Dreams And Memories Of The Dead

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There are beliefs that no one truly dies until all living memory of the deceased vanishes from the earth.  So long as a single person…a spouse, sibling, child or friend remembers someone they knew in life, the deceased are not truly dead.  Final death occurs only when all living memory of a person is gone; when the last person who personally remembers the deceased has also passed away.  Then an individual passes into history and is nevermore.

There is some truth with this idea.  The dead really do continue to exist in our memories.  And the memory can seem so real it appears as if they are still alive, mostly in our dreams.  In our dreams we have far more vivid memories then possible when awake.  The dreams can become so clear, we may question if it was only a dream, or if the dead actually visited us while we dreamed.

My mom died two years ago of cancer.  It was a horrible experience, and I blogged about it back then.  It was hard for my dad, but he is ok now.  He is a tough guy.  He was born in Lithuania and experienced WWII as a child in Eastern Europe.  After the war his family immigrated to America, and I am his son.  So he is a tough guy, having faced horrible events as a child.  He was in Nazi Germany during WWII while the Allies were bombing German cities.  He recalls seeing a woman fleeing a flaming building covered with fire as she clasping her child to her breast trying to escape.  Horrible, terrible stuff.  Those experiences formed my dad’s view of life.

The point is my father is not a sentimental guy given to emotional flights of fancy.  Yet sometimes he dreams of his wife, my mom.  Last week I asked him if he still thinks of mom.  He said he had a very vivid dream of her.

He dreamt he was in the first apartment he and mom lived in.  It was in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago long ago.  He is now 79 years old.  Mom was in the doorway of a hallway, standing there just looking at him.  She did not say a word, just made eye contact.  And she was happy, with a compassionate gaze.  She was not the age when they lived in the apartment when they first married, but at her prime.

However, she wore the robe she had when she was sick, when she died of cancer.  Dad mentioned that…she was wearing her last robe.  The robe she had at the hospital.

He said in his dream, it was so clear, that he felt she was right there before him.  Even after he awoke it was clear in his mind.  When I chatted with him later, he said he could visualize the dream.

I asked him if he thought mom actually visited him in his dream?  Just to say hi?  I’m still here, and I am watching over you and I love you?  Or was it just a dream.  He didn’t know.

Merely a dream or more, the dead are not dead until the last person who remembers them no longer exists.

10 Responses to “Dreams And Memories Of The Dead”

  1. niva Says:

    I have such a strong love for my ninia, my brother got killed in chicago, im in california, anyway the day before my brother past i asked him if he wanted to come to california, he said yes and got killed the next day..anyway my family cremated him, i was crying so hard when i found out i couldnt believe it,,every day i feel him,,,i cry and cry..now i recently was blessed with this puppy,,that was born around the time of my brothers death,,,,,and was sold to me the day he got cremated….now im soo depressed about his death..i feel like sometimes he is in my puppy..my puppy is only 3weeks and i trained her to fetch already. she also knows how to grab her bowl and brings it to me when she is hungry….i feel like he is here with me…etc….

  2. Jo T Says:

    It seems entirely possible that our loved ones are not dead so long as someone keeps their memory alive. Since my mother died (nearly 8 yrs. ago) I have had 3 dreams of her,the first is she was walking ahead of me and we are in a valley and I call out to her but she won’t stop or talk to me. The 2nd dream I was in a very odd shaped building (& there were other odd shaped buildings in the general vicinity)& it a place where records are kept & I try to find proof she was there but it wasn’t so. The last dream involved my mother & me in an octagon shaped building & it is like some kind of lecture hall (rows of seats that descend higher to lower level. My mother is standing hear me near the center of the room. I am sitting and she & I chat back & forth. She looks like she did when she was in her early 30’s. I want her to come home but she tells me her place is there. I asked if she were happy & she never says yes but tells me that all she needs is there. This octagon shaped building is glass from say waist high to the top edge of the building & you have 360 degree view of outside which is nearly impossible to describe it was so beautiful outside with plants & trees & the lawn-so much color and so beautiful. After this dream I felt a little more at peace about my mother.

  3. David Says:

    Hi Niva,
    My brother currently has stage 4 kidney cancer. My mom died two years ago of pancreatic cancer, and now my older brother is on chemo. I will be writing about this soon on my blog. I have been depressed. I have lost motivation…interest in anything. It is hard to focus. Yet, I am grateful I have a blog to take my mind off of family suffering. Writing this blog is a nice diversion. Niva, you have my sympathy, and I know where you are coming from.

  4. David Says:

    Hi Jo T,
    Personally, I believe the dead can contact us in our dreams. We can’t contact them, but they can visit us. But even it is only a dream the dead still exist in living memory. How can we remember them so vividly? I think God allows contact once in awhile

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  6. Patty R. Says:

    After my mother in law passed in 1983 I kept seeing her in my dreams. The next year was the same thing. We?d just be walking side by side in this utterly beautiful valley with lush plants and flowers. We seemed to be conversing and laughing, having a good time. I?d wake up feeling very refreshed. A few years before she knew she was ill she asked me if I believed in God or hell. I told her I believed in God, prayer and miracles and thought I should believe in hell as well since it?s all lumped together in the Bible. She was diagnosed and actually sent my sister in law to find me at all costs. Her brother and I were in the middle of a divorce. I went right to her bedside where she told me how sorry she was that her son had hurt me. She felt responsible but I assurred her that he knew the dif. between what was good and what was bad. She wanted to ask me again about God and hell and if I believed it was all real. I again said that I knew that prayers to God were answered as I?d seen and been the recipient of many miracles during my life. She asked if I thought she could trust God if I were her. I told her yes, of course! She grimmaced and said she?d sinned. I told her that all sins were just bad things that everyone did and we were to give them to God and not take them back. I said whenever we sin more we do the same thing and ask God for forgiveness. So, it went and then we talked about how she was feeling. She was so excited to see me doing better. I?d been very ill and was getting back on my feet after my marriage went downhill. She told me how she wished that I was her daughter and that made me cry. I told her that I was her daughter and always would be since we could also choose who we wanted to call daughter or mother. She cried then. She wanted a hug and I saw she was becoming tired so I said my goodbyes. Within days she was taken to a nursing home as my husband had put large bruises all over her body. He had some dirty “official“ friends so he got away with it though everyone at the nursing home was appalled. When I saw his mother there she was very excited to see me and said that it had been because of me that she?d been taken to the nursing home at all. She said she was very glad of that and said she just loved all the nurses. That was the last I saw of her until I started having vivid experiences in my sleep where I was talking and walking with her and laughing in that beautiful place. It was like being in a different reality. I got word that she passed and that the only thing she wanted her family to do was to have me there for her funeral. I gladly went to honor her. A few days later in my sleep I was walking with her again only this time it was in a place that was overshadowed, like twilight. The plants, trees and bushes looked unlike those where I?d walked with her before. This was earth but it wasn?t a place I knew. She was showing me how a graveyard worked and then pointed to an old unused barn not far away when suddenly I was sucked into a vision of a future event that she was warning me about. I knew the people in it and that they had plans to kill me and my kids. She told me the name of the town and so I went the next day to check it out. Sure enough on lane not much used was a cemetery and beyond that was the exact same barn. My sister in law asked if I was ok because I?d turned white as a sheet. I knew then that my mother in law had saved our lives. We broke off all communication with those people. The beautiful place that she and I had been in while I was asleep was just like memories that have resurfaced from two near death experiences I?d had in my very young life. She was showing me that she was in a good place and was very happy. Even so she wanted me to know that she loved me as her daughter and always would. There are others that come to visit me from time to time during the daytime and night time too. They are not less loved and missed by me. They too came to me as a child and asked me what I thought about God and hell. Others asked me when I was an adult. I did ask each one to come visit me when they passed over so that I?d know where they were and that they were okay. One friend so loved us and our dog that he asked us if it was weird to ask if when he passed if he could come visit with all of us from time to time. He particularly wanted to play with our dog Molly as he had when he had a human body. He always enjoyed doing that and he?d always say that she was the softest dog he?d ever known. We told him it wouldn?t freak us out if he came to visit and that he was welcome anytime. He giggled with glee at this and thanked us all over the place. The last time I saw him alive he asked me in particular among we four friends what I thought about God and hell. I told him the same thing I?d told the others. The others pointed out that his face was shining or glowing. It was an overcast day but he was glowing! I asked why he picked me to ask and he said it just felt like I was the one to ask, it just felt right somehow and it was a feeling that pulled him to do it. I?d been praying for him knowing he was on his way through the veil. He came to mind very strongly the other day and that his brother would be coming to visit us soon. My husband came home later and said this man?s brother had called and they were coming to visit the next day! Louie always had alot of fun with us all. He loved us and still does. It would be wise to remember our loved ones but to see them as they look now. They are very healthy, happy, full of life and love for us all down here. I know what they know about life on earth which is that everything will be okay as God is watching over us all. There are things He won?t allow but others he must allow. Even so, we will be okay.

  7. Michelle Says:

    Hi David,

    Sorry to hear your news on your brother. It must be tough and a reminder of your Mum. Try to remain positive and make a conscious decision to not let it depress you. 😀 (HUGS)

    As far as these dreams are concerned, I have had many like this over the years. Much of Jo T’s dream sound like the many levels of consciousness ongoing in the ‘dream’. That hexagon dream I do not think was a dream at all. I feel it was real.

    I am of the opinion that the spirit world is all around us, always. It is just that it is in a dimension that we cannot perceive…and they only can see us when the vibrations are right and in tandem.

    Known in spiritual circles for a very long time…and just as we know from science these days, everything has it’s own vibratory rate. How it vibrates it’s light relates to how it is seen in the world. How dense or how light it is.

    I believe that when spirit is released from our physical form, that the spirit vibrational rate is much higher. It is only when, on rare occasions, that our own human body vibrational rate rises somehow, to meet and match the spirit world vibrational rate, that we ‘see’ that which we normally cannot.

    Sometimes this happens through illness and discord in the body… like a temperature.. or it can occur through meditation… or in sleep state when the brain waves change.

    I find contact like this very comforting.

    Thanks for this blog!

  8. David Says:


    Thank you so much for your story. Those with experiences can share them on my blog and your stories are as much a part of my blog as my own. One of my favorite websites is Skeptiko, and they just had an interview with a neurosurgeon who had an experience with the afterlife during a coma. I think his story will be a comfort for anyone who has lost a loved one. It is in a podcast, so you can listen to it. It is really interesting, and from a neurosurgeon!


    I posted a comment on this site’s post, as davidspirit. I really do want to read this neurosurgeon’s book.


  9. David Says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for the kind word concerning my brother. I won’t post about him yet during the Thanksgiving holiday. Yet I have to write something sooner or later. Talking, even if in a blog, is helpful to me.

    You make a very good point. Yes, illness brings us closer to the veil between life and spirit. NDEs are a clear example. And sleep is another avenue. Many people had dreams of precognition that actually predicted the future, or knew of current events unknown to them. I can’t explain why this happens when it does. Why is one dream special? I’d guess we are being contacted, and not the other way around.


  10. cath Says:

    My sister came to see me in a dream last night it was so lovely to see her, she wanted me to tell Mum that she was still ‘here’ she seemed upset that mum couldnt see her.
    This has made me wonder if I should pass this message on to my Mum, who is struggling to talk about memories.
    The dream felt so real that it was only later on in the day that reality sort of sank in :(
    But I hope she can visit again.

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