Do Bad Dreams Haunt You After A Loss?

How to Unlock Your Intuition
April 9, 2022
A Special Message for You
February 22, 2023

The loss of a loved one is devastating. 

What is even worse is when you start experiencing disturbing dreams about them. 

Are these dreams a sign that they are distressed? Are they reaching out from the afterlife because they are scared or fearful? 

Or are they trying to tell you that you are responsible for their death?

Why do these unsettling dreams happen?

How can you stop them?

First, let me share with you my own personal experience. I am not a dream expert, but I have suffered through these disturbing dreams after a loss.

I just lost one of my animal companions over the weekend after a long history of diabetic issues. Birdy was a rescued kitten, missing rear leg when I found him at just five weeks of age.

He was painfully shy as a youngster, but he grew into a magnificent and confident boy kitty as an adult. We lost him when he went into a diabetic coma and didn't make it. My husband and I were right by his side.

Despite being on the phone with the vet and doing everything we possibly could, Birdy passed away at the age of nine. It was horrifying to see him go through that. The shock of what was happening was too much, so I pushed it down and tried my best not to think about it.

Within an hour of his passing, he connected with me and told me how loved he felt. He was just fine and sent me warm and loving energy.

I thought I was okay and moving forward. Then about two days later the disturbing dreams began. I kept seeing his face over and over when he was dying. It was so disturbing.

Again, I pushed those thoughts down and tried to distract myself with other more positive thoughts.

For three more nights, the dreams filtered into my sleep. Some were more upsetting than others but all of them bothered me and I felt sick when I woke up.

I decided to connect with Birdy again and once more found him in perfect balance, a beautiful spirit energy full of light. Birdy assured me he was doing everything he wanted and was perfectly happy; it was his journey. I was just part of that journey. He said I gave him everything I could and he never felt more loved than at that moment when he passed.

So why, if Birdy was okay, was I haunted by these horrible dreams?

If I did not have the ability to communicate with him, I'd be a total wreck. 

Thinking the worst-case scenario was that he desperately tried to tell me he was not okay.

I realized that it was all about my decision to push those thoughts down and not deal with them. I didn't want to face the fact that I felt guilty about what had happened to him. In my mind, I was his sole caregiver, and I had failed him. There was something that I did to cause him to go into that coma. I must have messed up the insulin injections or something else to cause him to decline rapidly.

In reality, the exact opposite was true. I had done everything right. Even though I misunderstood the dosage, it would not have been enough to kill him. There was something else going on with him. Something that was beyond my control. It was not up to me. It was not my error. It was his journey, his body, his experience. I just did the best I could with the information I had. Everything happened the way it was supposed to. He wasn't supposed to survive that day.

As devastating as it was to hear that, I accepted it.

Luckily, I didn't beat myself up for decades as I had done in the past with others, I felt responsible for. Birdy set me straight. It was his journey. I am just a part of it. I don't control the outcome. I can only do my best. That is the bottom line.

So, going back to the dreams. Once I acknowledged that I was not responsible, even though it felt like it, once I said out loud that this was his journey and everything that happened was meant to happen, the dreams subsided.

When I pushed the emotions down, when I refused to deal with them, they had to bubble up to the surface. I was doing my best to distract myself from facing those feelings, and ultimately, they surfaced through my subconscious and into my dreams.

If this has happened to you then please understand that bad dreams are not distress calls from your loved ones. They are not trying to tell you that you messed up or that you are the reason they died. They are perfect in the afterlife and even if things didn't go the way you wanted, it went the way it was supposed to. You are just part of their journey and not in control of the outcome.

I still blame my actions; could I or should I have done something different? But I instantly hear Birdy telling me to let that go. I did exactly what I needed to do. I loved him, cared for him and did my best. 

I was finally ready to listen to Birdy's words. 

I share these messages with you so you can hear them too. Your angel is just fine and you did everything you could. Sometimes things are beyond our control, no matter how hard we try. 

After all, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. 

From the most painful experiences come the greatest amount of spiritual growth. 

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Karen is an award-winning animal communicator and best-selling author who specializes in pet loss and the afterlife. She has documented her journey with her heartwarming and inspirational books, The Pet I Can’t Forget, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures.
She also offers a free app and animal communication coaching programs for all skill levels as well as loving support and guidance for those struggling with the loss of a beloved companion.
Karen is the CEO and founder of Painted Rain Ranch Animal Sanctuary a non-profit charity that serves as a final refuge for elderly, special needs, and abandoned companion animals. Karen saves the pets no one else wants on her 30-acre farm in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Proceeds from Karen’s books and coaching benefit the animals at the sanctuary.
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  1. Trisha says:

    Karen, my heart breaks for you again. I am so sorry for the loss of Birdy.
    You’ve had so many losses I just can’t imagine how hard it has been for you.

    You are always here for us when we lose a pet and please know we are here for you too.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Each one helps me with the loss of Birdy. It has been way too many losses. I’m worn out from it. I appreciate you reaching out to me.

  2. Marleen says:

    I have a diabetic cat named Simba and I know how hard it is to regulate them. I feel totally inadequate and have had some pretty scary moments. I do my best but it seems as though the vets don’t provide necessary information. I feel your pain, Karen. Sending love and prayers for you and sweet Birdy.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thank you for the kind words. You also know the challenges of managing Simba’s diabetes. The information provided was lacking, then doing my own research was overwhelming. I guess the doctors can’t foresee every episode. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and may all go well for Simba.

  3. Randy says:

    As a diabetic myself, I can say that it is definitely hard to keep everything straight. I’m sure you did the best you could. We learn as we go and it is a constant monitoring issue, at least for me. Blessings to you for all you do for others who are in pain. You are a Godsend to so many.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Your words have helped so much, thank you. It is a process of learning how to manage the disease. Sometimes it is overwhelming. I appreciate your thoughts and reaching out.

  4. Ashley says:

    Try not to beat yourself up. I lost my Angel to diabetes last year. I was given so much misinformation by my vet. I feel for you. She was all over the place with her blood sugar and I couldn’t get her balanced. I’m sure Birdy knows you did your best and you love him so much. Peace to your heart, Karen.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of Angel. It is so hard to manage diabetes. I feel your pain. We do our best and that is our primary goal. Thank you for the kind words.

  5. Terri says:

    Karen, you do so much for the animals and they know that. You are a light for all of us and I would have never made it through the loss of my Bichon, Hercules, had it not been for you. Your books lifted my heart and soul from a very dark place. I find so much love and support with your mobile app. I was shocked when I got a personal email from you offering condolences. Thank you for always being there for us. I send my love and deepest sympathies for your Birdy.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thank you for the kind words. I am truly blessed to be a part of your journey. I know how much it hurts to lose someone you love. Hercules has a wonderful mom.

  6. Chester's mom says:

    As one of your students, I can say that all of your departed pets have only glowing messages of love for you and Birdy is the same. I checked in with him for you and he showed me the love he has for you. You are their angel, Karen. They love you so much. Birdy knows that you took care of him to the best of your abilities.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      You are so sweet for connecting with my precious boy. Thank you! There is a deep bond between us. Your words have helped me so much.

  7. Denise says:

    Thank you Karen. Your books gave helped me tremendously. I still have a ways to go. Losing my boy has been the hardest loss of all the losses I have had of losing a fur baby. He was my heart and soul pup.

  8. Laurie Loudamy says:

    Thank you so much for doing all that you do. I am so sorry for the loss of precious Birdy. He looks wonderful and I know how much you love him.

  9. Lisa Couture says:

    Dear Karen, My heart reaches out to you again as you mourn the loss of another precious pet. Birdy is so very fortunate to have you there for him on his journey. Thank you for helping me to survive the loss of my Sparky years ago, and for helping me to realize that the journey never ends.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel fortunate to have spent so many years with him. He is truly special. I remember your beloved Sparky and the beautiful communication we had. What a good way to bring a smile to my face today. Thank you for trusting me and for that wonderful memory.

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