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When a Loved One Dies, Do They Visit You?

When a loved one dies, do they visit you? If you’re like many people who have suffered the loss of someone special, you hope there is some way you will see this person once again. It’s natural to wonder if they visit us once they’ve reached the afterlife. Some people believe that our loved ones come to watch over us and guide us on our life journey. Others believe that our loved ones remain with us in spirit and live on through the lessons they taught us here on earth.

Most religions address the idea of an afterlife, but even people who don’t follow a religion may believe some form of communication beyond the grave is possible. No matter what you believe, it is comforting to think that our loved ones are still with us in some way after they die.

What Science Says About the Afterlife

Science has long sought to discover the truth about our existence here on earth. Though it seems that the afterlife is one topic science has been unable to unlock, there is evidence suggesting a spiritual element beyond what we can see with our own eyes. Most of these clues come from those who have experienced brushes with death. Some people have returned with stories known as near-death experiences. These near-death experiences often describe a separate, spiritual realm that could be described as an afterlife.

Near-Death Experiences

A near-death experience (NDE) is an experience reported by a person who nearly died or thought they were going to die. These experiences can include seeing and feeling sensations that in some cases, many believe are out of this world.

While the cause of NDEs is still largely unknown, most cases involve vivid memories of being outside one’s body, intense feelings of peace and joy, watching a review of your life, and a sense of entering into another world.

Other sensations experienced during an NDE include:

  • Feeling like you’re going through a tunnel
  • Seeing future events
  • Being free of pain

The science behind such experiences is still being studied to understand their influence on mental health and well-being. However, without conclusive proof, the study of the afterlife remains largely speculative and open to personal interpretation. Yet scientific and spiritual circles still seek to answer questions about what happens after we die. The answers could bring hope to those longing for a connection to the departed.

Religious and Cultural Ideas About Life After Death

Religions around the world have their unique concepts of the afterlife, and these various ideas can hold a lot of meaning for people. For example, in some religious traditions such as Christianity and Judaism, the afterlife is seen as a paradise for many people where individuals will experience eternal happiness.

Islamic Afterlife Beliefs

Islam describes the afterlife as a place of reward and punishment. As such, religious followers strive to live their lives according to various principles set down throughout sacred texts, particularly those from the Quran. Believers hope that by living an ethical life on Earth, they will receive a goodly reward in the hereafter.

The Quran mentions many rewards for those who lead virtuous lives, including entry into Paradise and spiritual delight. Conversely, those who fall short of following essential Islamic doctrines may suffer varying levels of punishment depending on the severity of their offense. Thus, concepts of the afterlife are integral to Islamic faith as it motivates adherents to seek an honorable life in this world in order to earn everlasting bliss in the next.

Christian Concepts of the Afterlife

Based on Christian sacred text, believers accept that upon death a spiritual body passes into an eternal afterlife that awaits them in Heaven or Hell, based on their individual choices in life.

Furthermore, some believe that this same spiritual being is reunited with its physical body through resurrection, (i.e., when they ultimately encounter God’s judgment). Many Christians accept that the concept of an afterlife provides comfort and hope as a way to cope with grief when a loved one passes away. Believing in life after death serves as an assurance of one’s own mortality.

Life After Death in Hinduism

Other faiths look to achieve transcendence from the physical world, with an emphasis on spiritual fulfillment in the afterlife. Some forms of Hinduism also view life after death as cyclical, with souls being reincarnated according to their own karma. According to Hindu beliefs, life after death has several forms. In the Hindu context, when a soul leaves the physical body at death, it may be reborn in another form. This could be in a human form, an animal form, or even plant life. Reincarnation is based on past karma accumulated in previous lives.

Although this concept may seem like fate, a person’s current actions can create new karma and affect their future lives and destiny. Hindus also believe that souls can dwell in heaven or hell for a period of time depending on their spiritual condition before taking rebirth. The ultimate goal is moksha, or liberation from the cycle of birth and death, by attaining wisdom which leads to union with the divine consciousness.

Afterlife in Buddhism

Similarly, Buddhism teaches that life does not simply end with death. Instead, death is a transition from one form of life to another. According to Buddhist belief, the actions taken in one lifetime will determine one’s spiritual destiny in the next. This is part of the concept known as karma, which explains how reincarnation can lead to an endless cycle of rebirth and suffering until the individual reaches enlightenment and gains nirvana.

Buddhists believe that when individuals reach this stage, they will no longer be subject to the same forms of suffering and are freed from the cycle of karma. Buddhist teachings offer a glimpse into what happens after death and provide many believers with peace and comfort.

Communication From Beyond

Anecdotally, many people of all faiths as well as agnostics or atheists have described moments of feeling connected to one who has passed. These experiences can come in many forms.


It’s not unusual to hear people talk about having dreams of loved ones who have died. Some may consider these dreams to be the person’s spirit communicating with them while they sleep. These dreams can provide feelings of happiness and comfort for people who are grieving.


Sometimes, we may take a small event or seeming coincidence as a sign that the departed are still with us. For instance, if the deceased really loved robins when they were alive, you may feel that the robin that now visits your windowsill each day is your loved one’s spirit reaching out to you.


Occasionally, people may experience visions of their loved ones. These visions may take the form of the deceased appearing at their bedside or somewhere in nature. Many people state that these visions are often brief and leave them with a sense of serenity.

Ways You Can Communicate With Your Loved Ones

You don’t have to wait for a loved one to visit you to still communicate with them. Grieving and honoring the memory of a loved one after their passing can be an important part of coming to terms with the person’s death. This process can provide a sense of connection and allow people to continue communicating their thoughts, feelings, and hopes even after death.

This type of communication could involve recalling sweet memories, writing letters to them that you then burn or bury, and having conversations through prayer. Many cultures have supported forms of postmortem contact and continue these practices today as an integral part of honoring those they have lost.


When a loved one dies, you may feel that they have visited you in one form or another, whether it’s in a dream or as a symbol of their spirit. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, allowing yourself to grieve for the individual is necessary. Accepting one has died doesn’t mean you must stop remembering them or viewing them as a source of comfort.


  1. “Near-Death Experiences (NDEs),” University of Virginia School of Medicine,

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