Signs Come In All Forms
As someone who has been through a deep grieving process, and as a psychotherapist who works with grieving clients, I think it’s important to acknowledge our loved ones often offer us signs to let us know that they are okay and are still with us energetically. When we are open to the signs, the experience can be incredibly comforting.
Many have been reluctant to talk about communication with their loved ones after they have died, because they may have felt a stigma attached to it. They think if they bring this up, their friends and family will think they are emotionally unstable due to their grief.
The most common type of After Death Communication is the physical sensation that the loved one is near.
Yet so many of my clients have had the courage to open up to me and share their experiences, and over the years I have learned that loved ones who reach out to us after they have died is such a common phenomenon that there is now a non-profit organization gathering stories and studying the phenomenon – the After Death Communication Research Foundation (ADCRF). If you think you are alone, there are 1,621 very short experiences posted on this site!
My own experience with signs came the first night of the day my husband Jim died. I couldn’t sleep and was awake all night. I was desperate to know if Jim was okay, and asked him to show me a sign—and he did. His voice, his words, and his love came through in a time I needed it most. This experience, and another experience I had twenty years later are chronicled in my book, You Are Not Alone, A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing and Hope.
After Death Communication is a “spiritual experience that occurs when someone is contacted directly and spontaneously by a family member or friend who has died,” as defined by Guggenheim & Guggenheim.
This wonderful article in Psychology Today, The Healing Effects of After Death Communications, outlines the twelve types of ways our loved ones communicate with us, with everything from feeling a presence to receiving phone calls to signs – ladybugs or whales or feathers.
I’m reading Rebecca Rosen’s book, What the Dead Have Taught Me About Living Well. Rebecca’s compelling book answers the question “How can we know if our departed loved ones are still with us?” Rosen tells us the spirit world is always trying to get our attention, and that we are all supported from the beyond!
Three Stories of Signs –
Spark – An Unlikely Messenger
My mystical and talented friend Mimsy Bouret and I shared the stage in a spoken word show about love just a month ago on the magical island of Kauai. Mimsy is no stranger to love or grief. The unlikely visitor that showed up just hours after her beloved’s death and forced its way into her home is both comical and incredibly inspiring. Mimsy shares this story of “Spark” to remind us to pay attention to ALL messengers!
A Song That Wouldn’t Go Away
Cora Poage is a beautiful and intuitive Life Coach who lives on Kauai. While helping a client manage the Anniversary of her mother’s death, Cora kept “hearing” a song playing loudly in her mind. She took a leap of faith and did something daring in her session. See what happens when Cora becomes a messenger for her client in her story, Angel Messenger!
A Deceased Sister Travels to Greece
Larry Tadlock is the funniest writer I know, and yet this story takes us deeper into his world of grief and signs. When his sister died he was in Greece and just knew something was wrong before the call came from his father; the next day he looked to the sky for his answer, and wait until you read what he saw! Larry reminds us to never forget to look up in his stunning story My Sister Visits Santorini.
“We are all connected.
The living to the nonliving, as the nonliving to the living.
All things in all directions in all times.
It’s only in the physical dimension that we have limitations.
(The membrane between us is thinner than you think.)”
– Garth Stein, A Sudden Light
Love Never Dies
We all have intuitive feelings, a time when our senses are heightened and we seem to just “know” something. We often push those feelings aside with our logical minds instead of listening to our hearts, and standing in the mystery that calls to all of us. It’s important to trust the “messages” we receive and to continue to stand in the mystery and remember that love never dies.
I leave you with this quote:
“Keep the faith. You are not alone.
You are surrounded, protected, held,
and loved from beyond.
– Rebecca Rosen
Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC, is an author and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, where she specializes in trauma, grief and loss. Her award-winning book, You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide for Grief, Healing, and Hope combines her personal story of devastating loss with practical insights and simple suggestions for healing. Join her Facebook community, Grief to Gratitude, and follow her on Instagram.