When a Dead Loved One Visits You in a Dream, Is It Real?
When a Dead Loved One Visits You in a Dream, Is It Real?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

As many as 20 to 40 percent of Americans believe they have communicated with the dead, according to multiple studies. Are all of these people in a state of delusion or have they really made contact?

Dr. Camille Wortman, who received her Ph.D. from Duke University and who has worked for decades as an expert on grief and bereavement, wrote in her blog: “Despite the comfort that these communications may provide, mourners often worry that if they are having these kinds of experiences, they must be losing their minds. In many cases, they are reluctant to talk with others about these experiences, fearing that people will think they are going crazy. This could help explain the societal belief that such communications are rare, and that they may be indicative of psychological problems.”

After-death communication can help mourners, says Wortman; she and some other psychologists are exploring this phenomenon as a method of treating grief.

“Survivors would benefit from greater awareness of how frequently these communications occur. Armed with such knowledge, they may be more likely to be comforted, and less likely to doubt their own sanity if they experience after death communication,” Wortman wrote.


Therapy Session Gives Intriguing Clue

In 1995, Dr. Allan Botkin developed a therapy method called “induced after-death communication” (IADC). One of his patients learned something from the induced vision of her deceased friend that suggests the experience was real and not an illusion.

A reporter named Julia Mossbridge had lost her friend, Josh, in college. She had convinced Josh to attend a dance he wasn’t planning to attend and he died in a car accident on the way, she explained in a report on her experience. She felt guilty, though over the course of many years the grief had become relatively weak.

Botkin’s method involves getting the eyes to move in such a way that they imitate the rapid-eye-movement (REM) during sleep. Dreaming occurs during REM sleep. At the same time, he helps the patients get in touch with the core emotions related to their grief.

Mossbridge described the experience: “Simply, without pretense, I saw Josh walk out from behind a door. My friend jumped around with his youthful enthusiasm, beaming at me. I felt great joy at the connection but I couldn’t tell whether I was making the whole thing up. He told me I wasn’t to blame and I believed him. Then I saw Josh playing with his sister’s dog. I didn’t know she had one. We said good-bye and I opened my eyes, laughing.”

She continued: “Later I found out that Josh’s sister’s dog had died, and it was the same breed as the one I had seen in my vision. Yet I still don’t know what’s real. What I do know is that when I think of Josh, I no longer dwell on the images of me calling him or of his car getting hit. Instead, I see Josh walking toward me, laughing and playing with an angel dog. For now, this is the only kind of proof I need.”

Botkin has said it doesn’t matter if the patient believes in the experience or not, it can still have a positive effect.


Traveling the Continent Gathering Experiences

Bill and Judy Guggenheim coined the term “after-death communication.” They spent several years, starting in 1988, interviewing about 2,000 people from all 50 states and all 10 Canadian provinces who have had such experiences.

Bill Guggenheim was a Wall Street broker, an agnostic, and he didn’t believe in the possibility of genuine communication with the dead. Then he had his own experience. He believes his late father spoke to him.

Guggenheim was in his house when he heard the voice tell him “Go outside and check the swimming pool,” Guggenheim recalled in an interview on Afterlife TV. He went outside and saw the gate to the fence surrounding the pool ajar. When he went out to close it, he saw his 2-year-old son’s body laying limp in the deep end.

Luckily, he was in time to resuscitate the boy. Guggenheim said there was no way he could have heard the splash from where he was in the house, and there was no reason to suspect the boy might even be outside. His son was in the bathroom downstairs and had somehow left the house despite rubber child-safety devices covering the doorknobs.

The same voice that helped save his son urged him later in life to conduct his own research on communicating with the dead. Guggenheim didn’t think anyone would listen to him, since he was a stockbroker; he didn’t have related credentials, such as a Ph.D.

The voice told him: “Bill, do your own research, write your own book. It’s your spiritual work to do.”


‘One Hundred Cases for Survival After Death’

In 1944, Bernard Ackerman compiled accounts in his book “One Hundred Cases for Survival After Death.”

He noted that the cases he compiled had been investigated carefully by people who “spent much time, money, and patience in the process.”

“They were in deadly earnest in trying to solve this great human problem,” he wrote. But, Ackerman did not claim the cases were definitely genuine experiences, he left it up to the reader’s judgment.

One of the stories he recounted was about a young man named Robert MacKenzie. MacKenzie was saved from starvation on the streets by the owner of a mechanical business in Glasgow who gave him a job. The business owner’s name is not given, but he is the one narrating the account.

One night, this business owner had a dream in which he was sitting in his office and MacKenzie appeared. They had the following conversation:

“’What is all this, Robert?’ I said somewhat angrily. ‘Did you not see I was engaged?’
“‘Yes, sir,’ he replied, ‘but I must speak with you at once.’
“‘What about?’ I said. ‘What is it that can be so important?’
“‘I wish to tell you, sir,’ he answered, ‘that I am accused of doing a thing I did not do, and that I want you to know it, and to tell you so, and that you are to forgive me for what I am blamed, because I am innocent.’
“I then naturally asked, ‘But how can I forgive you if you do not tell me what you are accused of?’
“I can never forget the emphatic manner of his answer in the Scottish dialect, ‘Ye’U sune ken’ (You’ll soon know).”

The business owner awoke and his wife burst into the bedroom, much distraught, announcing that MacKenzie had committed suicide. At once, he replied to his wife “No, he has not committed suicide.”

It turned out MacKenzie did not commit suicide as reported. He had mistaken a bottle containing a poisonous substance used for staining wood to be a bottle of whiskey.

*Image of father kissing daughter via Shutterstock

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  • rosalinda

    perhaps this may be true.some people are doing publicity out here!!!please it is a serious matter!!!

    • MrMidstream

      In the words of Samuel L. Jackson…”ENGLISH MOTHA FUKA!!!!! DO YOU SPEAK IT????”.

  • JasmineStarlight

    I believe – I had a few dreams that brought me comfort, and I know with all my heart, it was my loved ones energy coming through, showing me the way♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥ Love Never Dies♥

    So weird to see this article today, just had a dream last night….my father came to me, and gave me some advise—truly helped me.

    • HeyJude

      Hi Jas :-) I really liked the portion of this article that highlighted how common this is. If people were not intimidated by the designation of “crazy, delusional, wishful thinking” I know that many more would relate their experiences. I don’t know why we (society in general) are so quick to dismiss all these seemingly inexplicable events as “not real.” Every single one of us has at least one story to tell of prophetic dreams, deja vu, precognition, knowing something we couldn’t have known, etc. I think we should pay attention when it happens to us, even if we don’t understand how it happens. I’m really happy your dad came to you, and helped. :-)

      • JasmineStarlight

        Hiya Jude… I really like that there’s more
        liked minded people out here. It’s great reading others have experienced the
        unexplainable too, and believe in it. I
        have had quite a few experience’s, many dismiss as wishful thinking. Here’s one that couldn’t fall in that
        catorgory…. A few years back I dreamt the number 8, just saw it vividly within
        my dream… forgot the surroundings of it….but, upon awaking it I remembered it,
        it left a lasting impression. I told
        everyone, and they brushed it off…all though one friend believes in it. Well the short of it, My Mom passed away
        months later on the 8th at
        8:00 o’clock….My father passed away years later on the 8th too. Also, my Mom was in a coma in the hospital,
        the window was open. I was saying
        goodbye, telling her what a great mother she had been, hoping soon she be whole
        again. Altough, really she wasn’t the
        best mother, really not the type to raise kids…but, a good heart. I’ll ALWAYS remember the gush of wind that
        came in the window after she passed. To
        this day I believe it was my grandmother coming in to escort her to the other
        side. What’s out there I don’t know,
        but, it’s powerful.

        Sometimes it’s little things from a dream. Dreaming about a job I
        was starting shortly… in my dream this guy came over and hugged me in front of
        a desk, a goodbye hug. Now what was
        really weird, after my assigment was completed… this guy , I’ve become friendly with… did approach me the same as in my dream, and same location—Dejvu!! Exactly the same from my dream, I didn’t even know him months ago. I remembered my dream right away— I journal some dreams. I couldn’t believe it, a dream from months ago…played out the exact way. Although that’s little, what does it mean I don’t know. Another powerful one was asking for a sign from my grandmother, after visiting her grave…I don’t usually ask for such things. This day I did ask, upon leaving the cemetary,
        I turned on the radio, looking for my sign NOTHING… Oh well I said, I still
        believe you’re close by. I do believe my beloved Nanny heard my plea or the universe…for one block away from the cemetary a car pulled out in front of me, and as I looked at the license plate it read NANNY….the name I called my grandmother, the only name she wanted to be called. Not what’s the
        odd’s of that? One license plate in NJ with that…. I smiled all the way home :). Yes, I believe! My dream the other night from my father was vivid too, came through the only way possible, to deliver a message that helped me—I’m grateful!

        Wow, rambling on here HeyJude…always BELIEVE (I know you do)

        Hey one more thing, I saw you posting about your husband buying you outfits,(LOL) I thought that was so lovely….you must have a lovely marriage, still enjoying and having fun. CHEERS to the mysteries in life♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥

        • HeyJude

          Jas, thanks so much for sharing those with me! Those are pretty clear and dramatic examples. I’m glad you use a journal, it sounds like you often have experiences. Mine are few and far between, but I do try to recognize them when they happen. If I have one I think might be prophetic, I always try to tell it to the hubs, so that if it comes true, I can say “that was my dream” and he will know it really was.
          Yes, I do find it strange that people dismiss it so quickly, like your friends did. I think if you asked people “have you ever experienced deja vu” you will always get a yes, it really does happen to everyone. How can you not believe others if you know that YOU have experienced it?
          The hubs….ha! We’ve been married 35 years, (hmm, is that the rust anniversary, or mold? LOL) and I think we almost have the kinks worked out. And it is still fun. :-)

          • JasmineStarlight

            Must have found your soul mate Jude…have as much love and fun in the next 35yrs–maybe by then, you will be kink free….(except for the outfits)lol-just kidding :)
            BTW, you’re right it touches everyone, some see it, others look away. Carl Jung spoke of a collective conscience, tap into it.:)
            Have a great Sunday!

  • rg9rts

    Dreams are a way of processing feelings that we have difficulty dealing with in the conscious world.

    • HeyJude

      Rg, my friend…A lot of times, maybe most times. But have you ever had a dream that would fall into the category of “something more?” Or experienced deja vu? How do you see those….all easily explained by psychology or do you leave room for some unknowns?

      • nancy/still hopeful

        déjà vu’s can also be attributed to the connection of ‘knowing’ we are in the right place as we have already charted our life and this is a confirmation that we are on our path!

  • Evji108

    How do you know it’s real? It’s the feeling, the deep feeling of knowingness and connection with the loved one. My experiences have been more of a deep heart communication with the passed loved one, not them telling me things to do etc. They are totally different than regular dreams and create a very deep impression. I don’t doubt other people’s experiences, because they are none of my business.

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