~ Joyous Reunions With Deceased Loved Ones ~
©1995; by Bill Guggenheim & Judy Guggenheim

co-authors of Hello From Heaven! published by Bantam Books

Have you been contacted by a loved one who has died? After-death communication (ADC) is probably as old as mankind, but ours is the first complete research study of this field. These spiritual experiences are extremely common, and in many other parts of the world they are discussed openly and freely.

Between 1988 & 1995, we interviewed 2,000 people who live in all fifty American states and the ten Canadian provinces. Ranging in age from children to the elderly, they represent diverse social, educational, economic, occupational, and religious backgrounds. We conservatively estimate that at least 50 million Americans, or 20% of the population, have had one or more ADC experiences – and the actual numbers may be closer to double these figures!

We collected more than 3,300 firsthand accounts of ADCs from people who have been contacted by a deceased family member or friend. These are spontaneous and direct communications that may occur anytime and anywhere, but no third parties such as psychics, mediums, hypnotists, or devices of any kind are involved.

Based upon our research, the following are the twelve most frequent types of after-death communication people report having with their deceased loved ones:

Sensing A Presence: This is the most common form of contact. But many people discount these experiences, thinking, "Oh, I'm just imagining this." It's a distinct feeling that your loved one is nearby, even though he or she can't be seen or heard. Though most often felt during the days and weeks immediately after the death, you may sense his or her presence months and even years later.

Hearing A Voice: Some people state they hear an external voice, the same as when a living person is speaking to them. However, the majority of communications are by telepathy – you hear the voice of your relative or friend in your mind. When you have two-way communication, it is usually by telepathy. In fact, it's possible to have an entire conversation this way.

Feeling A Touch: You may feel your loved one touch you with his or her hand, or place an arm around your shoulders or back, for comfort and reassurance. You may feel a tap, a pat, a caress, a stroke, a kiss, or even a hug. These are all forms of affection, nurturing, and love.

Smelling A Fragrance: You may smell your relative's or friend's favorite cologne, after-shave lotion, or perfume. Other common aromas are: flowers (especially roses), bath powders, tobacco products, favorite foods, and his or her personal scent.

Visual Experiences: There are a wide variety of visual experiences, which we have divided into two broad categories: partial visual and full visual ADCs. Appearances range from "a transparent mist" to "absolutely solid" with many gradations in between. You may see only the head and shoulders of your relative or friend, or someone you love may make a full appearance to you, and you will see the entire body as well, which will appear completely solid. Some visual ADCs occur in the bedroom, next to or at the foot of the bed. Others may happen anywhere – indoors or outdoors – even in a car or aboard a plane. Typically he or she will be expressing love and well-being with a radiant smile. Loved ones virtually always appear healed and whole regardless of their cause of death. Verbal communication may take place, but not always.

Visions: You may see an image of a deceased loved one in a "picture" that is either two-dimensional and flat or three-dimensional like a hologram. It's like seeing a 35 mm slide or a movie suspended in the air. Visions are usually in radiant colors and may be seen externally with your eyes open or internally in your mind. Communication may occur, especially during meditation.

Twilight Experiences: These occur in the alpha state – as you're falling asleep, waking up, meditating, or praying. You may have any or all of the above types of experiences while you are in this state of consciousness.

ADC Experiences While Asleep: Sleep-state ADCs are much more vivid, intense, colorful, and real than dreams. They are very common. Both one-way and two-way communications are typical. You usually feel your loved one is with you in person – that you're having an actual visit together. These experiences are not jumbled, filled with symbols, or fragmented the way dreams are.

Sleep-state ADCs are similar to those that occur when you are wide awake. Your relative or friend can come to you more easily, however, when you are relaxed, open, and receptive, such as while you are in the alpha state or asleep.

Out-Of-Body ADCs: These may occur while you are asleep or in a meditative state. They are dramatic experiences during which you leave your body and often visit your loved one at the place or level where he or she exists. These are extremely vivid, intense, and real – some say, "more real than physical life." The environments usually contain beautiful flowers and butterflies, colorful bushes and trees, radiant lighting, and other lovely aspects of nature – and are filled with happiness, love, and joy.

Telephone Calls:
These ADCs may occur during sleep or when you are wide awake. You will hear a phone ringing, and if you answer it, your loved one will give you a short message. Two-way conversations are possible. His or her voice will usually be clear but may seem far away. If you are awake, you will probably not hear a disconnect sound or a dial tone when the call is completed.

Physical Phenomena: People who are bereaved often report receiving a wide variety of physical signs from their deceased relative or friend, such as: lights or lamps blinking on and off; lights, radios, televisions, stereos, and mechanical objects being turned on; photographs, pictures, and various other items being turned over or moved; and a long list of "things that go bump in the night."

Symbolic ADCs: People frequently ask a Higher Power, the universe, or their deceased loved one for a sign that he or she still exists. Many receive such a sign, though it may take some time to arrive. Occasionally these signs are so subtle they may be missed, or they may be discounted as mere "coincidences." Common signs include: butterflies, rainbows, many species of birds and animals, flowers, and a variety of inanimate objects such as coins and pictures.

According to our research, the purpose of these visits and signs by those who have died is to offer comfort, reassurance, and hope to their parents, spouse, siblings, children, grandchildren, other family members, and friends. They want you to know they're still alive and that you'll be reunited with them when it's your time to leave this physical life on earth – and they'll be there to greet you when you make your transition. Their most frequent messages, expressed verbally or non-verbally, include:

"I'm okay ... I'm fine ... Everything is okay ... Don't worry about me ...

Don't grieve for me ... Please let me go ... I'm happy ... Everything will be all right ...

Go on with your life ... Please forgive ... Thank you ... I'll always be there for you ...

I'm watching over you ... I'll see you again ... I love you ... Good-bye ..."

You may be asked to give a message from your loved one to somebody else. We urge you to write down the message verbatim and to deliver it, if possible, because it may help the recipient far more than you realize.

Nearly all ADCs are positive, joyful, and uplifting encounters that reduce grief, provide lasting comfort and hope, and accelerate emotional and spiritual healing. We encourage you to trust your own experiences and to accept them as being real for you.

Unfortunately, some people react with fear when they have an ADC. This is usually because they are startled by the suddenness of the event, or they may have never heard of one happening to anybody else. Such people may assume they are "losing their mind and going crazy." And others find it difficult to reconcile after-death communications with their philosophical or religious beliefs.

Not all people are contacted by their deceased loved ones. We don't know for certain why some are and some aren't, but it seems that fear, anger, and prolonged heavy grief inhibit the possibility of having an ADC.

Based upon our research, we suggest the following: Ask for a sign that your relative or friend continues to exist. Pray for him or her and others who are affected by the death, including yourself. We recommend that you learn how to meditate, especially if you are currently bereaved or have unresolved grief. Meditation will enable you to relax and soften any fear or anger you may have. It will reduce your depression, improve your ability to eat and sleep, and facilitate your healing process. These deep relaxation exercises will also allow you to unfold your inner, intuitive senses. In fact, you may have an ADC experience while you are meditating.

Our research indicates that after-death communications are a natural and normal part of life. Therefore, we feel ADCs deserve the same public awareness and acceptance that near-death experiences (NDEs) have already received.

For most people, an after-death communication from a deceased family member or friend is valued as a sacred and profound experience that will be cherished for a lifetime. ADC experiences usually expand one's understanding of life and offer a deeper awareness of life after death. They consistently communicate an essential spiritual message: "Life and love are eternal."

Copyright © 1995 - 2009 The ADC Project. All rights reserved.

Webmaster: Will Guggenheim

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Comment by Leslie Jones on June 9, 2017 at 12:23am

I'm still navigating the way the site works, so I'm sorry if I'm not responding appropriately. My father died in September, so it's rather recent. I'm sorry to hear of your loss, I know it's devastating. His spirit was particularly strong and vivid the first month. I literally had to tell him he died. He didn't believe me at first. I shall write something about it someday.  He was there for the first month, by my side, literally moving things and finding important documents like his will for me. Now he's more here in dreams. 

Comment by Dolly on June 9, 2017 at 12:18am

Leslie please do share.. its been 4 years since my son died and most of the assurances we experienced after he died no longer seem to be happening very often.. for a long time amazing things kept happening...now I still smell Lilies often ... where there are no lilies..but the rest of the signs seem to have stopped.  I miss them.

Comment by Leslie Jones on June 7, 2017 at 6:51pm

Thank you for sharing this. I've had just about every of these ADC's. Perhaps when I'm more comfortable and aware of the community I can share some. 

Comment by Dolly on May 18, 2017 at 10:49pm

every time we think we are without sin we have committed the sin of pride... every time we think we are humble we are not... every time we think we don't need God we are wrong... but believe what you want...

Comment by Rhonda Partin-Sharp on May 17, 2017 at 12:05pm

Also, the definition of sin is just missing the mark.  It means we made a mistake.  We have this concept of sin in our culture like it is some horrible soul crushing thing that is looked at with such trepidation - and the definition of it simply means to make a mistake.  True, some mistakes are bigger than others and can range from a little white lie to doing something criminal, but I think looking at sin as it was originally intended to be looked at can help us fee a lot more forgivable.  It is much easier to picture God forgiving us for missing the mark/making a mistake than it is to picture him forgiving us or our loved ones from a word that carries the weight the word sin carries in our culture.

Comment by Rhonda Partin-Sharp on May 17, 2017 at 12:01pm

Nicole, I belong to the Religious Recovery movement, and for those who are still struggling with punishment in the afterlife beliefs or a need to recover from any type of religious harshness or abuse, I recommend one of the co-founders books "Every Path Leads Home," (https://www.amazon.com/Every-Path-Leads-Home-Spiritual/dp/098986810...) which helps us to see the bigger picture of religion and it's history.  However, when someone has been indoctrinated into the concept of hell just telling them to get over it isn't going to help, because some people have been hardwired since birth to believe that and it takes work, love, and support to help them recover.  So, my hope is that we can all be patient and nurture people through that so they don't go away from here more afraid than they were before.  It took me years to get over that hardwiring and even after that hard work that fear is still in the back of my head after someone dies even though I've attended seminary classes and put a lot of hard work into unlearning and re-learning.  In the hope it will comfort some who have been indoctrinated into a hell doctrine, I have learned in my hard study that the concept of hell arose from Gethenna - a desert place people were exiled to in biblical times - and was introduced into our theology late in our religion (Christianity arose from Judaism which did not have a belief in hell) and the bible really says a new heaven and a new earth as a starting point for recovering from fear about our loved ones - but people still need support in overcoming that teaching, and I hope they can find it here.  The only thing I will have a problem with here is if people start either in public or in private messages in our inboxes trying to convert us to their religious beliefs and if that happens I encourage people to report it to the administrator if it continues after an initial no.  When someone is in deep grief is not the time to lead them to conversion to another faith, but it can be a time to help them heal from teachings that make grieving harder for them.

Comment by nicole rae on May 17, 2017 at 11:36am

im thinking this is a little too heavy for me with the organized religion, i prefer spirituality :) but one last thought before i go. i think the word sin implies guilt and judgment and i am thinking we don't need that negative energy anymore than what we have been burdened with considering what we've all been through here. I think perhaps a better way to consider human beings is perhaps that we are not perfect and will always make choices differently than one another. My choices may be wrong in your eyes and vice versa. In addition a christian considers certain choices wrong that a jewish individual may not. In other parts of the world outside of America, we are completely wrong in every way and headed for a horrendous afterlife. So who knows what the actual outcome will be, are we correct or is the other side of the world? We wont know until we get there. Whats important is to live your own personal truth, to be kind and not to hide behind words like sin and judgment and to forgive human beings because  that is what love is. Hatred fuels bad things to happen and so does judgment, i know that for sure. So does believing in someone who you never met , yet continues to get you to doubt reality and your own self control. Stay positive and dont ever for one second think you are a sinner. Wake up each day knowing its a new beginning and you are in charge of your own destiny, not anyone else.  I mean the truth is what you're saying completely contradicts itself, if you really know your stuff about what you are preaching. you are forgetting the part about hell and all that.....but i am not going there i would rather forget all about that part of my childhood completely since it was traumatizing. 

Comment by Rhonda Partin-Sharp on May 16, 2017 at 7:09pm

Gosh, I read all of your stories and I feel as if I am one with all of you. 

Alicia Dawn - I too have dreams all the time of my Mom and she is alive like she was here but in the dreams I keep acting like we are sharing the life we had on earth as I keep asking her to please go to the doctor and take her medicine and she keeps telling me that she doesn't need to, that she is healed, that she is still alive - and every time I have that dream I wake up expecting her to still be alive it is so real and then I remember she's not.  But, is she not?  She isn't here like I once had her, but every time I have that dream she is basically telling me to get off her back about going to the doctor, because she doesn't need to since she is alive and well again.  I was her caregiver too and I feel a lot of guilt for a lot of things - that I couldn't save her, that even before she was sick that I couldn't save her from her hard life, etc. etc. etc. - but maybe they never needed to be saved because when I see my Mom in my dreams all she tells me is she is alive and well.  My guess would be that the same is true for your sister.

Cindi - my Dad got sober before he died, but he spent many years drinking heavily in order to self-medicate from physical pain since he was handicapped and emotional pain since he was handicapped due to severe child abuse.  I worried myself sick over did God really forgive him for all the things he did when he was drunk.  I still don't know the answer to that question, but as I live and learn I'm starting to ask myself does God judge us the same way the world does.  My dad might have drank too much, but he broke the cycle of physical abuse and didn't pass physical abuse on to his kids.  He worked himself to death on a handicapped body to make better for his family.  He was forever bringing stray animals home, because he couldn't stand to see anyone or anything hurt.  He met a man who was worse off than him and took that man under his wing and helped that man for the rest of his life even though my Dad barely had anything himself.  Does God look less kindly on him because he drank a bunch along the way than he looks at the pious person in church who looks down their nose on everyone and never lifts a finger to help anyone other than to judge them?  I surely hope not.  I think also of my Uncle who was in WWII and he went in with plans of being a preacher but he was on the front lines and saw so much that he drank most of his life, quit for a few years, and then when he started again quickly drank himself to death.  He was also one who was forever saving stray animals.  Sometimes I think people who drink feel so deeply in a cruel world that they have to turn it off some how.  Does God really see that as bad?  I surely hope not.  I'm not going to lie.  I still worry sometimes.  They had hard lives and I want them to be at peace more than anything, bu those old religious tapes are hard to turn off.  Yet, the more I live the more I see beauty in the lowest places and see evil in the highest places, so maybe God doesn't see the world the way we do.  Who did Jesus walk with when he was on this earth?  The lowest.  The people Jesus was actually hardest on were the highest who were sitting in their comfortable religious and political grandstands weighting people down with heavy loads.  I really think your son is okay.  Listen for him and see if he breaks through to let you know he is okay.  My father broke through when I was having Reiki done and told the Reiki practitioner that he was okay, and the Reiki practitioner used some words only my Dad used, so I believe the Reiki practitioner really was getting a message from my Dad.

Comment by Dolly on April 29, 2017 at 5:36pm

I believe you got your answer Cindi... God is a merciful God and knows our hearts even with everyone else thinks they do... but only He does and only our hearts matter.. we all say and do things that hurt Him and like the best parent ever He loves us anyway.. and He wants us with Him.. and He did the ultimate to make a way... I think the angel showed you the path that was there for your son... I can't prove it.. but angels don't come to tell us bad news... do they?

Comment by Cindi Norton on April 29, 2017 at 11:25am

My 36 year old son Christopher died April 5th of an alcohol drug overdose.  He is a Christian and fought addictions for many years. I have tremendous guilt praying I could of helped him-saved him.  A few days ago I saw an Angel, just after saying I wish I could hear Chris say "Hi, mom, I love you-then the Angel appeared it was above me in the sky, there was a path leading up to where the Angel was. It was real and I was overcome with emotion.  I feel happy about this. Sad : because I know some people think he can't be saved because of how he died.  I pray for understanding and support. Thank you....


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