching others’ experiences, I’ve found our dear departed ones come to us while we sleep for primarily 3 reasons:

  • They want to give us a message. When my crossed over grandfather came to me, he imparted clear instructions: I was to travel to Texas to tell my grandmother she needed to go to him. In her mid-nineties, my grandma, being mainly confined to bed or the den recliner, suffered poor quality of life. This “dream” occurred twice and both times I told him I couldn’t go. A short time later, I received word that my grandfather’s sister—my dear Aunt Ruby—was dying and she requested to see me (at the same town my grandmother lived in) one more time. While visiting with my grandmother, I told her what her husband had said. She crossed over about a month later.
  • They want to reassure us. It’s common for them to tell us they’re well, that we did our best or they deliver other messages to provide validation or give us peace. Several years ago, I had another dream, this one featuring a family member who I believed was alive. People crowded around me to the point where I became claustrophobic. And every face was blurred—except for his, which was sharp with detail. Telepathically, he sent one thought to me: “You are right about the Afterlife.” Around noon the next day, I learned he transitioned to heaven the evening before.
  • They want us to know they still love us. In slumber, our relaxed states are more receptive to spirit messages. Our loved ones can use this opportunity to convey their devotion to us, especially if we are feeling particularly low. They might declare that their love endures and that we’re still important to them.
Thunderheads building in the Sweetwater Range, Nevada.

Thunderheads building in the Sweetwater Range, Nevada.

How do you know if you’ve had a visitation dream?

  • It’s different from common ones in that we feel conscious, awake and alert.
  • You’ll remember many details when you arise; most people can recall them for years.
  • Your senses are engaged and heightened. You may feel a touch or smell a scent more intensely than normal.
  • Visually, it is remarkable. My grandfather’s dream was startling in that everything was in distinct shades of gray and black (some I didn’t realize existed). Usually, I dream in color. My other dream seemed more than three dimensional.
  • An overwhelming sensation of love, support or solace infuses the communication.

While combing the web for details that were similar to my experiences, I found this blog entry on PsychologyToday.com by Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., who cited his own personal experiences with this phenomenon as well as a study conducted by Jennifer E. Shoreter from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. Dr. McNamara wrote, “The dream structure was not disorganized or bizarre. Instead visitation dreams are typically clear, vivid, intense and are experienced as real visits when the dreamer awakens. The dreamer is always changed by the experience. There is resolution of the grieving process and/or a wider spiritual perspective.”

To me, this is another way we are shown how love endures and our connection with others remain strong even after the physical shell has died.

Read about others’ experiences with dream visitations.


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  2. Liz March 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Over all I have had three dreams where I was visited my my grandmother. I was very close to my grandmother and she raised me as her own daughter. She died when I was 11 years old and I am now 26. Only within the last year have I had visitation dreams from her. Last night I had a very vivid dream of me being at her house and having a casual conversation with her. It was like old times.During the dream I kept wondering why I had not seen her in so long. It did not occur to me that she had died (this happened in 2 of my dreams). I was having fun and playful banter with her. I was in her old house and everything was just how I had remembered it. In the dream I asked her how old she was and she did not reply. We ended up dancing together and then I came to a realization that she had died. At that moment I ran to her hugged her and told her how much I missed her. Then she disappeared and I woke up with tears down my face. In the dream she looked better than I had ever seen her. I don’t think she had a direct message for me but it seemed like she knew everything that had been going on in my life.I hope I can have another visitation dream with her and this time I won’t focus on how it happened but just enjoy my time with her.

    • Kathleen March 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful, touching story with us. It’s so special when those we love, who’ve crossed over, visit us to give us strength and love when we need it most. Please know that she comes to check on you, even if you aren’t aware of it. The love and bond you guys share will never cease. All my very best to you, Liz.

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