Can Our Loved Ones See Us from Heaven?

Can Our Loved Ones See Us from Heaven?

A lot of my friends—at home, on Facebook, on this website—have lost family and close friends recently. A lady at my church has mourned the death of her son for ten years. I’m sure the idea of her child in heaven watching over her would bring great comfort. Which is why we want to know the answer to the question so badly. It’s our sorrow, our desire for continued connection. We want the love to continue from our spouse. We want Mom to continue to look out for us.

Those on the other side have no such need. They are in the presence of Jesus, of God the Father, of the Creator of the Universe. They haven’t stopped loving us, but love for any human pales in comparison to love for Christ. The Bible offers no clear-cut answer to our question. Passages recognize that people in heaven aren’t zombies. They’re aware of their surroundings. But those passages don’t out and out say, “And the heavenly throng looks down upon mankind and smiles upon their loved ones.” In Hebrews 12, the cloud of witnesses refers to the group mentioned in chapter eleven, a multitude who testify to the joy of following Christ. They don’t seem to be observing activities on earth.

So can our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends see us from heaven? So far what I’ve written veers toward the answer of “no.”


However, there is one great truth: God can do anything He wants to. If He wants my dad to peek “down” for a glimpse of me or my siblings, God can make it happen. He can also, in His mercy, send us signs to comfort us. Nothing unbiblical. Nothing to do with séances or ghosts. I’ve lost count of the number of stories I’ve heard as to His goodness in providing a sign to the grieving person that their loved one is fine. Be of good cheer.

I’m one of them.

All of his earthly life, my dad, a former military pilot, would rather be soaring through the heavens at mach speed than caged in a lowly automobile. At his funeral, as the report of the twenty-one-gun salute faded away, I looked up into a cloudless summer sky. Circling directly above the church courtyard was a lone hawk. My oldest friend standing at my side clutched my hand, and we both watched the hawk sail the wind in an upward spiral until he was too far away for me to see. Did my dad’s spirit inhabit the hawk? I doubt it, although God could make such a thing happen. For me, that hawk was a blessing from God, His sign to me confirming what I already knew. Daddy was completely free of the agony of cancer, and now he is free to serve the God he loves in perfect joy and strength. hawk

Author Catherine Marshall’s sign came in a dream. Her husband Peter Marshall, a famous preacher in the mid-twentieth century, left her a widow at a very young age. Faith kept her solid, but oh, how she missed the tower of strength she had relied upon! Her dream provided the strongest clue in answering our question, “Can loved ones in heaven see us on earth?” In her dream, she was walking on their property and saw her husband tending the garden, one of his favorite activities when he wasn’t preaching and writing. She ran up to him, so eager for his arms to be around her again, to kiss her, to see his eyes sparkle with love for her. No words were spoken, but when she pulled away from his embrace, she realized things were different. He seemed a little confused as to why she was there. He smiled at her with warmth and love, but not with the passion of a husband.

She awoke sadder and wiser. Yes, her husband was alive and well in heaven. Yes, he could see her because God allowed it for the moment. Yes, Peter loved her, but not in the way she longed for. She had to face it. Her life would continue on earth, his new life continues in heaven, and some day she would be in heaven, too. Her love for her earthly husband would be wonderfully perfected, yet different.

Our comprehension of eternity is so limited while we live on earth. In heaven, we’ll be able to understand so much more when we can see Jesus face to face. Here’s one thought Marshall published in her book, To Live Again, relating to her dream: “Perhaps those on the other side see the end from the beginning, and that makes all the difference.”

About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at


  1. BEAUTIFUL post, Linda. I agree with this so much. I, too, have felt like I have visited with people in heaven at certain times in my life when I needed that extra comfort, and I agree it’s when God allows us that “visit,” even if the visit is not the same as it would have been here on earth.

  2. Thanks for this post. My son and I were just talking about this a few days ago. I’m with you in that we have no complete answers, but can be assured God meets us in our need.

  3. Ann Ellison says:

    Beautiful post and I some wonderful truth there.

  4. Oh, Linda, as a recent widow, I can’t tell you how much this post touched my heart! I never did believe that our loved ones spend their days in heaven looking down on those of us left behind and keeping tabs on our activities. The things that happen to us and the choices we make would be much too heartbreaking at times, and we are promised there is no sadness and no tears in heaven.

    I do believe that God can and does facilitate that connection, however, when He sees fit. The feeling that came over me when I knew my husband had died in surgery assured me that he’s okay. Although my heart continues to be heavy with grief, I am at peace in the knowledge that he truly is okay, and I believe only God could have communicated that certainty.

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post.

  5. And when such a “visit” occurs, we feel so blessed by our gracious Father.

  6. You’re welcome. You were one of the people I thought about as this post gained focus in my mind.

  7. My last reply should have named Jude.

  8. Thank you, Ann.

  9. Patti, you are another of the many who I thought of when this post came to me. I’m glad it’s a comfort, maybe an affirmation of what you already know. I hesitated broaching the subject, worried that it might be too painful for hearts raw with grief. Thank you for letting me know that it touched your heart and didn’t stab it.

  10. Tina Dorward says:

    A great reminder and I love the way you described it Linda. I’m sorry for your loss of your father. Ache will turn to joy when the memories begin to become that and not the deep dull ache they are at the beginning when our desire to be connected with our loved one is so raw. May you feel God’s continued presence and comfort.

  11. Than you, Tina. I have very sweet memories of my dad.

Speak Your Mind