When a loved one has passed on, thinking of that person or trying to contact them can put us in a very emotional state. This means that sometimes we are so worked up that we can't tell the difference between the loved one's communication and our own imagination, fears, and wishes. Here are some tips to help you sort through all of that, and hone in on what your loved one is conveying:
Humans who have been on Earth and then passed on usually exist on a relatively high level on the other side. This means that their communication will likely be very subtle, such as a vague feeling of love or appreciate, or maybe a vision of a favorite flower or the smell of a favorite fragrance. The more obvious signs, such as in "hauntings," are often coming from entities who never existed on the Earth, or haven't for a long time, or were in a very low (negative) energy state when they passed over (very emotionally underdeveloped, experiencing great negative emotion at time of death, or have stayed attached to the physical level for some reason).
So, chances are that your loved one will reach you in ways that are very quiet and subtle. And in order to tune in and pick up on these communications, you will need to be in a very quiet state - not just physically, but also mentally. Often loved ones come to us during the dream state. You might also try practicing meditation, or tuning into your loved one during quiet times, such as when you first wake up or just before going to sleep.