Experiencing the presence of loved ones living in the life after this life is very common. In a study reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, two-thirds of those surveyed in the U.S. reported having sensed the presence of the person who had transitioned to the next life.[i] The experience can hardly be called unusual.
In 1987, the Gallup Poll organization published the results of a survey designed to find out how many people had after-death communication experiences of any kind in Britain. The survey showed that 48 percent of those asked felt they were personally aware of this kind of experience in their lives.
A broad range of studies of communication with people living in the life after this life have shown that such communication is very common.
Rees found that 50% of widowers reported visions of departed spouses that occurred to them while in the waking state (Rees 1971). Holden reported that 70 percent to 80 percent of widows and widowers had such visions.[iv]
Haraldsson, in a national survey in Iceland, reported that 31 percent of respondents reported visual encounters with loved ones living in the life after this life.[v]
Kalish studied adults in Los Angeles and found that 55 percent of blacks, 54 percent of Mexican-Americans, 38 percent of Anglo-Americans, and 29 percent of Japanese-Americans reported such encounters.[vi]
These experiences have also been reported in traditional Hopi Indians.[vii]
The fact that these experiences are so common has led one investigator to advocate abandoning the word “hallucination” to describe them.[viii]
In 1988, Bill and Judy Guggenheim began The ADC Project, in which they interviewed 3,300 people who had experienced communication with people living in the life after this life. The accounts were emotional, heartwarming, and at times startling. They describe them in their book, Hello from Heaven,[ix] which includes 353 of the stories they heard. Reading the clear, heartfelt stories by ordinary people who insist they communicated with their loved ones in the life after this life cannot help but convince all but the most hardened skeptics that our loved ones are alive and well after leaving the body, just in a different form that is close by.
The number of people who have had such experiences with loved ones in the life after this life is increasing, in part because of the openness to the phenomenon today. Communication with loved ones now living in the life after this life is a common, everyday occurrence. People don’t talk about their communication experiences because of the odd notion in our culture that if we talk about such experiences, people will think we’re delusional. But if you bring up the subject of near-death experiences or communication with loved ones in the life after this life in a group and let people know it’s OK to talk about them, the stories start to roll out.
People Communicating with Those Living in the Next Life Learn Things They Couldn’t Know Otherwise
In some cases people appear apparently with the express purpose of saving loved ones from danger. This happened to Elaine Worrell who lived with her husband Hal on the top floor of an apartment building in Oskaloosa, Iowa. One day she saw a young man in her hallway who led her downstairs into the apartment of a young widow whom she barely knew. She found the young woman collapsed on a bed after having slashed her wrists. After she recovered, the young woman showed Elaine a photograph of her late husband; Elaine recognized it immediately as the young man who had led her downstairs and into the apartment.[x]
[i] Lawrence Vargas, et al. (1989). Exploring the multidimensional aspects of grief reactions. American Journal of Psychiatry, 146(11), 1484-9.
[ii] David Hay, “The spirituality of the unchurched,” Mission and Spirituality, 2002, pp. 11-26.
[iii] Melvin Morse, Near death experiences and death-related visions in children: implications for the clinician. Current Problems in Pediatrics, 1994, 24, 55-83.
[iv] Jan Holden, “J. Holden describes the frequency of after-death communication.” University of North Texas News Service. (2005, November 5) Retrieved November 11, 2007, from http://web2.unt.edu/news/ story.cfm?story=9441.
[v] Erlendur Haraldsson. “Survey of claimed encounters with the dead.” Omega, 1989, 19, 103-13.
[vi] Richard A. Kalish, & David K. Reynolds, “Phenomenological reality and post death contact.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1973, 209-21.
[vii] William Matchett, Repeated hallucinatory experiences as part of the mourning process among Hopi Indian women. Psychiatry, 1972 May;35(2):185-94.
[viii] Ian Stevenson, “Do we need a new word to supplement ‘hallucination’?” American Journal of Psychiatry, 1983, 140, 1609-11.
[ix] Bill Guggenheim, B. Judy Guggenheim, Hello from Heaven. Bantam Books, 1995.
[x] Hans Holzer. Ghost Hunter. New York: Bobbs Merrill Company, 1963.