Visitation Dreams from passed on loved ones
There is something so final about death. One minute a person is here, and the next minute they are gone.
Just like that.
The body becomes a shadow, a deflated balloon, a bag of bones and flesh that will decay. Given enough time, the elements will get to work with what is just now organic matter and decompose the body that housed — in my case — my mother.
Where is she? Is this really the end of her?
Just gone, disappeared into nothingness?
How do you begin to cope with the words “your mama is dead”?
In that moment language ceases to make sense. It is like a thick wall has suddenly barricaded your cognitive functions to prevent you from the destruction that is inherent in the words.
I woke up at 4:00 am on June 25th, 2018 to a barrage of 20 missed calls and that one singular text message that turned me into a zombie for the next six months.
I ate, I slept and I laughed but I was not there.
How could I be here partaking of this event we call life when my mother’s body lay 5,693 miles away (in Cameroon) buried under the weight of ~ 2500 pounds of red soil in an unmarked grave?
Visitation dreams: maybe dead is not really “dead”
“Six weeks after his death, my father appeared to me in a dream. Suddenly he stood before me and said that he was coming back from his holiday. He had made a good recovery and was now coming home. I thought he would be annoyed with me for having moved into his room. But not a bit of it!…It was an unforgettable experience, and it forced me for the first time to think about life after death.”
— Carl Jung
I met my mother for the first time in a dream two weeks after she died. This meeting happened during the wee hours of the morning in those precious few moments that allowed me respite from the elephant that had taken up residence on my chest.
She was different, yet the same. There was a solidness about her that had been missing in those last months of life populated by unending physical pain, terror-filled nights, and childlike innocence that had broken my heart.
We walked down a gravel road while her body lay a thousand miles away in a morgue in Silver Spring, Maryland.
As we walked, we talked.
When I asked her why she had died, with the composure of a philosophy professor, she said “it was part of the plan”.
I was furious and might have cussed her out. In either case, I abruptly ended the visit. We did not meet again for many months.
An underworld of darkness and unbearable anguish
In those days, darkness was my friend and faith was on a vacation. The terror of panic attacks became my new norm and life was full of landmines. A green pepper had ceased to be just a green pepper, and the color lavender was my ticket to the waterfall of tears.
In those months, the only dreams I had of my mom were nightmares.
How many ways can she die?
How many ways can you bury your mother?
It seemed like my psyche was playing a cruel joke because I had recurring nightmares in which I would see her alive and think her death had been a dream and then she would die in my arms in myriad gruesome ways.
Each time I would have to bury her all over again.
A new relationship with my mother
It was not until maybe a year or so later before I would see her again in a visitation dream and not the psychological projections of her in nightmares.
Then it became a constant: my mother, the sneaky woman that she was, was keeping tabs on my life.
When I met a new guy in 2020, she visited me in a dream, and I introduced him to her. she asked me where he was from and I told her. At that point, I had not told my dad and she told me not to tell him yet because he was from a tribe in Cameroon which was unacceptable.
Six months later, I was thrown into another dark night when the relationship ended. This time, she stole into my dreams during a quick nap. When I noticed her, I said “mummy, what are you doing here?”.
In the dream, I was aware that she was ‘dead.’
She acted like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar and just shrugged as she said, “I came to wipe your tears away and let you know that your sadness will soon pass away”.
So, you see, it is not very strange to me that my mama wished me a happy birthday in 2021. I feel grateful and privileged to be able to continue my relationship with her through dreams and I hope through the steps in this article, you can also experience the extreme joy of a visitation dream that can nurture you for years, if not the rest of your life.
What is a visitation dream anyway?
A visitation dream is a dream in which your deceased loved one visits you. These dreams are very vivid and you cannot confuse them with regular grief dreams which include psychological processing.
Are They Even Real?
Naturally, no one can prove that there is an afterlife. However, there is enough evidence through research and anecdotes to support the belief that our passed-on loved ones can communicate with us through our dreams.
Belief in the afterlife is not a prerequisite to having a visitation dream which can provide you with emotional closure and peace.
There is nothing like a vivid dream visit to turn your ideas and beliefs about life and death upside down.
The good thing about these visitation dreams is that even if you don’t believe in them, no one will have to convince you once you have one. Here are anecdotes from The Dream Detective podcast Episode 9 on after-death visitation dreams as well as the words of McNara, a bonafide atheist, who had a visitation dream with each of his parents 6 months after they passed.
You can also investigate Jennifer Shorter’s doctoral project “Visitation Dreams in Grieving Individuals”, grief researcher, Joshua Black, Ph.D. who is one of the world’s leading academic experts in the field of grief dreams.
I still miss my mama's physical presence something fierce, but when it becomes unbearable, I always know how to find her. Check out this article for a roadmap of how to have a visitation dream.
If you would like to dive deeper into this practice with a community, join me over at After Death Dream Visitations — a space to explore dreams as a means of reconnecting and evolving the relationship we share with our deceased loved ones.