After-Death Communications: How to Encourage Signs From Loved Ones In Spirit

 “An After-Death Experience (ADC) is a spiritual experience, which occurs when you are contacted directly and spontaneously by a deceased family member or friend, without the use of psychics, mediums, rituals, or devices of any kind.” -from after-death.com

About a month ago, I went to see James Van Praagh demonstrate his mediumship at a large-audience show.  During the show, he took questions from audience members.  One question was from a woman who was doing cartwheels in the back to get his attention:

“Why hasn’t my grandmother contacted me?  She passed away over 15 years ago!”

James calmly went through some suggestions, but this women’s impatience cut him off at the pass. “I’ve already done all that. I’ve looked for signs, prayed, asked, pleaded.. I’ve even gone to mediums, and nothing.. she won’t speak to me!”

Exasperated, James simply told the energetic woman that she should take his meditation classes to learn how to calm her own energy first. The poor woman was left unsatisfied by his answer and I was left wondering.

The experience got me thinking about ADCs and the people I know who believe they’ve been convincingly contacted by loved ones on the other side.  I definitely was, my mother was as well, my step-father, my best friend..  So, if I know a lot of people who have had an after-death communication, are they really common?  What happens if, like the woman at the show, we don’t get a communication? How can we improve our odds?

This is a huge subject and if you have been following me for a while, you know already that nothing I do is short and sweet.  This will necessarily be a long post, so here’s the topics I’m going to delve into just in case you want to skip ahead to a particular section:

  1. The 12 Types of After-Death Communications
  2. After-Death Communication Statistics
  3. The Skeptical Argument
  4. Why Don’t Some Spirits Communicate With Us?
  5. Reasons Why Some Spirit Communications Aren’t Received
  6. An Example of Spirit Communication Techniques from the Spirit’s Point of View
  7. Why Don’t Spirits Just Levitate a Pen and Write Us A Note?
  8. How to Open Yourself Up to Spirit Communication in Any Stage of Grief
  9. Examples of Real Spirit Communications Received by Me, My Family and Friends
  10. Tell Us About Your After-Death Communications in the Comments!

The 12 Types of After-Death Communications

The term ‘After-death communication’ that we use to describe types of non-assisted communication from the deceased was coined by Bill and Judy Guggenheim in preparation for their book, “Hello from Heaven”.  Although they weren’t the first researchers in this field, their book brought ADCs into the public consciousness much the same way Raymond Moody’s book “Life after Life” did for Near-Death Experiences.  In it, they define twelve ways their survey participants were contacted by their dearly departed:

  1. Kinesthetic – Sensing a presence
  2. Auditory – Hearing a voice, either with your physical ears in or your head (mentally)
  3. Tactile – Feeling touched physically, like a hug, caress, kiss on the cheek
  4. Olfactory – Smelling a fragrance or odor connected to the deceased (perfume, cigar smell, etc)
  5. Visual – Seeing a full or partial appearance of the deceased; either an outline, transparent, just a part of the body, or full flesh-and-blood
  6. Visionary – A mental vision of the deceased with complete clarity while awake (either with eyes open or shut)
  7. Hypnogogic – Appearance of the deceased while falling asleep or just waking up (either physically, in the room, or mentally)
  8. Somnolent – An appearance of the deceased in a ultra-vivid and logical dream; ordered and atypical for most dreams.
  9. Out-of-Body – Meeting a deceased person while having an out-of-body experience.
  10. Technological – Receiving a phone call from the deceased, text-message, email or through a device, such as hearing their voice through radio static.
  11. Material – Physical phenomena that occurs such as lights turning on and off, items moving, music playing without being turned on.  Usually in a way that reminds you of the deceased.
  12. Symbolic – Seeing a symbol that reminds you of the deceased; a license plate, hearing a song, seeing their name or an animal (most commonly butterflies) that reminds you of them.

After-Death Communication Statistics

After-death communications are far more common than near-death experiences in the general population, even though the latter are arguably more well-known.  A study done by Jenny Streit-Horn, a doctoral student under Dr. Jan Holder, revealed that 30-35% of people can expect to have an after-death communication in their lifetimes.  Within the first year of bereavement, a person is 75% likely to experience an ADC, although a first ADCs can happen as long as several decades after the death occurred.

Grief and type of relationship also seem to influence the prevalence of ADCs.  People who lost spouses tended to have a greater number of ADCs than parental, sibling or friendship relationships.  People who are actively in the grieving process also reported more ADCs than people who described themselves as past the grieving process, though both groups reported high numbers of ADCs regardless.  Anecdotally, people in the first stages of grief or pathological grief tend not to have ADCs until their grief has lessened somewhat.  Aside from Crisis Apparitions (paranormal visions or visitations that notify loved ones of a person’s death), it would seem that intense emotions can ‘wall off’ a person from receiving paranormal visitations.

From the study, the following statements about After-Death Communications were found to be true:

  • Bereaved people more than non-bereaved have ADCs; about ¾ of people within one year of the death of a loved one.
  • Widows and widowers especially.
  • Women more than men
  • People of all ages, with older people perhaps slightly more likely, probably because the older a person is, the more likely the person has experienced others’ deaths.
  • People of all nationalities, with those from ADC-affirming cultures reporting more.
  • People of all ethnicities, with some perhaps slightly more than others – from highest to lowest among Americans: African-American, Mexican-American, Caucasian-American, and Japanese-American.
  • People of all education levels.
  • People of all incomes, with people with relatively lower incomes perhaps slightly more likely.
  • People of all religious affiliations and practices.
  • People no matter what their physical condition.
  • People no matter what their mental condition.
  • The great majority of ADC researchers have noted that ADCrs in their studies were mentally healthy. There is no evidence that ADC alone indicates psychological disorder or mental illness.

ADCs are under-reported.  In the study, 54% of the participants had never told another person prior to the survey.  Many participants admitted to fear of ridicule as the reason for their reluctance to share their experience.  It is probable that an even higher percentage of people likely have an ADC than is currently reported, possibly making this one of the most commonly experienced spiritual occurrence that is studied by paranormal and afterlife researchers.

The Skeptical Argument

When it comes to any type of paranormal activity involving personal experiences, skeptics can only usually point to one of four explanations.

  1. Deception – skeptics might suggest that a grieving person who has received a lot of attention right after a death might invent such stories to gain back that attention once everyone returns to their lives and the grieving become very lonely.  In this case, since the majority of people surveyed didn’t tell another person about their experience, deception might be difficult to use as an explanation for most ADCs, though in rare cases, it’s always possible.
  2. Hallucination – grief is an extreme psychological state.  Some scientists and psychologists believe that our brains will invent such hallucinations in response to grief, although there have been no scientific studies on this topic.  ADCs are also prevalent in people who aren’t actively grieving.
  3. Paradolia or Misidentification – Humans are great at pattern recognition.  Just like the ability to look at a cloud and see an elephant, humans can look at an event and draw personal conclusions from it that may not really fit or simply be coincidental.  In truth, in each case these are ways a person may try to make a coincidental event fit with a preconceived idea or expectation.
  4. Drugs or Alcohol – Often times, a grieving person is offered a sedative in order to help them get through the first few days and the funeral.  In many cases, this is a likely to be a benzodiazepine such as Xanax or Valium. In other cases, a person may self-medicate with alcohol, opiates, marijuana and the like.  When drugs or alcohol are involved, a person’s perceptions are altered and they might be more likely to imagine or hallucinate an ADC.

Although the four reasons above might explain some ADCs, it’s hard to explain away all ADCs this way.  If 60 million Americans are likely to have an ADC in their lifetime, is it possible that all of them will be lying, spontaneously hallucinating or on drugs?  How can we then explain ADCs that occur well after the initial grief has dissipated?

Normal, well-adjusted healthy individuals are not prone to suddenly hallucinate, nor would most of these people have the incentive to lie, especially to an anonymous survey.  Although its possible that some people may misidentify or use drugs, the sheer number of ADCs reported makes the probability that all ADCs are false very low overall.

Note: The next section contains information I’ve gained from years of afterlife research.  To do your own research, visit my Recommended Reading and Resources for Afterlife Research pages.

Why Don’t Some Spirits Communicate with Us?

Barring issues on our end (which I will get to in the next section), there are a variety of reasons why some spirits don’t or can’t communicate with us right away.

  1. Spirits are subjected to an infinite variety of afterlife scenarios when they pass on.  Some spirits don’t know they have died, and stubbornly cling to the earth.  Others were so ill when they died, they need a period of convalescence in the spirit realm.  Spirits who pass away with severe psychological issues may be relegated to astral planes where communication isn’t possible yet.
  2. Spirits on higher-dimensions may realize that communication right now isn’t in your best interest.  Perhaps it will prevent you from moving forward or you will become tied to constant reassurances that they are with you.
  3. Some spirits need to acclimate to their own world before they can begin getting in contact with yours.  Some spirits will need to relearn how energy works and work with their teachers and guides who can assist them with communication.
  4. Time in the spirit world doesn’t exist, and outside of a human body we lose much of the anxiety (and human logic) we had on earth.  Our loved ones in spirit love us dearly, but know that you will be with them in what may seem like only a matter of days to them, even though it is a lifetime for us.
  5. People typically visit the spirit world when they sleep so spirits may not realize that they need to make a special trip to contact you while you are conscious.

The scenarios above are rare. Most spirits do have a desire to communicate with the living and will try endlessly to let you know that they are okay.  Even as they attempt to communicate with you, there are things on our end that may prevent their message from getting across.

Reasons Why Some Spirit Communications Aren’t Received

  1. We might see or experience something meaningful, such as a dream or a symbol but we pass it off as a coincidence or ignore it.
  2. We are too deeply bereaved.  With terrible sadness and depression comes a wall of emotion that even the best and strongest of spirits cannot penetrate.  When our grief begins to lesson, the communication will begin to get through.  This commonly happens when you lose someone and that person appears to a relative or friend instead of you.  The first reaction is, “why did my loved one appear to X and not to me, the one who was closest to him/her?”  A loved one in spirit definitely wants you to know that he or she is still around, and so they appear to whomever is most receptive to get the message to you.
  3. We make demands or expect too much: we might say “If you are here, turn off that light” or “Make this song play in the car if you are listening”.  Spirits can do many things, but they don’t suddenly gain superpowers when they die.  They need to learn how to manipulate energy, and each spirit has a way they can communicate best – likely not the way you are demanding them to perform.  Allow the spirit to choose the communication and have faith that the message will be meaningful to you.
  4. We have unresolved anger or resentment toward the spirit.  Negative emotions are another type of wall, once that must be resolved before communications can be clearly felt.  Resolve your issues with the spirit in question. Whatever it was, remember that they were only human. If you speak out-loud, they will generally hear you so talking out your feelings can help.  Out of the body, spirits know immediately all the ways they have hurt others and always desire forgiveness.  Once you are in a space of love and forgiveness, you will get the message you are intended to receive.

Why Don’t Spirits Just Levitate a Pen and Write Us a Note?

I consider myself a logical person, and when initially trying to understand the phenomena of ADCs, I found myself really frustrated by how vague they can be at times.  Without a doubt, there are plenty of communications where a person sees their loved one standing in front of them looking quite alive.  In other cases, they get a phone call from the deceased. These are pretty straight-forward cases where there is little room to doubt that a communication occurred.  But most of us will have symbolic ADCs; we will hear a song on the radio that is meaningful, have a butterfly land on our arm, or smell a perfume.  While these are beautiful experiences, I wondered – why all the vague and dramatic symbolism?  Why can’t a spirit just leave us a note?  If levitating a pen is difficult, how about knocking on the wall and answering yes and no questions, or rearranging pennies to spell out their name, or smudging a mirror with “I’m Still Here!” while I’m in the shower?

I wanted better results and I made up my mind that if I died, surely I would do something that would show my loved one beyond any doubt that I was still around.  So why don’t ALL spirits do that?

Many years went by and I really studied spirit literature.  I learned that mastering energy in our dimension is extremely difficult and it requires the skill of an advanced spirit.  Unless our loved one is that advanced, it’s unlikely they have the skill or experience to do those kinds of definitive physical things that we expect.  Spirits of all stripes can manipulate energy.  Our physicists have already discovered that all of matter is energy, just denser than other kinds.  Thoughts and emotions are energy too, and because this type of energy is far less dense, spirits have an easier time manipulating it as a rule.

Consider how difficult it really is to make these symbolic ADCs happen:

In order for you to hear a meaningful song on the radio, they either have influence your thoughts to be in the right place at the right time and turn on the radio, or they have to influence the thoughts of the radio DJ to play that song at the exact time and place that you are listening.  It’s not as easy as it looks! Yet, it’s far easier than levitating a pen against Earth physics.

To have a butterfly land on your arm, a spirit has to influence the intention of that butterfly, and make sure you are in an area where a butterfly will be able to land on you.  That means cutting through all of the brain chatter in our heads to convince us to take a walk outside at the exact right time that a butterfly happens to be flying by, then convincing the butterfly to ignore its instincts and land on a human!

Smelling a perfume requires a spirit to use energy to match the signature of a perfume that you might recognize, or influence a person who is wearing that exact perfume to cross your path.  Again, not easy.

But, you might say, “What about hauntings?  Those spirits can slam doors and make lights go on and off. Are they just more experienced?”  Well, in a way, yes.  Those spirits are most likely tied to the earth for one reason or another.  Some people call these ‘Earthbound’ spirits.  They aren’t bound to the earth, really, they have just chosen not to cross dimensions.  When a spirit spends years, decades and centuries walking as a ghost on Earth, they do learn a trick or two – things that the recently deceased who do cross over have yet to learn.  Then again, earthbound spirits are usually extremely emotional and psychologically a little muddled.  These spirits have no problem scaring people to get attention.  Your loved one would never want to scare you with loud bangs and such, even if they could.

Case in point: I read an ADC once where a teenage girl woke up to see the full figure of her deceased father standing over her.  His body looked like it was made up of sparks of electricity.  Suffice it to say, she was startled by the wild unexpected vision and screamed.  Later, her father got a message through her to say, “I worked so hard on that energy body! I can’t believe it scared you!” Lesson learned.  Although the father wanted to do something spectacular to show his daughter he was still alive in the spirit world, it didn’t have the intended effect.  Most of the time, spirits know what we can handle and what we can’t.  They generally prefer not to scare us out of our wits!

It’s also important to understand how our psychology changes when we lose our bodies.  Spirits are emotionally rather than logically oriented so while they can reason just as well as we can, they prefer to have an energetic and emotional impact on you, rather than just appeasing your logical mind.

In the next section, I am going to use some examples from Dr. Newton’s work with Life Between Life regression to show from the spirit’s point of view how they attempt to reach us after their passing (and how difficult it can be sometimes!)

An Example of ADC Techniques from the Spirit’s Point of View
From Destiny of Souls, by Dr. Michael Newton

Dr. Michael Newton pioneered techniques for life-between-life regression, and in a hypnotic trance, his subjects can go to past lives and then to the activities they do as spirits in between lives.  Dr. Newton’s techniques are used by certified therapists all over the world trained in his techniques through The Newton Institute.  For over 40 years, his clients from all walks of life and from different parts of the US have described a very similar afterlife, convincing Dr. Newton and his colleges that not only is the afterlife real, but it is a logical and organized dimension not dissimilar from our own.  I highly recommend his books, Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls, and Memories of the Afterlife.

In Destiny of Souls, Dr. Newton devotes a whole chapter to examples where spirits use children to communicate, pets, strangers, visions, objects and all sorts of other ways to get through to us.  Spirits use a variety of techniques that differ based on the spirit’s abilities and our ability to receive communication best. By learning how spirits communicate to us from their own perspective, it can help us be more receptive to receive and believe those communications. Here I’ve picked out two examples from that chapter to illustrate the process behind that communication.

Sylvia’s Dream

In this example, Dr. Newton has regressed his patient to recall a previous life where he/she as ‘Sylvia’ has just passed away. Sylvia, in spirit,  is trying to comfort her mother who is grieving.

S:=Sitter; Dr. N:=Dr. Newton

S: “I begin with more conventional thought communication while she is awake but I am getting nowhere.  She is so sad.  My mother’s grief at not being at my bedside is overpowering her.”

Dr. N: “What methods have you tried so far?”

S: “I project my thoughts with an orange-yellow light, like the flame of a candle, and place my light around her head, sending loving thoughts.  I’m not effective.  She doesn’t realize I am with her.  I am going for a dream.”

Dr. N: “All right, Sylvia, take me though this slowly.  Please start by telling me if you pick out one of your mother’s dreams or if you can create one of your own.”

S: “I don’t create dreams well yet.  It is much easier for me to take one of hers so I can enter the dream to effect a more natural contact and then participate. I want her to know it is clearly me in the dream.”

[…]

S: “The first couple dreams are unsuitable…Finally, she has a dream where she is walking alone in the fields around my house.  You should know she has no grief in this dream.  I am not dead yet.”

S: “…I enter the dream from the other end of the field by matching my energy patterns to my mother’s thoughts.  I project an image of myself as I was the last time she saw me.  I come slowly across the field to let her get used to my presence.  I wave and smile and then come to her.  We hug each other and now I send wave of rejuvenating energy into her sleeping body.”

Dr. N: “And what will this do for your mother?”

S: “This picture is raised to a higher level of consciousness for my mother.  I want to insure the dream will stay with her after she wakes up.”

[…]

S: “The influence of a vivid dream like this is very great.  When my mother wakes up, her mind has a vivid impression of this landscape with me and suspects I am with her.  In the time memory is so real she is sure of it.”

[…]

S: “…I [will] continue to send waves of energy into her over the next few days until she begins to accept my passing.  I want her to believe I am still part of her and always will be.”

Helen and her Husband’s Ring

In this regression, a man recalls the time after his death when he tries to comfort his grieving wife, Helen.

S:=Sitter; Dr. N:=Dr. Newton

Dr. N: “What do you do if your efforts right after death are not having the desired results anywhere on the body?”

S: “When I found that my wife, Helen, was not receiving me by a direct approach, I finally resorted to working with a household familiar.”

Dr. N: “You mean with an animal – a cat or dog?”

S: “I have used them before, but no.. not this time.  I decided to pick out some object of value to me that my wife would know was very personal.  I chose my ring.”

The ring he is referring to is a large ring with a raised turquoise stone in the center.  The man had a nervous habit of rubbing the stone and his wife often joked that he would one day wear it down completely.  Helen and her husband would often sit by the fire together and talk about their day, while her husband would continue to rub the stone on his ring out of habit.

S: “When I work with objects and people, I have to wait until the scene is very tranquil.  Three weeks after my death, Helen lit a fire and was looking into it with tears in her eyes.  I began by wrapping my energy within the fire itself, using the fire as a conduit of warmth and elasticity.

Dr. N: “Excuse my interruption, but what does ‘elasticity’ mean?”

S: “It took me centuries to learn this. Elastic energy is fluid.  To make my soul energy fluid requires intense concentration and practice because it must be thin and fleecy.  The fire serves as a catalyst in this maneuver.”

Dr. N: “Which is just the opposite from a strong, narrow beam of energy?”

S: “Exactly.  I can be very effective by rapidly shifting my energy from a fluid to a solid state and back again.  The shifting is subtle but it awakens the human mind.”

S: “Helen was connecting with the fire and thus with me.  For a moment the grief was less oppressive, and I moved straight into the top of her head.  She felt my presence… slightly. It was not enough.  Then I began shifting my energy as I told you, from hard to soft in fork fashion.

Dr. N: “What do you do when you ‘fork’ energy?”

S: “I split it.  While keeping a soft fluid energy on Helen’s head on maintain contact, I fork a hard beam at the box which holds my ring in a table drawer.  My intent is to open up a smooth pathway from her mind to the ring.  This is why I am using a hard steady beam, to direct her to the ring.”

S: “With my guidance, she slowly gets up without knowing why.  She moves, as if sleepwalking, to the table and hesitates.  Then she opens the drawer.  Since my ring is in the box I continue to shift back and forth from her mind to the lid of the box.  Helen opens it and takes out my ring, holding it in her left hand. […] Then I know I have her!”

Dr. N: “Because..?”

S: Because the ring still retains some of my energy.  Don’t you see?  She is feeling my energy on both ends of the fork.  This is a two-directional signal.  Very effective.

Dr. N: “Oh, I do see – then what do you do with Helen?”

S: “Now, I move into overdrive with a full-power bridge between myself standing on her right side and the ring on the left.  She turns in my direction and smiles.  Helen then kisses my ring and says, “Thanks, darling.  I know you are with me now.  I’ll try and be more brave.”

How to Enhance your Chances of Receiving an ADC at any Stage in the Grief Process:

  1. It sounds simple, but you must be open to possibility that spirit communications are real, that coincidences aren’t always just coincidences, and that a communication may happen at any time.  Believe it or not, most spirit communications don’t get received because we are just too stubborn, obtuse, distracted or logical to accept and be open to them.
  2. The easiest way for a spirit to communicate with us is through dreams.  In order to enhance your dream recall, tell yourself before bed that you will remember your dreams.  It sounds silly, but it works.  Also, don’t sleep with the TV or music on, that destroys dream recall because you will become distracted as soon as you wake up.
  3. Take time as often as possible to do a ‘minute meditation’.  In a peaceful moment without distraction, feel the ‘now’ of the moment.  Quiet your mind as best you can and be just solidly in the moment.  If you do it at the same time or place as often as you can, a spirit will utilize that time to try to communicate with you.  Listen to your inner thoughts, once you’ve cleared out all of the other worries that race around your head, you may hear from your loved one using a mental communication.
  4. Be cognizant of the 12 types of communication; your loved one may use any of those types.  It may be something that a stranger says to you, or a random symbol.  You may even just sense that your loved one is near.  These are all valid forms of communication.  ADCs may not always be dramatic and obvious.
  5. Think of your loved one, talk to them out loud as if they are still here in the physical.  Spirits know when you are thinking of them, and they can hear you when you speak.  Work out any issues, send them love, ask them to communicate but give them time and space to do it on their own terms.
  6. If your grief is overwhelming, know that it may be more difficult to get those communications but that in time, they will get through.  This is most often when a spirit will use the dream technique, so avoid alcohol or sedatives before bed.
  7. Remember that time doesn’t work the same way on the other side.  Some people get a communication soon after death, and some don’t get a communication for years and years afterward.  Patience is key.
  8. If you don’t get a communication at all, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t loved or that your loved one in spirit doesn’t want to talk to you.  Our loved ones always want us to know they are around and are still a part of our daily lives.  If it has been several years and you still haven’t received a communication (and you’ve done all of the above), you can make an appointment with a reputable medium to encourage communication.

Like the exasperated woman at the show, there might be a case where despite everything you do, communication just isn’t happening.  There are a lot of variables when it comes to inter-dimensional communication and sometimes we just have to trust that there is a good reason.  Maybe your loved one is involved in their own healing on the other side, or perhaps they are very young spirits who just can’t manage cross-dimensional communication.  Trust that you are loved and that your loved one is always connected to you, even if you don’t get proof of that.  On the other hand, be patient.  My mother didn’t get her first ADC from her mother for 16 years!  When it finally did happen, it was powerful, timely and life-changing for her.

To learn more about ADCs and spirit communication, I would encourage you to read “Hello from Heaven” by Bill and Judy Guggenheim, “My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir” by Galen and Dr. Kenneth Stoller,  and “Destiny of Souls” by Dr. Michael Newton.

Examples of Real Spirit Communications Received by Me, My Family and Friends

ADC from a man who was ‘like a Grandfather’: A man who was like a grandfather to me appeared in a dream to say goodbye after he died.  He was “brought-in” to my dream through my great-grandfather who appeared first, smiled, then morphed into this gentleman.  No words were spoken, but there was a powerful feeling of gratitude and love as he looked into my eyes.  He had Parkinson’s before he died and so didn’t communicate well or easily in life, but in the dream I felt his deep appreciation that I played the piano for him and spoke to him kindly during his visits.

ADC from my Great-Grandfather:

During the lowest, most difficult time in my life, I had a powerful and realistic dream of my great-grandfather.  He visited me in the dream to communicate that my life was headed in the wrong direction.  I agreed, but I was unsure what to do.  I asked him for his advice.  He just smiled and “said” (there were not words, exactly) that I already knew exactly what to do.  Look into my heart and follow my intuition.  When I awoke, I did indeed know exactly what to do.  I followed my own advice and changed the course of my life by making the difficult decision that I had previously been ignoring.

Other ADCs I’ve had:

ADC From my Grandmother:

When my friend’s grandmother passed away I was attending her funeral thinking of my own grandmother.  Just then, the classical music being played in the funeral home was my grandmother’s signature piece that she played on the piano,  “Rhapsody in Blue.”  When I went outside a few minutes later, I was speaking to another friend’s mother when I realized she was wearing my grandmother’s perfume, “White Shoulders”.  I remarked about it, and my friend’s mother said that although she never typically wore that perfume, she decided to on that day on a whim.

ADC from my Grandfather (Pop-Pop):

My grandfather, who I always called “Pop-Pop” passed away a little over two years ago.  About 6 months after he passed, I was thinking of him while driving home on the highway.  I mused that it would be nice if I could have a sign from him.  Just then, a car merged onto the highway right in front of me with the license plate that said “POP-POP”. PopPopStunned, I managed to get a picture of it! The picture is not the best – it was a rainy night, I was driving and shaky from excitement, but you can clearly see that the car right in front of me says, ‘POP-POP’. That was proof positive in my mind!

[Update June 2nd, 2016]

I just received three incredible new ADCs from my grandfather!  Because of his love of Disneyworld and the trips we’ve taken together in my childhood, I asked my grandfather to send me something in reference to his favorite ride at the park: “It’s a Small World After All” (you know, the one with the dancing dolls?).  I knew it was a tall order, but I was prepared to wait.  Well, it’s been three years but holy cow did he come through in a big way!  First, as the ice cream truck went by our house the song abruptly changed to ‘It’s a Small World After All”.  The next day, we received some random junk mail – a catalog that had the words ‘Its a small world after all” emblazoned on the front (I cut it out, it’s now on the fridge!).  Lastly, yesterday when I logged onto cnn.com to check the news, there was an entire article on the history of the ride!  When I clicked on the video, the familiar strains of the song came bursting through my speakers and I knew it wasn’t coincedence.. my grandfather isn’t subtle.  Three random references to the very song I asked about in three days?  And not a common song by any means?  Amazing!!

My Mother’s ADC from her Mother, my Grandmother:

My mother sadly lost her mother to cancer two weeks after I was born (you can read my post about my pre-birth visitation to my grandmother here).  My mother’s life took a difficult turn in the years following her mother’s death and yet she didn’t get any communication from her.  It wasn’t until I was 16 years old – 16 years after my grandmother’s death when my mother got a very powerful communication, and it happened at the lowest point of my mother’s life, when she was directionless, miserable and desperate. She sat in the car, crying and begging her mother for some kind of sign.

Not long after that, she had a crystal clear and realistic dream of her mother in that same car, sitting in the back seat.  My mother no longer remembers the content of what was said, but the image and symbolism was important.  My mother was driving, in charge of her life, but her mother was in the backseat reassuring her and giving her directions.  It was meant to say that even though my mother is in charge of her own destiny, that her mother is still very much a part of her life, guiding her ‘from the back seat’.

My Step-Father’s ADC from his Father:

My step-father lost his father to a sudden heart-attack over 20 years ago.  He was describing his father to someone once and said that his father was one of those un-emotional types of men who never told his kids ‘I love you’.  Although my step-father knew he was loved, he recalls that he never heard those words actually said to him.  Not long after that conversation, my step-father had a ultra-real dream when his father appeared to him and said, “Son, I LOVE YOU!”.  I guess he had heard that conversation and wanted to make it clear that even if those words hadn’t been spoken in life, they were true nonetheless.

My Grandmother’s ADC from her husband, my Grandfather:

A week or two after my grandfather died, my Grandmother who I call ‘Nanny’ received a message from my Grandfather, her husband, that was undeniable. My grandparents loved Florida – they had a condo in Naples, and used to take my family to Disney World, which are some of my favorite memories of my childhood.  On the mantle in the room where my Grandfather died, was a music box of a carousel from Disney World with all of the Disney Characters on it.  The music box hadn’t been touched in years, but after my Grandfather died, and on two separate occasions the music box started playing “It’s a small world” when my Grandmother walked into the room.

My Friend’s ADC from her Father:

My best friend tragically lost her father when she was just turning 25.  It was devastating for all of us. Though he had been sick for a long time, he always seemed to pull through. My friend knew on the morning that he passed away, she had some sort of premonition.  As we were getting coffee, she put her hand on my arm and stopped me.  Looking at me intensely, she vowed that if her father died she would go to Ireland to visit her father’s relatives. Around 7 hours later, her father passed away in the hospital.  That weekend, we drove to a local park together as she was working through her intense grief.  As we were driving up, we could hear the strains of Irish bagpipe music.  When we pulled up, we were stunned to see a man in full Irish regalia playing the bag pipe, something that is traditionally done at Irish funerals.  There was no particular reason for this man to be in the park that day – there was no party or funeral.  He was standing completely alone, in the park, in his Irish kilt playing bagpipe music.  We both knew this was a sign from her father.  Years later, she did keep her promise and went to Ireland.

[Update August 26, 2016]

My Mother’s ADC from a family friend:

This is a brand new ADC that occurred a few weeks ago.  Last autumn, a friend of the family named Romit sadly passed away from a quick form of aggressive cancer.  My mother and step-father visited him the night before he passed away.  My mother reminisced about the fabulous pool parties that they had been invited too.  Romit pulled out all of the stops for these parties, with the best food and entertainment, and of course, the huge in-ground pool that my mother, a swimmer, enjoyed tremendously.  When she saw Romit before his passing, she expressed her appreciation for the pool parties.  A few weeks back, she thought of Romit again and talked out loud to him about the regret she felt that she would never attend another of his pool parties.  She had said that ‘he promised her another pool party’, likely a reference to what they spoke about the night before his passing.

The very next day, my step-father walked into the kitchen to tell my mother that they had been invited to a pool party.  My step-father knew nothing of the conversation my mother had had with Romit’s spirit the day before or her joking admonition that she was ‘promised’ a pool party and wouldn’t get it.  The pool party invite was with a distant friend or relative, and who invited them was inconsequential.  The whole point was the fact that Romit heard my mother, and the invite to a pool party came the next day.  It was Romit’s way of saying, “I can’t give you another pool party, but I will make sure you get an invitation to a different one!”

What do you think?

These are the after-death communications that were experienced by just a small circle of my friends and family, and you can see that there were quite a lot of them.  You can perhaps suggest that we were delusional, hallucinating or you can even accuse me of lying, but that’s where a little bit of faith and intuition comes into play.  When communications happen, you have a choice: throw it away as a coincidence, to choose to see it as a loving message of a loved one in spirit who wants you to know that they were more than just their body – the essence of who they are lives on. Their personality, sense of humor and most importantly their emotional connection with their loved ones survive.


So, have you experienced an after-death communication?  Do you know someone else who has?  Tell us about it in the comments!

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181 thoughts on “After-Death Communications: How to Encourage Signs From Loved Ones In Spirit

  1. I have prayed and prayed for sign from my husband of 22 years. All I want is him back and he won’t even come say goodbye. If I could just figure out how to find him.

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    1. Hi Shirley,

      There could be a lot of reasons why you haven’t gotten a sign and I know how frustrating it can be. If you would like to discuss it further, send me an email (address in my about page) and I can go through some of the things you can try.

      Jenn

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  2. I searched for this topic because of my personal experience, I can categorically say I was a sceptic, I have lost a few family members , though they tended to have lived a long full life,whilst I was upset, I had comfort knowing this. Recently I lost a cousin at age 44, (I will call him B) a cousin I can honesty say I did not know as well as I would like to have, but our family are a large very close family regardless of geographical distances, that is something that has always given me comfort and value. B passed away suddenly in his sleep. B was a larger than life figure a keen Rugby payer, football supporter and was chairman of his Rugby club, much loved and respected.

    The realisation of grief, hit me like an unstoppable force the moment I seen the Hurst arrive at the crem with the words “Son” & “Daddy” draped beside his coffin. I should say I am not a typical emotional person, something I am reminded of by others often. From that moment and every moment from then even now as I write I am emotional. The stories told about “B” by his son, daughter, sister, brother and the pain his Mam, Dad and hundreds of others really set something off in me.

    After the service I was alone for the rest of the day and night. Feeling emotional I cried on and off for the majority of the day, whilst listening to “B” favourite song, remembering the stories and few memories I had of “B”. I have never experienced feelings like this before I felt sad, not down, not sorry for myself, I felt “SAD” very sad a different kind of sad one I had never experienced, nor do I ever want to experience it again. Several hours past I was driving along sobbing uncontrollably, all of a sudden there was a very strong smell of Ralgex (Ralgex is something I only associate with Rugby a heat gel rubbed into the muscle) and I knew immediately, “B” had done this to try and ease this pain I was feeling. This would be the only way he could make contact in a way I would understand.

    The significant part for me is this, I have nasal problems and have not been able to smell properly for years, my sense of smell is virtually non -existent, it is rare I can smell anything. I do not drink, smoke take medication, do not suffer with mental health issues nor have I ever. I dont play Rugby anymore, had nothing odoures in the car, do not spray anything up my nose to clear my airways. I have never been to these “people readers”, cryptic message things, msytic megs of the world, I always considered them non-sense and still do, after all I can only believe in what I see, hear touch and SMELL. There was only 1 explanation “B” had done this to stem the pain, and let me know its OK.

    This was the most difficult funeral I have been too, it was tough to watch, listen, hearing the stories, seeing the grief, feeling the pain, I have some comfort knowing B is still here, coming back to life in other ways.

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    1. Dear R, Thank you very much for sharing your story. I am also a natural skeptic (despite the fact that I write a blog such as this one), and I too would look for any other explanation first. Such a specific smell, and one that you would instantly associate to Rugby and thus, your cousin, really can’t be explained any other way – at least not without jumping through a lot of unrealistic hoops. I think ‘B’ knew that in order to let you know that he was okay and at peace, he had to do something that you also wouldn’t explain away. He picked the perfect thing – something that can’t simply be dismissed as the product of a grieving mind. Smell is definitely a way that spirits use to call attention to their presence, especially because our sense of smell has a strong association with memory. The smell of perfume, roses, or cigar smoke is very common. In this case, B used a smell that best represented him. I’m so glad the message got through. We still grieve the physical person that we could talk to directly, see and touch, but it helps to know that our separation is temporary.
      Take care,
      Jenn

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  3. My mother passed away in year 2013 due to cancer. She was single parent so she was everything for me. I’m married but she was with and I was taking care of her.

    I had few ADC like when i was depress to the point where I even hurt myself my mom came in dream of my close relative saying “why you are taking care of my daughter she is all alone right now”. That relative called me and asked if I’m OK and den told me her dream.

    I’m from India and in India Basil (Tulsi) plant is very holy and you will find it in home of every Indian. I wanted that plant so I asked my maid if she can get me Basil plant… next day door bell rang and there was a guy standing with Basil plant in his hand and said Old lady downstairs said you need it … and our maid is no where close to old.

    Once we went to meet our friend, we were talking and their 2 year daughter playing and suddenly she saw me and said “Tai ji (referring me) is scared”.

    But point of big concern for me is that I never see her happy in my dreams … either she is very quite and looking sad or she is dying … and her dying dream is very frequent.

    Please help me to understand what she wants from me … What I’ve done wrong ?

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    1. Shri,
      Thank you so much for writing. I’m sorry you lost your mother to such a terrible disease. First of all, you have done nothing wrong – absolutely nothing. You loved and cared for your mother and that is the most wonderful thing a person can do. I can think of two reasons why you might be having dreams about your mother where she is unhappy. First, its possible that you are still dealing with the tragedy and grief and its coming out in your dreams. In that case, it is something that is not coming from your mother but from your depression. The other possibility is that maybe your mother is worried about you and you are sensing this worry. Is there a reason why your mother would be worried about you right now? What I would do is talk to your mother. Just like you would if she were sitting with you. Tell her how you feel, tell her that you miss her but that you are going to try and live a life that will make her proud. Maybe if your mom is reassured that you are okay, you will have happier dreams and visitations from her. All mothers worry about their children, whether they are on earth or on the other side. Remind her how strong you are and how much you will always love her. All the best to you – take care of yourself.
      Jenn

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  4. correction to statement above :

    I had few ADC like when i was depressed to the point where I even hurt myself my mom came in dream of my close relative and said “why you are not taking care of my daughter she is all alone right now”. That relative called me and asked if I’m OK and den told me her dream.

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  5. I think I have in my sleep back in 95 I had my first lost of my 9 year old. She passed in car a wreake and at that time I started doing all I could to be in touch with her all my dreams stoped and I read all the books I could find but nothing that I can remember just wake up feeling like I had been with her could feel her but not reamber so time went own never thought that she came I would plant trees and tell God they where here and the trees would do things that that tile of tree shouldn’t do wee all most 3 years ago my out her girl passed she was 30. And about 1 week she came through in a dream with her sis the 1 one that passed in 95 and when I could Renner any dreams with her the where all way sad and she was a little girl but this time 21 years later my old girl that ed brought her through and she was a big girl now they didn’t say any thing and had there nana with them that ha passed 6 months be 4 my first girl passed on her birthday and 6 month later my first girl passed they where all to get her and looked happy my mom was killed when I was 9 so iv had so much death but have all ways believed in live after what is called death I just don’t understand why they all just don’t talk to me I know that around and they know how I believe so can any one help me understand and by the way the house I levied in is 132 years and I know all about the Olney wonders and I can he are the all the time and know it’s them so if some could help my know why it’s so hard 4 my girls to. Ttalk to me and let me know how they are moving on in their neew life pleas do so

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    1. Dear Judy,
      I’m so sorry that you’ve had to much loss in your life. What I might suggest, since it sounds like some time as passed, is to contact a reputable medium through the forever family foundation. In the meantime, don’t forget to talk to your girls. Tell them what is in your heart. That can help them make contact with you more easily. I hope you are able to connect with your family, Judy. Best of luck to you.

      Jenn

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  6. My mother passed away yesterday, I stumbled on this blog by just randomly surfing the web. One second I am not ready to hear from her, its too fresh and painful but in the next I am desperate to hear from her because of the guilt I feel for not being there this week when she needed me. This blog gave me comfort in the fact that when the time is right I will hear from my mother again. So thank you very much.

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    1. Dear Christa,
      My heartfelt condolences for the loss of your mother. You are surely deep in the beginning stages of grief, and as you’ve stated, it may not yet be time for you to get an ADC from your mother. Take care of yourself and give yourself the time to mourn. Although you may not hear from your mom right away, please know that she is still very much a part of your life and watching over you. When she feels that you will best benefit from hearing from her, she will make contact. Take care, Jenn

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  7. Someone I held very close to my heart committed suicide march 21st. I I found out over a week later. Three days after I found out, I started hearing him talk to me in my head. I spent an hour before bed one night talking to him about how hard his death was for me and how I was angry that he didn’t contact me when his depression got overwhelming. I fell asleep with him bringing up memories we had shared. I woke up the next day feeling like a giant burden had been lifted. I can still hear him talking to me about random things like how he likes my new glasses… I feel like I’m losing my mind but I don’t want it to stop at the same time. Maybe I need to see a Dr. I have never known anyone that has known this to happen…

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    1. Dear Jennk,
      What an absolutely terrible tragedy – I’m so sorry for your loss. You probably aren’t losing your mind. Hearing the voice of a loved one in your head is a recognized form of ADC. It may happen especially when you are relaxed or just going to sleep. They may be accompanied by visions, or stay auditory only. In fact, you may have some mediumship abilities that you aren’t currently aware of. Regardless, if it gets bothersome, simply ask your loved one to please contact you in other ways. If the voices become negative and nasty, then you can be sure it’s not your friend and further steps should be taken. You are not the only one who has had an ADC in this manner – so you are not alone. Again, if the voices become very negative and are accompanied by hallucinations or disturbed thinking, then it might be time to see a doctor. I really don’t think that’s what is happening here. It sounds like your loved one has found a way to be able to communicate directly with you, and once your grief and anger lessens, the voice should lessen as well until it becomes very occasional. Many mediums have learned of their own abilities because of hearing voices like this as well.
      Take care of yourself,
      Jenn

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  8. My husband died November 6th 2015, unexpected. It has been extremely emotional on myself and our daughters. Although the daughters have had many encounters of their father, I haven’t had many, but I would like something everyday. I miss him terribly. Recently, while sleeping, I heard him say my name, as if to see if I was awake. Realizing that I was dreaming, I immediately saw someone wearing dark sunglasses and then I saw myself (just from the shoulders up)with an extremely bright light behind me. I have been trying to figure out what this may mean. I woke up realizing it was him sending me a message. I was at peace and comfort knowing he was there. Please advise as to your thoughts of the this.

    Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      I am terribly sorry for the passing of your husband. The grief must be so overwhelming. I have read from numerous sources that while we sleep, we often travel out of body to the spirit world. Typically, we don’t remember these visitations. Its possible you were traveling to see your husband and remembered part of the experience. In your situation, since it has been over a year since he passed, I would suggest finding a reputable medium through the forever family foundation. Their mediums are certified and tested, and although no one can guarantee that you will have a great reading 100% of the time, this is a non-profit organization that is designed to help grieving family get in touch with those on the other side without being ripped off by a fraud. I think for you to have the opportunity to have a conversation with him through a medium would be very healing, especially since his passing was so unexpected and abrupt. Something that you can do right now, though, is to talk to your husband directly. Find a time – maybe before bed or when you are alone, and tell him how you feel. Be honest, just like you would have in life. Spirits can hear us when we talk to them – just as if they were in the room. By opening up about how you feel out loud, it might help you make a stronger connection and allow him to send you a more meaningful sign – whether that is in a dream, through a symbol or any of the other 12 ADCs. I have suggested this to others and they have reported that airing out their emotions – even if they include anger, resentment, sadness, etc. can make all the difference with getting that communication through.
      I am sending thoughts of peace and well wishes to you, Lisa. Please let me know if you make contact.
      Jenn

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  9. I became the guardian of my little sister in September of last year, we’ve always been close, I’m 13 years older than her so I’ve acted like her mother most of our life. She just turned 17 on March 7th and was killed April 5th, just over a week ago. It still feels surreal even typing it. She was at one of her friends houses and he supposedly found her unresponsive with no explanation. A clean toxicology report came back and now an autopsy needs to be done as they may suspect foul play.

    My heart is in shreds, I am definitely in a heavy grieving stage, but what makes it so terrible is the unknown, how this happened, why did this happen? Was she harmed by someone? She was just a child, only just 17. I used to believe in God and heaven but this has thrown a wrench into what I believe and I find myself questioning everything.

    My question/s – is it too early to see a medium? Can I try anything spiritually to see if she can tell me what happened or guide me to answers? And just a side note… Prrsonally do you think it is possible to believe in God and spirits/mediums? (Most Christianity I’ve been taught forbids mediums)

    Any advice at all is much appreciated.

    xx

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    1. Also – I find it odd that her phone password (a phone which she had got a week prior to dying) was 7777. She was born March 7, turned 17, in 2017, and died exactly 7 months to the day that I became her guardian. (September 5th she moved into my place, and April 5th she died). I know 7 is a popular number but it just seems very odd.

      Is that reading into it too much?

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    2. Dear Megan, I feel terrible for your tragic loss of your sister. I too am much older than my sibling and I can understand the quasi-parental relationship that develops. The loss of your sister, only 17 years old is just a travesty of the highest order. With losses of this magnitude, it is only natural to begin to question everything you believe. Yes, it is possible to believe in God as well as spirits and mediums. I don’t agree with Christianity’s prohibition for many reasons. Aside from fraud, the majority of people who have sought mediums have found them to be normal, kind, people who simply have a gift and wish to help grieving people. The bible even describes people who have such gifts as god-given- discernment one of them. I’ve never read about a medium who has been cursed by demons or anything else that Christianity might assume would happen. I believe that anything that helps a family member connect with a loved one on the other side and can relieve some of the grief and fear is a good thing. I do, unfortunately, think its is too soon for you to seek out a medium. Three months minimum is what I would recommend, to be sure that you get a good reading and that your intense grief doesn’t form a block. Not everyone will agree, but three months is the general rule of thumb. When you are ready, I recommend the Forever Family Foundation. Their mediums are certified and the foundation is non-profit. Its your best chance of not being ripped off. In the meantime, do what you can to help heal and work through your grief. There are many options – grief therapy, group counseling, etc. I have a few links in my bereavement page that might help get you started with finding the best way to begin processing your feelings. A spiritual suggestion would be to talk to your sister out loud. Tell her how you feel. Let her know that you are open to receiving a sign to help you deal with her death in the way she would want you to. Although it can be difficult to get a communication while your grief is so intense, if your sister has something to tell you, she will try hard to get her message across. Start the communication though by talking to her before bed or when it is quiet. I know its hard to believe it, but I truly believe based on so many years of research, that your sister is with friends and family on the other side and eager to let you know that she is okay. Pay attention to the signs around you, when you reach an impasse, go ahead and ask for help. I believe you will be guided to your next steps. To answer your follow up question – synchronicities such as numbers and dates can be important messages, but only you know if they are meaningful. If you have questions, or would like to contact me directly, please feel free to send me a private email anytime. Its in my contact page. I am praying for you, Megan.
      Be gentle with yourself,
      Jenn

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  10. My father passed away January 27, 2017. He had heart failure, and copd. He was a fighter, even the morning he passed, I was sure he just had pneumonia and he needed antibiotics. My father passed away at 9:59am, and his brother (my uncle) passed away almost 3 hours earlier at 7:03 am. My dad did not know my uncle was sick and dying of cancer, I couldn’t tell him. Little did we know that god had plans already for them. A few days after my dad passed the batteries in the smoke alarm went dead, my dads car battery went dead, and his house phone battery went dead all together. I don’t know if that was a sign that he’s OK. I have heard there are no such things as coincidences.

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    1. Dear Lori,

      My condolences for the loss of your father and your uncle. Dealing with loss is so hard, but losing two family members at once must be simply unbearable. I also don’t believe in coincidences – certainly not coincidences such as what you’ve described. There is precedent for the draining of batteries…for paranormal investigators, its often a sign that a spirit is around. It sounds like your dad and your uncle wanted to let you know that they are visiting, watching over you, and that their pain is finally over. Every spirit has a particular way they communicate and just like in life, they have different talents. By draining batteries in multiple places, this might have been the way they could best let you know that they are okay. The chances of these things all happening at the same time are quite slim on their own. I would keep your eyes out for more signs – as your dad and your uncle get acclimated to their new life in the spirit world, they may find new and different ways to say “hello”.
      Keep in touch and take care,
      Jenn

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