The Dream Detective Blog: After Death Communication Dreams

by EW Staff October 25, 2016 3 Comments

The Dream Detective Blog: After Death Communication Dreams

by Mimi Pettibone

Losing a loved one can be one of the most painful experiences we endure as human beings. However, it is not uncommon for us to dream of the person who crossed over, and wonder if it was really them visiting from the other side. In many cases, I believe the answer is YES! While some dreams serve the function of processing grief and loss or reviewing memories, there are also those that may indeed be actual visitations from the departed loved one. Commonly referred to as After Death Communication (A.D.C.) dreams, After Death Contact, or After Death Visitation dreams, this is an area of dream research that has been studied in depth. So how does one tell the difference between a ‘regular’ dream (If there is such a thing) and an A.D.C. dream? I am going to share with you some of the markers that set these dreams apart from others.


Most people report a sense of ‘realness’ to these dreams. They may be extremely vivid, and the dreamer wakes up with a sense of having actually been with that person. They may even experience smells such as grandma’s perfume, or grandpa’s cigar. While most dreams have a somewhat bizarre quality to them when run by the conscious mind, these are often more straightforward and ‘real’ feeling.


Usually after losing someone the last thing we feel is comforted, or a sense of lightness and peace, yet these dreams can bring those types of feeling to us. The departed loved one will usually bear messages of reassurance and love such as “I want you to know that I’m OK” and “I love you”. They may ask for forgiveness or apologize for things they did in human form which they now realize were hurtful.


For example, a gay man and his father did not get along while the father was physically alive. The father never accepted or approved of his son being gay. But after the father passed away, the son received a visitation from him.  He came to to apologize for the way he treated his son, and told him how much he loved him.


If the person was older when they passed, they may look younger when they come to visit. If they were sick, they often appear healthier and not in pain anymore. If these types of dreams were purely a conjuring of our own mind and nothing else, the person would likely look as they did the last time we saw them. However this is a common phenomena (though not a requirement as a marker of an A.D.C. dream). Sometimes the dreamer had no idea what the person looked like in their younger days…only to later see a picture and recognize them.


These types of dreams tend to happen most often shortly after the person passes, during the first year, or on the 1 year anniversary of their crossing over. They can also occur much later, but are especially common during the first year. It may also happen on other significant dates or anniversaries such as birthdays or dates of special meaning to them.


It is typical for the setting of an After Death Contact dream to be the dreamer’s bedroom. The loved one may come in and stand by or sit on the edge of the bed. Most dreams are not so realistic and their setting is almost never the actual place we are sleeping. We may even dream that we open our eyes, and there is our loved one. Or maybe we really are opening our eyes, as all of these experiences can take place in waking life as well. In the dream state we are more susceptible and open to any kind of psi phenomena and psychic information.


Sometimes people wonder “Why aren’t they coming to visit me?” Or maybe they came to visit your cousin, but not you. Many people don’t remember their dreams, so it is possible that we received a visitation dream and simply don’t remember it. If you would like to invite the experience, here are some things you can do. Talk to the person in your mind. Pray, if that fits your beliefs. Think strongly about the person that day. You can also simply ask them to come visit. What happens if they still don’t come? Don’t take it personally! They may be busy on the other side, learning things, getting their bearing. It may not be an easy task for them to come visit us, and some may have more of a knack for it than others. Similarly, some of us are more naturally able to receive the visitations that others.


Some people are naturally wired to be more sensitive and intuitive, and are ‘high receivers’ of telepathic and psychic experiences. These people are more prone to receiving ADC messages. Our loved ones on the other side seem to be aware of this, and may come through to a friend or relative who is a high receiver, asking them to deliver a message to someone else that they couldn’t get through to directly.


All of these same qualities of encounters apply to our beloved pets who are on the other side as well. Just like with people, if they were sick or struggling with physical issues, in the visitation they will often appear healthy and vibrant! People have reported smelling their pet, hearing them, and even seeing foot prints on the bed. If a pet crosses over before their person does, when the person later departs they may come back to visit us with their beloved pet, too!


Many people also experience visitations from their loved ones while awake, not dreaming. It may manifest in different ways, including: lights, TV, or other electrical appliances turning on and off, books falling open to a relevant passage, butterflies, birds, rainbows, dragonflies, etc. appearing, or the smell of their perfume or other familiar scent that is ‘them’. These experiences are especially common around the birthday of the deceased, or anniversary of their passing, thought they can happen any time.


While none of these markers are requirements, and certainly by no means do all of them need to be present to indicate a visitation dream, these are many of the common threads that have been experienced by people all over the world. Most of these people had no idea that others were having very similar encounters with their departed loved ones. When something is experienced by so many people, without prior knowledge that others have had similar experiences, it is a pretty good confirmation that these experiences are real. To me it is of great comfort as well.

If you have an A.D.C. dream, or any dream, you would like to share with Mimi, please contact her via her website


Mimi Pettibone is the creator of the ‘Enchanted Art Oracle Cards’, and offers private consultations at East West Bookshop. Her practice includes dream interpretation, tarot and oracle readings, and personal growth work focused on relationships, communication and authentic life path. Her background includes social psychology, spirituality, dreams, intuition, and consciousness. Mimi is also a monthly dream columnist for the New Spirit Journal

For more info on Mimi, or to book a consultation:

Classes at East West:  

EW Staff
EW Staff


3 Responses


December 28, 2016

I had this dream the other that i can’t understand. I was in a glass beach house laying in a bed. Everything in the house was all white. I couldnt see the ocean bc the sun was so bright. All the i could see was the beautiful sun rays shining in. As i was laying there in silence i could see my mother with a group of children heading towards the door. I hurried up and pulled the white sheet over my head so they couldnt see me. I kepted peeking to see what they were doing. They walked right pass me. Right as i peeked my head from until the sheet they were headed back out the door. Just as i felt relief that they didnt notice me my mother turns and walks towards me. She lifts the sheet and just smiles at me and thats when i realized the children when like chrubs baby angels.
I keep playing this dream over in my head because in dream it felt like she was greeting me in heaven. It was like i didnt even know i was dead until she smiled. Crazy thing is my mother is alive. I told her about dream and she said well were we both happy in dream and i said yes. She says well thats all that matters. I feel like the dream was a sign.


October 26, 2016

Hi Cari,
Thank you for the comment! I am so glad the article validated for you what you already know is real. Thanks for reading. Stop by the bookshop sometime and I will give you an oracle card!
Happy dreaming,

Cari Craig
Cari Craig

October 25, 2016

I have had many dreams where I have communicated with my mom who passed in 2009. I was literally talking to her in the dream woke up out of the dream and said I have to get back in that dream and I did somehow right away and continued to talk to her about my life. It was so wild and real. I have had other visitations for other people who have crossed and my dog as well. Everything you said above I totally agree with. Thank you for getting the word out that it’s real! The easiest way for spirit to communicate with us is through dreams. So cool! So grateful to be a dreamer.

Leave a comment