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Last time, we focused on mediumship and the profound healing a mediumship reading can bring to the grief-stricken by revealing their loved ones are still right here. 

We showed consulting with a professional medium as a way of engaging in after-death communication, in particular to relieve symptoms of grief, but also to simply “check in” with a loved one.

Yeah, but you said, like, it’s not just mediums that can do this after-death talkin’ stuff.  You said there’re other ways … and some of ‘em we can do ourselves!

Oh, hi.  Glad to see you stuck around.  Yes, that’s absolutely true, there are indeed many ways we can connect with our departed loved ones.  And some of them we can do ourselves.  So, let’s explore this … 

Ways of Communicating After Death

Do you recall a recent post I made about a book Love and the Afterlife”?  It was written by scientist Julie Beischel, PhD … Director of Research for the Windbridge Research Center.

Yup, I was there!  You said it was SCIENCE sayin’ stuff about ‘love’ and the ‘afterlife’ and things like that.  Hah!  I had to check up on what you were doin’ ….

Oh, right, I forgot.  Okay, so you may recall in her book, Beischel draws on her research, and that of many others, to demonstrate that our bonds of love actually do continue after our loved ones die.

Yeah, that was a head-scratcher ….  And she also said we can even keep them relationships goin’!

She did.  And of course, any relationship requires communication, right?  So, she tells us in her book how this can be done … the different ways we can have after-death communication, or ADC for short.

Right, yeah, seems to me she wrote ‘bout four types of this, uh, spooky-type ADC stuff.

Sort of.  I mean, yes to the “four” types, but no to the “spooky.”  It’s all on the up-and-up.  Remember … spirit people are people like us, they just don’t have a body.

You say that like it’s no big deal … this not havin’ a body thing.

Well, I’ve come to understand it kind of isn’t.  And she goes into that.  You know, it really is a fascinating book I highly recommend.  But back to the subject at hand … 

Beischel’s 4 Types of After-Death Communication

There are many, many sources that discuss ways to communicate with those on the Other Side, but I like the way Beischel tackles it because it’s so comprehensive. 

She defines four main types of after-death communication (ADC) … Spontaneous, Facilitated, Assisted, and Requested.  It gives a nice framework for describing the options available to us.

If you say so … I dunno what any of those are.

Well, that’s why we’re here, right?  I’ll explain her definitions and will share highlights from her book, plus I’ll add related information I’ve come across from some other sources, including personal experience. 

Of course, Beischel’s book goes into much more detail than I will, so for a full description, check it out … Love and the Afterlife.  (Or for a very brief overview, see this WRC Fact Sheet … The Four Types of After-Death Communication Experiences (ADCs).)

Let’s get started …

TYPE 1 – “Spontaneous” ADCs 

This first type of after-death communication includes experiences you’ve probably already heard about.  Scores of people who have lost a loved one have experienced one or more Spontaneous ADCs … whether or not they choose to admit it. 

It’s where our spirit people simply reach out on their own. 

Our loved one makes an appearance

The most stunning examples are when we are able to actually see, feel, or hear our departed loved one.

What … ??  You mean, like they’re really here?

Yes, just like they’re physically here … even though, of course, they’re not. 

This kind of contact really does happen though.  Not for everybody, and from what I can tell, not necessarily super often, but stories abound of people recounting this type of ADC.

Personally, I’ve never had an experience like this with my departed husband, but check this one out … 

Kitty comes for a visit

This happened about three months ago.  It was morning and I was just waking up.  I still had my eyes closed and as I lay there, I could suddenly feel a small cat climb up onto my right leg, walk gingerly up my body, continue up my torso, then curl up into the crook of my right arm. 

It dawned on me I was sleeping at a friend’s house and this was obviously their cat.  I lay there motionless, in silent delight, as I felt every step, every movement of this delicate light weight.  You see, I adore cats. 

I started to reach over with my other arm to pet this kitty curled up beside me, when I realized …

WAIT A MINUTE!  I’m NOT at a friend’s place, I’m at home … and we DON’T have a cat … or ANY pets!

What the … ?!!

I know, right?  But I quickly realized something special had just happened. I’d experienced what’s called a “visitation,” a loved one showing up in a tangible way. 

You see, I used to have two cats who were like my “kids.”  One of the two was much lighter than the other, weighing in at only 6 pounds. 

And also unlike the other, he felt perfectly entitled to climb up my leg and walk along my body until he found his spot, which often was to curl up under my arm … usually my right arm because my husband slept to my left.

I was shocked when I put two and two together and realized what had happened.  I mean, it was SO real.  So real in fact that even after I’d pieced together what was going on, I still checked to see if there was anything actually curled up beside me …. 

Of course, there wasn’t. 

Wow.  That’s, uh … amazing.

It was mindblowing.

Enter the analytical mind

But what’s that ‘bout sleepin’ at a friend’s place?

As I said, this experience was stunningly real … clearly NOT a dream.  But experiencing a cat walking up my body when there was no cat to be had … well, my analytical mind couldn’t make sense of it.  So, it made up a story. 

My mind “told” me I was sleeping at a friend’s place and they apparently had a cat.  Voila, problem solved!  With its mission accomplished, my mind could relax.

But of course, that wasn’t true.

You sayin’ our minds can, like, play tricks on us?

Oh, for sure.  Think about it … our conscious mind, or brain, is wired to make sense of the world in order to keep us safe.  It’s an important job. 

So, if we’re faced with something we’ve been told is “impossible,” yet here it is happening … well, our mind finds a way to either make sense of it or discard it. 

Believe me, this happens ALL the time when we’re talking about spirit communication …. 

Fortunately, this time, I knew enough to figure out what was going on, which allowed me to experience and appreciate the absolute magic of this visit from my beloved pet. 

Wow, that musta been special.  I don’t ‘member feeling anything like that with my Fido ….

Well, it took me 11 years before I did.  So, yes, it happens, but I have to say it’s not nearly as common a Spontaneous ADC as this next kind …

“Signs” from Spirit

The other main way Spirit reaches out spontaneously is by sending us signs.  Signs of ALL kinds … 

You know, meaningful music that plays just when you need it … coins showing up in unusual places … familiar scents of perfume, flowers, tobacco … photos unexpectedly popping up on facebook … even text messages arriving from their phone number.  The list goes on and on. 

Oh yeah, I’ve heard ‘bout this stuff.  I have a friend who says robins means her mom’s ‘round.  And ‘nother who says her husband makes hummingbirds do funny things, like, in front of her office window.

Exactly … and, yes, it does seem birds are often involved. 

Stories of this kind of experience are ALL over the place.  I mean, I’ve personally been on the receiving end of many of them from my late husband and have peppered several of my posts with them.

What about dreams?  I had a dream the other night ‘bout Fido that seemed really, really real ….


Sure, dreams are a super common way for our loved ones to reach us.  Sleep is a time when our defenses are down.  Which means our skepticism is at bay and our mental chatter is quieted, so our loved ones can actually get through. 


It’s kind of like when the phone line finally opens up after hours of a busy signal.

Oh, got it.

If you’re interested in knowing a bit more about dreams, you might want to check out this WRC Fact Sheet … Dream Experiences of After-Death Communication.  

Cool, thanks.

A Reference Source … Signs

All this is just a sampling of what our spirit people can do.  For a comprehensive and fascinating description of this “Spontaneous” type of after-death communication experience, check out this book I’ve previously posted … Signs.” 

Written by medium Laura Lynne Jackson (mentioned in the last post), it lays out the incredible variety of ways that Spirit will reach out like this.  Here’s a few brief excerpts …

It’s not “unusual for our loved one on the Other Side to use natural firelight and candles to send us signs and messages:  Air and light and wind and fire are all elements that the Other Side can manipulate.”  (pg. 122)

“ … the Other Side loves using rainbows to catch our attention.”  (pg. 190)

“In my experience, ghost phone calls, flickering lights, full blackouts, and sparking outlets have all marked interactions between the Other Side and us.”  (Pg. 182)

Hummingbirds … “These special creatures are frequently messengers from the Other Side.” (pg. 44)

Hey, hummingbirds … same as my friend!  Whew, what a LOT of different ways.

Isn’t it, though?  It appears the creativity of our spirit loved ones is endless.

But what’s MY role here?

So, if these are ‘spontaneous’ ADCs, you know, that my peeps on the Other Side just come up with whenever they want, then like, what am I s’posed to do here?

Fair question.  They are spontaneous, which means they are under the control of our loved ones, but we do still have a role to play in this type of communication.  A passive role, but a super important one nonetheless.

Which is … ?

Our role is to first be AWARE of the different possibilities that could be signs from our loved ones. 

I’ve listed just a handful but know there are as many as our imagination (or theirs!) can dream up.  The more aware we are, the greater the chance we have of noticing when they occur.

Then second, once we notice a potential sign, we need to stay OPEN.  Open to recognizing and accepting these experiences as signs, instead of …

Just chalkin’ ‘em up to ‘coincidences,’ like I always do ….

Right, and most of us do.  Back to that analytical mind we talked about … the one that needs to make “logical” sense of everything or it finds a way to disregard it.

Imagine how frustrating it must be for our loved ones in Spirit after they go to all the trouble of pulling off an awesome sign, only to have us dismiss it.

Yeah … I think maybe I gotta work on that one. 

Take time to reflect and notice

There really is lots to think ‘bout here … I mean, my mind’s kinda spinning. 

Sure, we’ve just covered a lot, so let’s pause here and give you some time to reflect on it.  You may in fact realize that signs from your loved one have already been coming your way … perhaps signs you’ve missed.

Or, maybe there have been signs that have caught your attention and caused you to wonder … but then you caved to that “analytical mind” and wrote them off as imagination, or “just coincidence.” 

Yeah, now that I think ‘bout it ….

Right?  Do your loved one a favour and let them know you’ve (finally) figured it out.  And if you want them to keep reaching out, be sure to thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

When we resume next time, we’ll pick up our exploration of the many ways to connect with loved ones on the Other Side, continuing to delve into Beischel’s other types of ADCs … Facilitated, Assisted and Requested.

For now …

Let’s Share

Have you seen, heard, or felt your loved one?  Or received signs of any kind you feel may be from them?  Please tell us about it in the Comments below.

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