real life

'He came to me in a dream.' 20 women share unexplainable stories after a loved one died.

Losing a loved one can be devastating. And for many, grief can last - in some form - for a lifetime.

While comfort can be hard to come by, signs from loved ones that have passed can provide immeasurable relief.

So, we spoke to 20 women who shared their intimate and heartwarming experiences of receiving a sign from a loved one after they passed away.

Watch: What I'd tell my 15-year-old self. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

Here are their extraordinary stories. 

Beth

"My younger brother passed suddenly about two months ago.

"The night before the private family viewing, I was still completely unsure if I wanted to go, as I knew it would be really confronting and upsetting.

"That night when I fell asleep, he came to me in my dream and looked like an absolute angel. It felt so real, and we laughed and talked about the video game he'd been excited to get before he died. 

"I hadn't seen him laugh like that in ages. I woke up and felt an incredible, overwhelming sense of calm. I knew he was at peace, and I knew I had to go to the viewing.

"When I went to the viewing, I almost collapsed in shock because he was dressed in the same outfit I saw him in, down to the jewellery and hairstyle which I'd had zero hand in picking out. 

"I knew then that I'd already said goodbye to him the night before, and I was able to start the grieving process properly."

Kim

"I lost my sister almost eight years ago. We spread her ashes in a forest where we grew up. 

"We chose a special tree where we have a memorial plaque. The day we spread her ashes, we also released helium balloons, and they all floated away.

"The next day, we came back to the same spot and there was just one balloon floating right next to her memorial tree. 

"It was definitely one of our balloons and it wasn’t stuck on anything. It had floated back to our memorial tree on its own. 

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"I have no reasonable explanation for this because they floated up into the sky. I take it as a sign she was there and wanted us to know." 

Estelle

"My sister died in January 2021. I had a baby a year later, and two days before he was born, I had a dream where my sister told me she had been looking after him until he was ready to be born.

"As I was wheeled into the operating room for my unexpected c-section, one of her favourite songs was playing on the sound system."

Virginia

"My dad always did little jobs around my house, as my husband isn't a handyman. 

"I was standing in my hallway not long after he passed thinking I would have to change the lightbulb as it hadn't worked for a while.

"I sat on the floor and cried, saying, 'If you were here Dad, you would fix it for me.' The light came on and worked for another year before I had to change the bulb."

Gina

"My mum passed away in the hospital after a short battle with cancer. We were there to say goodbye.

"Afterward, we left, driving straight to her home. When we arrived, I opened the car door and was hit with an overwhelming scent of roses.

"It was the middle of winter. The air was still, and there were no roses in the garden.

"Mum was a keen gardener and a big fan of roses. She had also experienced the scent of roses out of nowhere and put it down to a spiritual experience (which I was cynical about!)

"Mum also told me the story of a butterfly landing on her during her mother’s funeral. It wouldn’t leave. Mum insisted it was her mother saying goodbye. Again, I was cynical.

"At my wedding, 10 years after mum had passed, a cicada landed on my dress and stayed for the entire ceremony." 

Lauren

"My dad died by suicide a few years ago, but a few months after he passed, I really wanted to know that he was at peace.

"Every afternoon when I was driving home from work, I kept asking him out loud to tell me he was okay.

"He came to me in a dream at the end of my bed one night, standing in typical clothes that he’d wear. He was just smiling, looking so content and happy. 

"It was exactly the reassurance I needed." 

Wendy

"My dad passed away recently, and I was going on a run while thinking of him.

"The loss was very raw as he’d been in a lot of pain before passing, and I remember thinking over and over: 'I hope you are okay, Dad'. 

"When I finished my run, I saw the most beautiful complete rainbow. 

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"It lasted for only about 10 minutes and I truly believe Dad was telling me he was okay. I took a photo which doesn't do the colours justice, but seeing it made me feel so much better."

Image: Supplied.

Kate

"I am a priest and I was with my congregation on a Sunday. We were all in shock following the very sudden death of a lovely man who was an animal lover.

"During our service, a little dog (unknown to any of us) ran in, did a lap of us all, racing around joyfully, and ran back out. 

"We looked outside, but there was no sign of the dog, or of an owner.

"It was definitely a reminder he sent us to embrace joy even in the midst of our grief. It was such a comfort to his widow and all his friends." 

Sally

"My daughter had a liver transplant to save her life as a baby. 

"Until she was about three years old, she used to 'chat' to a little boy she said she could see sitting on her window ledge. 

"She told me that he was her special friend and that his favourite thing to do was go swimming. 

"It was around that time that we found out that her organ donor had been a precious little boy who had tragically drowned. 

"To this day, I firmly believe that my daughter was chatting to her organ donor and that he is her guardian angel."

Louise

"My partner died by suicide. He did it at home and I stayed in our house. 

"On the seventh anniversary of his death, I woke up early as I do every morning, walked into the kitchen and looked out the sliding door to the patio to see a candle burning. 

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"I lived on my own... I never lit the candle. I had no explanation for this."

Holly

"Shortly after my dad passed away, I was woken up by the feeling that someone had sat down on my bed. 

"It sounds so strange, but I saw a younger version of my dad.

"He told me that he was okay - he was happy there, and had gotten to see his mum and our family cat. His bones didn’t ache anymore in his new body. 

"Soon after, he waved goodbye and sort of floated out the door. I still don’t know if it was a dream or a spirit, but it was very comforting." 

Allison

"My grandma and I were extremely close. She fell ill with cancer suddenly but insisted on being nursed at home. As we cared for her, we had this sense of dread about me leaving, even just to the shops. 

"I needed to return home for a few days to complete some exams. It was unavoidable, and she was my biggest supporter of my studies. 

"As we said goodbye, we both knew it was forever, but everyone else kept saying, 'No, she’s doing okay, she’s going to be around for weeks'. 

"The second night I was home, I lay awake. I had this awful churning in my gut. 

"Finally, I got up out of bed and met my mum in the hallway, who was coming to tell me that she had passed. I already knew. I felt her presence leave the minute it happened."

Nicola

"My mum passed away after a long battle with motor neurone disease. 

"She progressively lost her ability to speak and write but prepared letters and parts of her own eulogy. 

"She mentioned that when we see rainbows, we should think of her and know that she is happy. 

"Since then, rainbows have appeared at every single, momentous family event. There were multiple the day I got married, the day my brother packed up his life in Sydney and moved to Tasmania, the day I moved into my first house, and the day her favourite aunty passed away. 

"We’re not at all woo-woo and don’t really believe in the afterlife or anything, but it is just inexplicable at times." 

Image: Supplied.

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Julie

"I was at school and my dad was in hospital with heart issues. 

"He was 40, and I was 17. At 9.45am, I felt the urge to go to the hospital. I left school without telling anyone and caught a train and tram to the city to St Vincent’s hospital. 

"He had a haemorrhage at 9.45am and died in my arms when I arrived."

Melissa

"My aunt passed away 10 years ago. Last year, my cousin (her daughter) got married, so we travelled to their hometown for the wedding. 

"On the day of the wedding, we went to the cemetery to leave some flowers for my aunt and we spent about an hour walking around trying to find her grave. 

"It was a super hot, humid day. I leant against a tree and said, 'Aunty, send us a sign so we can find you' and about five seconds later, my sister found her. 

"When I asked how, she said some blue butterflies were floating above a plot (long story, but she was in an unmarked plot which is why we couldn’t find her) but after looking up the plots either side, we realised it was hers. 

"Later that day, when we were at the wedding, my cousin walked down the aisle and it started to rain. As she got to her husband and held his hand, there were some blue butterflies circling around them.

"When it was over and they turned to walk down the aisle together, we saw that my cousin had some blue butterflies tattooed on her back (which she later told us she had done when her mum passed away to represent her mum and siblings). 

"I don’t really believe in 'signs' but that day I was definitely sure my aunt was letting us all know she was there." 

Isabella

"On the special days associated with my grandfather (birthdays, his death anniversary, etc.) I have so far experienced this overwhelming scent of garlic. It’s intense. He was the most important man in my life.

"He was known to eat garlic raw (no idea why, it was one of his many quirks) but the scent only comes over me at times associated with him, and there’s no one cooking with garlic around me, so it’s hard to explain. 

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"I choose to think it’s him, as we were incredibly close." 

Lisa

"When I started dating my husband, I had a dream where my dad (who passed when I was nine) and my partner were sitting at a table having a beer. 

"In the background, I could see myself through the doorway of the next room sitting on the bed feeding my baby son.

"When I woke up, I knew it was my dad telling me he approved of my partner.

"When I fell pregnant, I knew it was a boy. The boy from the dream."

Adelaide

"The night after my father's funeral, my mum woke my sister and I up. There were hundreds of rainbow lorikeets on our balcony, covering every single spot.

"For years, I’ve seen rainbow lorikeets on special days. One morning I even woke up to a rainbow lorikeet on my bed. I had no windows open."

Leah

"My poppa died in New Zealand. The night after we flew home, I was asleep and woke up to Poppa whistling. 

"I looked up and saw him walking out my room and into my daughter's bedroom, still whistling with his arms behind his back as he always did. 

"I remember telling myself, 'Oh, it's okay, it's just Poppa' and going back to sleep. 

"The next morning, my two-year-old told me she saw Poppa whistling down the hallway. We can't explain it.

"I would have simply thought it was my imagination or a dream had my two-year-old daughter not told me she'd seen him too the same night."

Fiona

"My husband had a childhood friend whom unfortunately went off the rails as a teen, became addicted to drugs, ran in the wrong crowd and regularly stole from him to feed his addiction. 

"Once they hit their 20s, they went their separate ways. 

"Fast forward to his late 20s and we had started dating. 

"One night when I was sleeping next to him, he woke up in a fright. His old friend had come to him in his dream and he was apologising about all the bad things he had done, but said he was in a good place now. 

"Very soon afterward, we found out his friend had died by suicide. My husband was saddened by the dream, but he was also very touched by it too."

Feature Image: Getty.

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