Deceased loved ones who have crossed to the Light can visit us in our dreams.

These dreams are often referred to as “visitation dreams,” and they can provide great comfort.

Do deceased loved ones come to us in our dreams?

It is easier for spiritual entities (e.g., deceased loved ones, guides, angels) to communicate with us while we sleep. This is because when sleeping, we are in that “in-between place” between our Earthly reality and “the other side of the veil” (a.k.a. the spiritual world). During this time, our rational mind and our ego are not engaged. As a result, things can happen in our dream world that we would generally stop or discount while awake.

For example, when someone who has died comes to visit us in our dreams, we aren’t as likely to have the “rational thought” that this person is dead and shouldn’t be in our vision. So when they appear, we accept that person’s presence without argument.

Is every dream a visitation dream?

Although I would love to say that you have a visitation dream every time your beloved Grandfather Lou appears in a plan, this is not the case. Why? Here is how most of our “everyday dreams” are created.

Think of your dream as a play or a movie. Your subconscious mind is the director that must select who will play the different roles. For example, that role might need someone who is a businessman, so your beloved Grandfather Lou is chosen because he was a successful businessman. Or perhaps the position requires a loving mother figure. Maybe your Mother Betty is chosen because she was a very loving presence in your life when you were a child.

The director selects the best actor for that part based on all the people you have known during your lifetime (even those you may not consciously remember and possibly even people from past lives). Sometimes the selected actor is alive; sometimes, the actor has passed. But the actor is simply “the best person for the job” because they fit the requirements you need for that dream.

8 characteristics of true visitation dreams

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True “visitation dreams” are straightforward to identify because they are very different from “everyday dreams.” Characteristics of most (but not all) visitation dreams include the following:

Characteristic #1

The most essential characteristic of a true visitation dream is that it feels “real.” It will also be very vivid.

Characteristic #2

If you have to ask whether the visitation dream was a visitation dream, then it probably was not. They are so natural and vivid that you won’t have to ask this question. When you have a visitation dream, you may wonder if it was real; but in your heart or gut, you will “know” it was real.

Characteristic #3

Because they are so real and so vivid, you will remember visitation dreams very clearly for days, months, years . . . probably for your entire lifetime!

Characteristic #4

The person (or animal) will almost always appear in the dream to be wholly healthy and behave lovingly. They will rarely appear sick or injured. They will never be angry, disappointed, depressed, or punished. Instead, they will be “whole, complete, and perfect” because they are now reconnected with God/Source energy.

Characteristic #5

They will clearly communicate whether or not they speak to you verbally in the dream. (NOTE: As you’ll see in the following two examples, in neither of the dreams did actual verbal communication occur; the messages were telepathically and completely clear.)


Photo by Kasper Rasmussen / Unsplash

Characteristic #6

When they communicate (either verbally or non-verbally), it isn’t because they want to engage in idle “chit-chat.” It isn’t easy for deceased loved ones to enter a dream. They come with a purpose, and they will convey the message and then be gone.

Characteristic #7

Most often, their messages fall into the category of “reassurance.” They come to let you know that they are okay and that they want you to be happy. Occasionally, they will come with a warning; however, when giving a sign, they will provide you with loving support, and you will feel reassured by their presence.

Characteristic #8

After a visitation dream, you will often be filled with a sense of peace and love when you wake up.


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Some examples of visitation dreams

It may help to read about two of my dreams that I know were true “visitation dreams”:

I had a visitation dream from my mother about 20 years ago, and I can still recall it vividly to this day. My mother passed when I was only 17 years old, and at the time of this writing, I’m 52. This visitation dream occurred during a time when I was undergoing a great deal of stress and was worried about what was going to happen. The dream was set in the house where we last lived together, although it didn’t look exactly the same (e.g., the ceiling/roof was transparent). Also, in the dream, there was a tree behind the house that didn’t exist in real life.

A huge storm raged outside the house. The wind was uprooting this very large tree, which was about to crash through the roof and onto where I was standing. The tree was so large that I knew there was no way I could move out of the way in time. At that point in the dream, my mother appeared a short distance in front of me. We were facing each other.

She suddenly held her hands above her head in an open Y shape. I watched in fear as the tree came crashing through the roof toward us both. But before it hit us, the tree split into two pieces and fell on either side of us. From the moment she appeared in the dream, she was staring into my eyes. She said nothing but communicated that all would be well in my waking world. She would do what she could to protect me during this stressful time in my life.


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash

Another visitation dream happened in July this year, a week after I had to put my 16.5-year-old cat, Yoda, to sleep. In the dream, I woke up to find my hand on a cat’s back. I felt the soft fur and assumed it was our other cat, Magic. But when I looked down, it was Yoda. Even though I was dreaming, I realized that she was dead. I looked at her quizzically and asked silently how this could be. She looked up at me with great love, and then I realized that she didn’t look like she looked when I last saw her. Her coat was soft and glossy. She was a normal weight.

But most important were her eyes (notice how my mother’s eyes were also crucial in the last dream). Yoda had been a feral cat. She was terrified of everyone and everything. Even with me (the one person she allowed to be close to her), Yoda’s eyes had always been filled with apprehension and tension. In the dream, her eyes showed only love and peacefulness. Her body was relaxed and calm. Her eyes and body language communicated to me that she was okay now.

This dream felt so real that when I eventually woke up, I was sure that if I looked down beside me, Yoda would be there. From that point on, I have felt totally at peace about her passing.

Can you ask for a visitation dream? Yes, you certainly can!

Before going to sleep, spend time thinking about the deceased loved one and ask them to come to visit you in your dream state. You may also want to ask your guides or other spiritual helpers to assist this person in coming to you.

However, please don’t become discouraged if someone doesn’t come to you. Of course, they want to, but there are many reasons why a deceased loved one may not show up when requested. For example, the soul may be relatively new at entering dreams and may not know how to do it. Or your guides know that you want to know something that your deceased loved one can’t tell you because you need to find the answer for yourself.

But there’s no harm in asking for them to come to visit with you! And when visitation dreams do occur, be sure to thank your deceased loved one for coming and send them love and gratitude for taking the time to visit with you.

Article reference: 8 characteristics of visitation dreams-How to recognize one by Anne Reith.