Do your dreams seem real? Things to look out for when it comes to receiving a spiritual message from the other side

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Fans of Coronation Street will have been keeping up with the sad storyline featuring Leanne Battersby (played by Jane Danson), who’s turned to a medium to try to contact her late son Oliver.

The concept of the afterlife was also the focus of the recent Netflix series Surviving Death, which helped reignite the debate: what happens to us when we die?

Some studies show that 50% of us claim to hear the voice of a deceased loved one while grieving – a notion that can bring some comfort. While 70% of us believe that humans have souls which exist after clinical death.

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Psychic medium Claire Broad believes speaking to the dead is possible and we can all learn to recognise their communications. “When I was four, I experienced what I now know to be a ‘spontaneous after-death communication’ from my deceased grandfather,” she explains.

“At such a young age, I held no concept of death and had no need to feel comforted due to this loss. Yet, standing in Richmond cemetery one day, I felt my grandad’s spirit come close to me so strongly I became overwhelmed with the urge to pass on a message from him to my nan.

"He called her a nickname only she knew. The experience stayed with me, shaping my beliefs about life after death and leading me on a quest to explore spirit communication, mediumship and the science behind it.”

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We will all have to deal with the death of a loved one at some point. Claire says, “The most common question put to me is, ‘How can I recognise for myself when my deceased loved ones draw near?’”

The following calls to action are taken from her book What The Dead Are Dying To Teach Us and are designed to help anyone seeking to achieve a spiritual connection with loved ones in the afterlife…

Dreams

“It is common for people to see spirit loved ones in dreams after a passing. Spirit dreams or night visions are lucid and will feel different to usual dreams, often leaving you convinced it was a true experience.

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If you’d like to encourage loved ones to reach out to you, make a point at bedtime of asking them kindly to join you in your dreams. You can speak your thoughts out loud or say them quietly in your mind, before falling asleep.

Keep a pen near your bed and if you receive a response, make a record of it. Get creative, you could even write a note before bed and see if you receive the answer in your dreams.”

Signs

“The most common form of communication are signs – especially feathers, birds, butterflies and flowers. But I’ve heard people talk of unusual signs like anchors or an octopus.

A sign is used like a calling card by spirit loved ones. They often draw your attention to a sign by inspiring your mind to notice it. Maybe a feather appears in an unusual place like indoors, even though no windows or doors are open and no feathers are in your upholstery.

A feather once appeared in my hand at the dinner table from nowhere! The importance of the sign is how it makes you feel. If you feel comforted, don’t dismiss it as purely wishful thinking. You may just be dismissing a golden opportunity to sense your loved one’s presence around you.”

Trust Your Senses

“Spirit communicators often use our senses to alert us to their presence. It’s common for people to smell a familiar perfume, specific to a particular loved one, waft quickly past and then disappear (even though no one is present in the room).

Other times, sounds are used. Hearing invisible bells ringing or music playing without a source are common experiences. If it happens to you, trust it.”

Channelling

“Sit with a pen and paper close to hand and ask a question to your loved ones quietly in your mind. Then allow your mind to fall still. Resisting the urge to over think what you are writing, pick up your pen and allow words of wisdom to flow from you onto the page.

When you stop writing, read it back. Does the wisdom sound like advice a loved one would give? Is it helpful? Is it something you’d never have thought of?”

Tap into your spiritual side during tricky times

“During a global pandemic, it’s natural to become more anxious about death. It’s important to keep a balanced perspective for your own mental wellbeing. One of the ways you can do this is to turn your attention to the spiritual dimension of life.

Understanding that you are more than your physical body, but an energy being or spirit too, can help ease anxiety and help you find peace. Can you pay attention to the thoughts in your mind for a moment? If you can, ask yourself, “Who is this asking questions of my mind?”

This is your true eternal self, that part of you that isn’t physical even now. Next, turn your attention to your hands. Can you sense a subtle energy therein your palms? A tingling sensation maybe? This is your life force energy. Energy can’t die, it only transforms, so this aspect of you can’t die either.

These two simple exercises help point you to a greater reality. You are a spirit being, not just a physical being and there is a part of you that cannot die.”

Ask for Help

“This is a simple tip, but an important one. Your loved ones in spirit actually like to be asked for help. It lets them know you’re OK with them revealing themselves or offering unseen support.

We all have free will and they are not able to rail-road yours. Let them know you are happy for them to guide you and then let them work out how best they can do that. Let go of expectation and simply keep an open mind to the response.”

Meditate

“Meditation not only improves physical health and encourages mental wellbeing, it also expands awareness. As we learn to still the mind, brainwave patterns are altered and we may achieve heightened states of awareness.

Over time, we become sensitive and with heightened concentration, many people discover they are able to receive flashes of insight and contact from deceased relatives.”

Cruse Bereavement Care offers emotional bereavement support for people of all ages. Visit cruse.org.uk, email [email protected]or call 0808 808 1677What The Dead Are Dying To Teach Us – Lessons Learned From The Afterlife by Claire Broad (Watkins Books). Available to order from amazon.co.uk or visit clairebroad.com

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