Dreaming of those who have gone before us

I have heard a lot recently that people who have died can visit us in our dreams. If you were close to someone in life, they can come to you in your dream when they die and give you comfort or a message to let you know that they are OK. Does this conform to Catholic teaching?

I had not ever really bought into the idea that people who die come back and “hang around” us to help us out. I’ve always been of the mindset that if someone has gone to Heaven, the last thing they would ever want to do is come back to earth. ( And if they are in purgatory then they have their own issues to deal with! )

I recently lost someone (family member) very close to me. I have not gotten a visit in my dreams from this person who has passed on. But since I keep hearing about this “loved ones visiting us in our dreams”, I can’t help but think maybe my loved one doesn’t want to visit me, which makes me sad because I loved him very much. Any thoughts?

Honestly, I don’t know if this is sound in Catholic teaching but I kinda with am biased and hope this is true. I lost my dear grandfather to cancer about a year ago now and often think about him. I would love if he visited me in my dreams as you long for your dear loved one to visit you.

I do admit that I have had dreams of my old grandfather but have no clue if it was my brain just using them as a way to cope with the pain or the real thing. Still, please know that things though they truly are never the same again and despite how we long for them to be, everything works out for the best. I do believe in God’s infinite mercy that we will see our loved ones again! Someday but sadly not this day… May God bless you and watch over you! :angel1::gopray:

Thank you for this very beautiful and kind post.
God bless you.

We should not expect our dear departed loved ones to visit us in dreams, nor should we be upset or think ill of it if they do not.

To the contrary, desires that our departed loved ones communicate with us leads to all sorts of nasty/evil/forbidden acts, such as seances, ouija boards, etc. we are certainly not to seek to initiate contact. Further, evil spirits may masquerade as our loved ones (a truly terrifying thought).

My mother loved me very much. She died when I was just a boy. Has she ever appeared to me in a dream? Not in the 30 years since her passing. Am I troubled by this? Not a whit. As a Christian I know I will see my mother again - just not yet.

All I know about this issue is that the only time I have a dream about someone that makes any sense, it is about someone who has died.

If it does happen, it may happen only once, so cling to the memory. I have never dreamed of a deceased “someone” more than three times, and often only once. It is a grace given to ease our grief, IMNAAHO, and not a way to maintain a trans-death connection, something we are not to look for.


When we sleep, our brains send out electrobiochemical discharges. In the beginning of the sleep cycle, we review our experiences from the day. If something is bothering us, our brain may repeat the same images over and over again, with changes creeping in each time. This is an evolutionary development that enabled diurnal man to problem solve even while sleeping at night.

As we get deeper and later in the sleep cycles, the images the brain accesses are older and not necessarily part of the same story. So the brain strings images together in an attempt to make sense, but instead the brain creates a macabre story line. Ever remember the craziest dream when the alarm went off and woke you up? Alarms create an artificial awakening so the brain doesn’t have a chance to turn the dream off, so you wake up remembering it.

My mother, who was Catholic, dreamt that her deceased siblings and their spouses were all gathered together and told her they would see her soon. This upset her. The dream happened almost 40 years before she did die.

My mothers mother died when she was very young, and she was sent to live with her half sister. My mother was grieving a lot and she dreamt that her mother was carrying two large heavy pails of water. She told my mother that those were the tears that were holding her back from heaven, and then my mother felt at peace. The next day, they had a picture of her setting on her half sisters piano and it seemed there was a light halo around her face! It may just have been a comforting dream and I don’t know if you call it a real visit from a deceased person.

In our country, Malta Europe, we always believe that if we dream of a dear deceased person, then he/she needs our prayers. Now I acknowledge that this can be called superstion, but prayer is prayer and there isdefintely nothing wrong in praying for such people. Jesus urged St Faustina to pray for the souls in purgatory. We are in the month of November. Pray hard. The souls in purgatory need us.

Yes, I was taught this, too, but it included dreams about people you have known or know still alive. If you dream about them, pray for them. My Catholic grandparents were from Spain.

I still remember a dream I had over 25 yrs ago, shortly after my mom died when I was 14, I had a dream I was in a room, it had dark green carpet and light colored wood paneling on the walls, an older man, dressed in all white, short white hair, a bit portly, said “she is with us” to me.

Ive always believed that dream was sent to me for a reason, my mom was not in the dream, it would have been nice if she was, but I was content.

I’ve never had dreams about people I wanted to have dreams about-- co-workers, relatives, close friends. But I once had a dream about my friend’s husband, who had died of cancer. He looked happy and beautiful— his face was glowing, and he was with two other people-- I had no clue who they were. No one said anything; it was like they were smiling and posing for me to take their picture. I just looked at him. The whole dream was only a few moments.

Later, I was on FB, and realized the next day was the 5th anniversary of his death. I’d had no clue. Why I dreamed about him, instead of, say, his wife, or a friend who was closer to them— who knows? I think I mentioned it to his wife either that year, or maybe at the next anniversary. Whether it was “real” or not, I don’t care to speculate… but I think fondly of how beautiful he was. It made me think, “Ahh! That’s what the Divine Mercy picture is trying to capture!” --with that internal golden glow. :slight_smile:

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