Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss

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What do experiences of Nearing Death Awareness and After Death Communication have to do with my grief and loss?

These experiences imply not only the ongoing survival of a loved one, but also their connection to, concern for, and even protection of those still in earthly existence.

  • In nearing death awareness, dying people commonly are aware of the presence of deceased loved ones who are there to reassure them.  While awake and alert, they often converse with the deceased.  These experiences differ from hallucinations: Whereas someone hallucinating is out of touch with the surrounding environment and people, the dying person experiencing nearing death awareness remains in touch with ordinary reality as well as an alternate reality.
  • In after death communication, a living person experiences the presence of a deceased person.  The experience of the deceased person's presence can range from a vague but definite feeling, to a distinctive smell associated with the deceased, to hearing the deceased person's voice, to seeing all or part of the deceased person, either vaguely or extremely clearly.  They may also experience the presence of the deceased loved one symbolically through such common signs as butterflies, rainbows, birds and other animals, flowers, and through inanimate objects such as pictures.  It is common for the bereaved to experience the presence of loved ones for the first year or so after their death and this communication may occur throughout a lifetime, especially at times when it would be most helpful.  In fact, people have reported being warned of impending danger by deceased loved ones, even after those loved ones have been dead for several years.

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