Do the dead visit us on our dreams? Dreams being dreams, can we really identify any dream as being a genuine “after death communication” (ADC)? It would appear the last thing anyone would take seriously would be a dream.
However, I’d suggest the dead, on occasion, actually visit us in our dreams. I’ve heard enough first hand accounts about this phenomenon to take it seriously. If we accept this premise as even a remote possibility, how to distinguish between a typical nightly dream from a true after death communication? Here is an account that offers some clues.
Sally’s sister died of cancer over six months ago. Sally’s sister’s last days were pretty grim. Dying of cancer is a horrible way to go. Afterwards Sally never had any dreams of her sister. Then one night Sally finally had her dream. In Sally’s dream her sister looked wonderful without any sign of malady or distress.
Sally didn’t recall the location of the dream, just that she was talking with her sister. Her sister was happy. Sally asked her sister, “Are you in pain? Do you feel ok?” In her dream, Sally was aware her sister was dead. And her sister was also aware she was dead. Both understood what had occurred in life. This self-awareness is not typical in ordinary dreams. Her sister told Sally, “I’m was fine; I have no pain. And please don’t worry about me; live your life; I’m OK.”
I asked Sally if she asked other questions. Sally said she awoke at that moment startled. I said I wished she could have asked other question. What is existence like on the other side? What is the purpose of life? But no, it seems the purpose of these communications is to bring us comfort, and other communication really does not extend far beyond that.
How to discern a possible true after-death communication from a typical dream? Dreams are wild flights of fancy. Even the most realistic dreams are recognized as dreams once we awaken. However, dreams involving ADC seem to share unique properties.
1. The dead appear healthy.
In encounters with the deceased they appear their best. They don’t appear as they did when they died, sick or infirm, but as if they had resurrected, idealized bodies.
2. The dead act as they did in life.
Dreams are usually crazy “roller coaster rides”. But with ADC dreams, the deceased appear real and their behavior is consistent with how they behaved in life. It seems as if we are having an actual conversation with the person we knew.
3. The dead act with self-awareness.
With an ADC dream we are interacting with an independent, self-aware intelligence. It feels as if someone outside our mind’s imagination is actually communicating with us. It is hard to exactly explain this, but we know it when it happens.
4. The dead leave a message.
It seems the purpose of the after-death communities is to comfort us, and to let us know they still exist and are free of any suffering. Sometimes an additional message may be given, but essentially the dead speak to let us know they are ok.
5. We remember the dream clearly.
The ADC dream will be unusually vivid and memorable. So memorable that people will clearly recall the dream long afterwards. Most dreams fade away even if they are remembered at all. But the ADC dream experience sticks in our memory. It seems as if communication with the dead creates a different type of dreaming experience.
Another story. A year ago a lady died in her bed on Saint Patrick’s Day, and she was only in her early forties. To die that young seems so unfair. The funeral was really very sad and tragic. Her cousin, a young lady in her early twenties, told me she had a dream of her long afterwards, her only dream with her. In the dream the deceased looked wonderful. She asked the deceased if she was in heaven. And the deceased said yes, and that she was happy. The young said she could remember this dream as if she had just dreamt it. Listening to her story I thought how similar it sounded to Sally’s story. The five “rules” applied to both.