When a loved one passes away, it’s natural to want to know if they’re still with you. You might start looking for ways to communicate with your deceased loved one, whether on your own or with the help of a spiritual practitioner. Maybe you wish you could reestablish that connection, but just don’t believe it’s possible, at least not for you. It’s normal to feel curious, hopeful or even apprehensive; this is uncharted territory you’re in. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to communicate with a deceased loved one, and they don’t all require you to rely on a medium. You can reestablish that connection with your deceased loved one all by yourself, even if you’re not “woo-woo” and even if “that sort of thing” has never happened to you before. Read on to learn how.

Choosing a sign for your deceased loved one

One of the most direct ways to make contact is by choosing a sign or symbol to associate with your deceased loved one. While the default position might be to wait for something “weird” to happen to you to know what your sign is, that doesn’t always have to be the case. It’s a good idea to actually proactively choose your own sign so that you know exactly what it is and will more easily recognize it when it shows up.  What if you choose a sign and don’t see it show up right away? There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. Time is a human experience and is meaningless in the spirit world. So what might feel like ages to you is really nothing from a spiritual perspective. It can be difficult, but having patience, staying open and trusting that it’s coming are the keys to success here. Your sign might not always appear the way you expect it to, and that’s kind of the point. The more unpredictable, the better. Trust that you’ll get what you need, when you need it.  Remember to choose a sign that is specific, unique, and not something you’d see every day. When my brother passed away, I suggested (in my head) that turtles should be our sign, because I never really saw them anywhere. Sure enough, after I had decided and communicated the sign I wanted, I started to be flooded with turtles – not just in nature, but in TV shows, online, through chance encounters in public. An important thing to note is that I didn’t go out actively looking for turtles. If you’re feeling the urge to pick something “easy” or something that you commonly see or experience regularly, ask yourself what’s preventing you from choosing a more unique sign. A lot of times when this happens, it’s because you’re afraid you won’t get the sign you’re hoping for, which must mean your deceased loved one doesn’t love you back. But choosing a rose as a sign when you know that your neighbor has a rose bush in front of their house, and then questioning whether it’s a “sign” when you see it, even though you knew you obviously would, only makes things confusing and ultimately a damaging experience. Pick something that is unique that you will recognize right away, but don’t come across very often. That way when it shows up (and it will!) you will know it, and feel that connection with your deceased loved one.  A final note on choosing signs as well: Even if you choose, and receive, a sign or symbol or experience that you defined, make sure you’re still paying attention to what else is going on around you. Your loved one may have their own idea of what sign they want to send you, and it’s easy to miss it if you’re not fully present. Even though I chose turtles as my sign for my brother initially, and started to see turtles all the time, it became clear in the months following his death that he had selected hawks as a sign of his presence, because I was also experiencing very close encounters with hawks regularly out in the wild, even though I had almost never seen hawks in nature at all in my life prior.   The point is, if you’re always looking down in the underbrush for turtles, you will miss the hawk swooping overhead.  Keep your head up, and your heart open. Your sign will come.

Past life regression or guided meditation

Another way to communicate with a deceased loved one is through past life regression or guided meditation. These generally involve working with a facilitator that’s experienced in this area. We detail the past life regression experience and what to look for in a facilitator in this article.  This type of experience is great because it allows for more of a two-way dialogue, where you can experience a connection very similar to what you experienced in life before your loved one passed away. Past life regressions don’t always involve a  specific deceased loved one, but we often reincarnate with the same general group of souls, so there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll “bump into them” either in a past life regression or the “life between life” phase between incarnations. You can reach this area through a guided facilitation process. Similarly, guided meditation specifically for grief and spiritual connection is a powerful medium for reconnecting with deceased loved ones for a time. Some yoga studios and wellness centers may offer experiences focused on grief yoga and accompanying guided meditation, which is a very effective approach for connecting with deceased loved ones. The yoga practice allows the body to relax and calm down enough for a guided meditation experience to be more successful, even if you’re new to it or feeling resistant. In many cases, the people who are least expecting to have an experience at all are the ones that have the most profound encounters.

Working with a medium to communicate

Mediums are one of the most popular (but also most controversial) ways to communicate with a deceased loved one. There are complexities on both sides of the dialogue that can lead to an inconsistent experience, even with a very well-regarded medium. Sometimes the spirit of a deceased loved one just isn’t communicating very clearly, or the medium may have trouble interpreting what’s being said. Spirit will often communicate in signs and symbols in addition to standard language, so it’s a matter of working with someone who is alert, receptive and successful at interpreting the messages they receive in a way that’s meaningful to the person receiving the reading. All of those complexities are valid even if the medium is truly connecting. The more obvious challenge to overcome is the fact that unfortunately there are a number of people who will pose as mediums to prey on those already in a compromised emotional state while grieving.  Even with an experienced, well-regarded, authentic medium, they’re all going to have “off” days from time to time. If you choose to work with a medium to help facilitate a communication channel with your deceased loved one, keep in mind:  1. Do your research and ask for referrals. An authentic medium should have no issues providing references and should have positive, documented testimonials. 2. In a session, don’t totally withhold any affirmation or denial, but don’t feed them information either. The job of the medium is to open and work in that channel of dialogue.  3. Don’t lose heart if you have a bad experience or a reading that seems off. We’ve seen very popular, successful mediums be extremely accurate in one reading and be completely off with the same client a few months later. It just happens. But if you take it too personally or set expectations too high or too specific, you’re bound to be disappointed, which can potentially send you into a spiral that only further hinders future opportunities to connect. So with mediums, be open, but do your homework and don’t be too eager to “make it fit”. If it’s an authentic connection, you and the medium will both know it.

There are a number of ways to connect with deceased loved ones in spirit

Ultimately, there are a number of ways to successfully communicate with deceased loved ones, and you need to choose the method that works best for you. That could be the self-led connection through choosing your own sign or symbol (while being open to new ones!) or seeking the support of a past life regressionist, grief yoga and guided meditation instructor, or a medium. Whatever you choose, remember that your loved one will continue to make efforts to reach you, so if one way doesn’t work, try something else. Stay open, flexible and patient, and your line of communication with your deceased loved one will open and strengthen over time.

December 10th at 7pm EST:Navigating Holiday Grief Workshop

Join Certified Grief Coach and founder of Umoya Institute, Emily Shutt, for a FREE live group coaching session on Navigating Holiday Grief. RSVP now and join us live on Thursday, December 10th @ 7pm EST (4pm PST) or catch the replay via email if you can't join live.

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