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Dreams of the Dead

Updated on July 13, 2019
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Passionate writer of both non-fiction and fiction. Interested in science, science fiction, and otherworldly phenomena.

Can the dead visit us in our dreams?
Can the dead visit us in our dreams? | Source

My Father Comes for a Visit on Christmas

I watched as my sister and my nieces entered through the front door leaving the darkness outside behind. All three of them were dressed nicely in thick warm light brown coats and white winter hats. I stood behind my mother and my other sisters as they greeted them. Everyone was cheerful. My sister was bearing gifts that she carried in two large shopping bags. I recalled my sister briefly looking down as she carefully took the final step through the doorway and into the house.

I stood behind them and watched as an observer. Even though there was a bright multicolored Christmas tree in the living room, the poinsettia, centered on the cabinet in the foyer in front of the picture frame mirror, somehow stood out with its deep bright red colored leaves and darker nearly black veins. My parent’s house was particularly perfect at that moment, not only with its flawless physical condition but the fact that all of my parent’s children and grandchildren were present, making their home warm and inviting. It was Christmas Eve.

As we all went into the kitchen I noticed that two of my brother-in-laws were sitting on the couch watching television with my father. Even though everything seemed normal and everyone was happy to be together on a holiday we were all quiet when it came to my father’s presence. We were happy that he was here with us but we were all quiet when it came to how long. We knew he had to go back. But when? Could he stay till tomorrow? Or did he have to go back tonight? We didn’t know. I remember how apprehensive I felt about it, actually scared, but in a weird excited way.

All of this occurred in a dream. It was so tranquil, so peaceful. Dreams are usually chaotic but this one was strangely logical and vivid. For a dream about Christmas, it actually took place in July five months after my father passed away.

This was not the only dream I have had. Over the years, I would have more dreams where my father would return. Some would be realistic like the first. Most would not. But there would be other dreams of another relative and a fellow co-worker, who would make an appearance after their deaths.

The beautiful poinsettia that I saw in my dream when my father came for a visit
The beautiful poinsettia that I saw in my dream when my father came for a visit

And the Dreams Continue

Many years later, I would have another dream. It was short, but just as peaceful and tranquil and vivid as the dream I had about my father. It seemed to start immediately. I suddenly found myself in my car but surprisingly I was in the passenger seat. My brother-in-law was driving. It was winter. The parking lot that we were driving in was snow covered and icy. Strangely, I had the impression that we were carpooling and that we were working at the same company, something that never happened in real life. As we rounded a corner in the parking lot, the car suddenly slid and we nearly hit one of the end vehicles parked in the lot. We laughed and then the dream ended. The dream itself took place in mid November, about a month after my brother-in-law passed away.

Just about a week later I had yet the third dream. This one was the shortest of them all. It started on a snow covered lawn. I was walking toward a one story building. It had dark yellow brown bricks with three large inset windows. Strangely, I was actually walking on the lawn. There didn’t seem to be any sidewalk. It was dark and cold and I knew that I worked in that building. I was starting the work day early before the sun had come up. Behind me I heard some one say, “Hi Gene, how are you?” I recognized the voice. In the real world he was a fellow co-worker that I had not seen in over five years. We worked in the same building and he sat near me for seven years but we were not very close. He was a nice person but we simply were two different people with vastly different interests. So why was he the person in this dream? Two years before, I had heard that he was diagnosed with three forms of cancer. A year later he was dead. I had the dream about two years after his death.

It is strange in itself to have these dreams at all but there are questions. Why was I car-pooling with my brother-in-law? Why were we working at the same company? We had vastly different careers in real life. Finally, why did all of the dreams occur in the winter where there was snow and ice and cold weather?

Can the Dead Visit You in Your Dreams?

These were not the only dreams that I have had concerning the dead. These three were just the most recent. Regardless, I have no doubt that these dreams definitely were of the dead. These were visits from the other side. Doctor Anne Reith, founder of the Impart Wisdom and Wellness Center, lists eight characteristics of visitation dreams. Rather than list all of her requirements, I can say that my dreams do meet all of them. For example, my dreams had the following characteristics:


  • I had no doubt that these dreams were real
  • The dreams were vivid
  • The dreams were peaceful
  • I will always remember these dreams


Also, the person who died, who is present in your dream, should appear to be healthy. But, what does that mean? Should the loved one look younger?

Being healthy does not necessarily equate to being young. In all of the dreams that I have had concerning the dead, everyone looked the same age that they were at the point of their passing. For my father, he was in his early seventies. For my brother-in-law, he was in his fifties. Yes, they were very ill near the end, but in the dreams, they were all very healthy.

I Heard a Voice

More than 27 years ago, I had a dream about a fellow co-worker. He actually worked for my father. I also worked there a little more than a year before I left for college. This was the first dream that I had of the dead. For myself, my father was a tough person to work for. He was condescending and insulting most of the time always pointing out how lazy I was and how stupid I was. Occasionally, Howard, the said fellow coworker, would reassure me that everything would work out. He told me not to listen to my father. He told me to go to school and make my dreams come true.

Near the end of my year, only a few months before I went off to school, Howard retired. He still worked part-time on certain jobs for my father and he continued to do so when I was away. But as spring returned, I heard some bad news. Howard was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

For the first few months of spring, Howard was constantly in the hospital receiving radiation treatments but by May it was clear that he was terminal. He was not going to survive. I had returned home where I again worked for my father. This time around it was surprisingly pleasant. My father was far more civil toward me and I don’t know exactly why he was so nice. The only thing that comes to mind is that maybe he now realized that I did have a goal in life that I was determined to succeed at.

My father’s new attitude toward me played a big part in seeing Howard for the last time. Some time in the middle of May I heard that Howard was coming home from the hospital for a few days. I remember exactly the weather that day. It was warm but not hot or muggy. It was bright without a cloud in the sky. My father was getting ready to leave to go to see Howard. We were at his place of business. My father didn’t want to go and it was understandable. Howard was dying and he didn’t want to see it. He told me that I didn’t have to come with him. He said he would go alone and then come back to pick me up later and then we would head home.

I agreed with him. I didn’t want to go. From what I understood Howard’s prognosis was about three months. For some reason I thought that I still had time. I still had other chances to see him. This was obviously my way of avoiding someone who was dying. I just didn’t know how to act around him. I felt uncomfortable.

As I had my mind set to stay behind, something bizzare happened. I was in my father’s office. I remember turning around. I was facing the black board mounted on the wall next to the office door. Actually it was green. It was filled with part order information. I caught the sight of the black board when suddenly I heard a voice. It told me that I had to go. The funny thing is, it actually was not a voice. It didn’t speak to my mind. It spoke to my heart.

Suddenly I found myself in the passenger seat of my father’s truck. I didn’t say anything to him but somehow I think he was relieved that I was going with him. I had no choice but I also did not question or argue. Once I heard that voice I got into the truck without any thought. It was like a simple reflex.

When we arrived at Howard’s home we found him lying in a bed in the middle of the living room. Many of his relatives, his grown children, and his wife were present. A small color televsion was on. I noticed it was set to a baseball game. The Detroit Tigers were playing. I didn’t notice who they were playing against.

The bed that he was in seemed to actually be a medical bed. It was elevated slightly so that he wasn’t lying flat on his back. Intitially it was awkward being there. Everybody was quiet, scattered around the living room. Then, I was surprised what Howard did next. He looked at me, took his right hand and padded the bed at his side. I walked over and sat on the bed next to him. I noticed that he had a pajama shirt on but it was opened. I also noticed the ink marks on his stomach indicating most likely where the radiation was being directed.

I didn’t stay very long, maybe only for a few minutes. We didn’t say a word to each other. I just sat there knowing somehow that he was pleased. Then, my father walked toward the back of the house with Howard’s wife. He indicated for me to follow. We were about to leave.

In the backyard, Howard’s wife told us how serious her husband’s condition was. She confirmed that he only had about three months left to live. This is all I remember about my time at their home. I think we left through the backyard gate.

When I got home and went to sleep that night, I had a very unusual dream. It started with my father and myself on the side walk leaving Howard’s home. His house from the outside, in the dream, was no different than how it was in real life with but one exception. He had a wooden porch with no railing but what I saw that night was the same porch with a three maybe four foot tall railing. This was not the most unusual aspect of what I saw. The startling view was that Howard was standing on the porch. He had no shirt on and somehow I had the feeling that he was naked but the porch railing was covering the low part of his body. When we visited Howard that day, he was absolutely too weak to get out of bed but here in the dream he was standing up. The emotional impact of this whole dream was his smile. I never felt or saw a person so happy. He was waving bye, his hand stretched way above his head. The final weird part of the dream was what my father and I were wearing. We had our winter coats on.

Later, the next morning, I didn’t hear the phone ring, I could have been asleep at the time, but Howard’s wife had to have called. My mother told me that Howard had died that night. I had known long ago, years before I even met him, that Howard had a previous heart attack. I just never expected that he would have another that night, taking his life.

Why did most of my visitation dreams occur in the winter?
Why did most of my visitation dreams occur in the winter?

Exactly How Do the Dead Communicate in Our Dreams?

Doctor Anne Reith mentioned probably the most interesting facet of dreams of the dead, communication. She states that usually there is no spoken words, simply love and reassurance. When the loved one does speak, it will have meaning. It will be a message that has purpose. It will never be idle talk.

The one other profound dream of my father seemed to initially counter Doctor Reith’s statement about when the dead do speak. I don’t remember exactly when I had this dream but it did occur some time after the Christmas one. The first interesting part of this dream was that it took place in the first home that I remember living in, a home that I don’t really think about because we moved away when I was only six years old. Again, the family was all there, scattered throughout the house, all involved in their own conversations. I noticed that my father was alone, sitting in a plush chair in the corner of the living room next to the front bay window. I walked up to him. He was reading a newspaper. Then, without looking up, he made an unusual remark. He said that he was looking at the obituaries. He wanted to keep up to speed on who had died.

My father’s statement remained a mystery until years later when one of my sisters had a psychic come over to her house. She claimed that she could communicate with the dead and on that day, she said that my father came through. She said that my father apologized for how he treated us, especially how he treated my mother. As a sort of penance he was assigned to help people adapt to the other side after death. From this perspective, what my father said in the dream now makes perfect sense. He was looking at the obituaries so that he could see who he had to prepare to cross over next. Therefore, doctor Reith’s belief about the importance when the dead speak is correct.

Yes, We Can Ask

As the years passed, after those two profound dreams about my father, I still had more dreams about him, but they were not as vivid, only fleeting, mere shadows and eventually they occurred less frequent. Now, I hardly have them and when I do, I barely remember them.

I do know that if I wanted to see him again, I could in another lifelike dream, but I don’t want to because I know that he is okay. Doctor Reith did mention that we can indeed have dreams about the dead if we so desire. We simply have to ask.

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    • TMolar profile image

      TMolar 

      12 months ago from southern california

      They do!

    • profile image

      Elena McElfresh 

      13 months ago

      THEY SURLY CAN

    working

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