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When a loved one passes, we often find ourselves thinking about and missing them dearly, wishing that we could make contact with them just one more time. This may not be as far out of the realm of possibility as you have been led to believe, in fact, there is a chance your loved one has already been attempting to contact you.

It is said that the spirits of our loved ones watch over us from beyond, guiding us and caring for us in the best way that they see possible. While this is usually a very ‘hands off’ observation, there may be times that your loved one feeds the need to deliver an important message. They may be trying to warn you about a big decision, guide you down a certain path or simply let you know that they are okay.

Whatever the reason, contacting you at this stage is far more difficult than simply picking up the phone and giving you a shout. Despite the challenge, they may still be doing their best to reach you from the other side. By recognizing the most common signs of communication, and maintaining an open heart and mind, you can encourage these communication attempts, increasing their chances of success.

Here are 7 signs that a deceased loved one is trying to contact you and send you a message:

#1 – The family dog begins to act ‘odd’.

It is said that dogs, being highly sensitive creatures, are able to pick up on the presence of a spirit in a way that we are not. You may notice that your dog begins to bark or growl at nothing or starts to show interest in a corner of the room despite the fact that you see nothing there. While you may not be able to see or hear this presence, that doesn’t mean that Fido is going crazy for no reason. Dogs will, at times, act erratically for no reason, but it may also be a sign that a spirit is present.

#2 – Your electronics begin to ‘act up’ or malfunction.

When a spirit attempts to make contact with someone in this life, it requires a great deal of energy. When this energy all comes together, it can have an impact on our electrical devices. You may notice that radios or televisions suddenly turn to static for no reason, electronics turn on or off, lights flicker, or your devices begin to make strange noises. This indicates that someone is nearby at the time. Some spirits may even use these devices to attempt to make contact.

#3 – You may start to notice familiar signs or symbols.

Pay attention to the little details. Are you seeing butterflies everywhere that you turn? Is there a single cardinal that appears just outside your window every morning when you sit down for tea? Do you suddenly see little pink slippers everywhere, the same kind that your loved one wore religiously? Spirits may use familiar symbols or animals as a means of communicating with us. These are things that we will often see repeatedly over a stretch of time, making for a pattern of observation.

#4 – They appear to you in your dreams.

If you notice that you are having very vivid, realistic dreams that feature a loved one, there may be a good reason for it! Your dreams are a time when you are able to let go of the conscious restraints of the world, existing for a short period of time somewhere between our world and ‘the other side’. This makes it easier than ever for your deceased loved ones to reach you and make contact. While you may be tempted to shrug this off as nothing but a coincidence, pay attention to what they are telling you while you are sleeping!

#5 – You notice familiar scents around your home.

If your friend or loved one was known for a possessing a specific scent – this may be a perfume, cologne or even the scent of cigarette smoke, they may use that specific scent to alert you that they are present. If you are walking through your house and suddenly catch a whiff of this individual’s scent with no logical explanation (you weren’t walking past their closet still full of their clothing, or past the dresser where the perfume bottle still sits), then there’s a good chance your loved one is there with you at that moment.

#6 – Objects mysteriously move or disappear around your home.

If you leave a room, only to return and find that an object in your room has moved from one table to another, or that something has disappeared entirely, take note. The object itself may be entirely random, it may hold some sort of significance to the loved one in question. Coins are often used for the purpose of communication, left out for you to see as a way of telling you that your loved one sees you as valuable and important to them.

#7 – You just know that they are there with you.

There is something to be said for your intuition, a sense that shouldn’t be ignored. You may notice that you are feeling at peace, or that an unexplained calm has settled in. Or, it may feel as though a loved one is present in your thoughts. Others, still, can’t put their finger on what they are feeling exactly, they just know that their loved one is nearby.