How Can I Tell If A Loved One Is Around Me?

16 Jan 2018

This probably is the one question that I get asked the most, and one I have specifically been asked to write about. Most of us have at least one person we know, a loved family member or a friend who has passed on from this stage of life. It is not at all uncommon for us to wonder how they are doing? Are they ok? Able to do what they perhaps could not do here in this life – due to whatever reason? Do they still love me? Are they thinking of me from time to time? Can they hear me if I talk to them? Will they let me know if they are around? How can I tell if they are around me? So many questions most of us have, around people we have loved who are no longer present with us. One of the biggest and saddest is; do they know how much I loved them?

There is a saying that I really love “Grief is just love without a home”. I do not know who said it, but it rings very true for me. We all need to know that our loved ones be they family or friends or pets are still living even if not here physically with us. That they can still feel the love we have for them, hear us talking to them or about them. That they know how much pain we feel at their passing, and the void they left in our lives.

Your loved ones can come back and visit you for many reasons, not the least of which is to reassure you they still exist and still feel your love. It is actually, very, very common for people to experience loved ones letting them know they are still around. Here are some of the more common ways that people can know that their deceased loved ones are around:


As we sleep our energetic vibrations rise to a higher level than when we are awake, closer the to vibrational plane that spirit exists on. Also while we are sleeping our conscious mind does not interfere with spirit communication as it can when we are awake. So many people get visits from loved ones in dreams.

Often they are given messages that reassure them, or information that they may need to know – like where that will or important paper is kept. Sometimes they don’t talk, but their mere presence is reassuring enough for the dreamer, also often in the ‘dream’ the deceased loved one is surrounded by some sort of light.

For a lot of people this type of ‘dream’ is very different to regular dreams. More vivid, more realistic, and you often hear it was just like they were standing there – as indeed they were.


Often times loved ones will let you know they are around through your sense of smell. There is a specific name for this. It is called Clairgustance. Generally you will smell a scent that you associate with them, like cigarette smoke, or perfume, or even the smell of a roast cooking. So if you smell a familiar fragrance like that, that you would generally associate with that person then the likelihood is it is them visiting you and letting you know they are there. In fact this to me (as an Aromatherapist), makes most sense. Because our sense of smell is closely associated with the limbic system in our brain, this is the area of the brain to do with memories.

Sensing Their Presence

This probably is one of the most common ways loved ones let you know they are around you and is called clairsentience. Many, many people report this. You might perhaps notice a difference in the atmosphere when they are around – for example, the atmosphere in the room could become very still, where before it was not. You might notice movement in the air – particularly out the corners of your eyes. You might feel a pressure in the couch beside where you are sitting, or in your bed at night. This is very, very common.

Being Touched

You might feel someone playing with your hair, like they used to when they were alive. A hug, someone holding your hand, a gentle hand on your shoulder. Feeling your loved ones touch is probably the one of the most common experiences people may have. This particularly happens in the early days following the persons passing. People have even felt their spouse in bed beside them and hugging them to sleep.

Hearing Their Voice

Some people will hear the voice of their loved one, (this is called clairaudience), as though they were there in the room with them. Still others will hear the voice in their mind, but it is the persons voice they will hear. This is more common than audible hearing, as spirit no longer has a physical voice box and it takes far more energy for them to audibly create the sound, rather than through thought. If you hear them talking to you, answer them in your mind, then stop and listen for a response – sometimes you will hear one, sometimes you will not.

Unexplained Electrical Activity

We are all energetic beings and are composed of energy. People who have passed over can very quickly learn how to manipulate electrical devices. So this is quite often why loved ones will use electrical devices to get your attention. TV & lights turning on or off, or dimming / brightening. Changing TV channels. Sometimes even making electrical or battery operated toys move.

Phone Calls / Text Messages / Facebook Messages

Because most phones these days are electrical ones, it is not difficult for spirit to be able to manipulate the phones, or even send text messages such as with this family, or post facebook messages as in this case. Often times if you answer the call, the voice can sound like it is very distant, or have quite a bit of static, or can sound very mechanical and electronic.

Song Timing

A sign that is not uncommon, particularly with spouses or lovers, is hearing a song that is significant to you both or was significant to the person who passed over. On the radio, in the mall, driving in the car, as background music at a takeaway place. You might hear the song over and over repeatedly over a number of days, or weeks. Not just once as a random occurance, but repeatedly.

Signs / Symbols / Synchronicity / or Coincidences

Sometimes our loved ones are so eager to let us know that they are around us that they will try and let you know in as many ways as possible. They like to place things in our paths that were significant to them or are significant to us. I remember reading a story of a woman whose father worked for a hotdog making company in the states. She was a teacher. When her father died, she saw the logo for the then out of business, company everywhere in the weeks following his death. One of her students at school drew her a picture of that company’s hotdog icon, and someone else found a little plastic hotdog ornament and gave it to her. All these were signs to her that her dad was still living and letting her know he was around. This sign could be as simple as a birds feather floating down in front of your eyes, or on your doorstep in the morning – or your mum’s favourite rose blooming out of season. Yes, I have heard of that happening before.


Sometimes spirit will use animals to send you let you know they are around, especially if that animal or insect does something unusual, like it lands in front of you, on you, or stares at you through a window, or sits looking at you in your path. Generally these animals stand out in some way from normal. Could be more colourful than most animals, or a wild, normal timid animal that will approach you.

Objects Moving

Another thing loved ones will sometimes to, is that they will move objects to get your attention. Does that ornament keep shifting position? Does that picture keep tilting to one side? Does a picture of your deceased relative or friend keep falling over or off the wall? Are you always misplacing a particular object, like your car keys, even though you know you left them in a specific spot. Sometimes they will combine moving things with noise to make sure they get your attention.

Seeing Their Ghost – Either fully Or Partially

This actually is not as common as one might think, despite what all the movies and tv shows might have you believe. It is quite rare actually, which is why I made it last on my list. Don’t think that if you haven’t seen your loved one appear to you, that they have not tried to contact you or let you know they are around.

Sometimes when they do appear, it is not always full body, it might just be their head or hands. They might appear flat, like a black and white photo – and not necessarily in living colour (so to speak).


Usually in the first days, weeks, or months following the death of a loved one, many people will find that they have visits or signs from them, to let the people left behind here know that they are still living and aware of them. Generally these taper off after a while, once spirit realises that you are ok, and you have mostly finished your heaviest grieving process. Although sometimes these visits and reminders can last for years or in the case of partners, until the remaining partner also passes over.

I feel that this is such an awesome display of love from those in spirit, and love is something that transcends all of time.