01/05/2016 12:07 EST | Updated 01/05/2017 05:12 EST

Our Loved Ones Are Gone But Never Lost

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angel-shaped cloud in the sky

Years ago, I worked with a 16-year-old girl -- let's call her Cassie -- who was grieving the loss of her youngest brother in a family car accident.

Early one Monday morning, their minivan had been hit hard, hard enough to flip over. Cassie recalls that at the time of the accident she was wearing a black and white summer skirt. When the minivan stopped rolling, Cassie noticed that her skirt was becoming red. With shock and horror, she discovered that her brother was crushed beneath her. Cassie felt tremendous guilt that she was alive and that her brother had perished in the accident.

In one of our last sessions together, with Cassie's permission and some prior prep work, I invoked the presence of her brother and asked for a message to help Cassie heal and assuage her suffocating guilt. Admittedly, Cassie was a bit suspect of this part of our work, but her curiosity outweighed her reservations.

Cassie was stretched out the couch, and I was seated in a chair placed near Cassie's head. Cassie listens, with little or no reaction, as I relay messages from her brother. I then tell Cassie that I sense her brother is doing cartwheels down her body. Cassie begins to sob. She had felt the cartwheel movements before I even uttered the words.

For Cassie, this was physical proof of a connection with her brother, and served as a first step in her healing. And even better, Cassie later told me that her little brother was infamous in the family for his pride in his ability to do cartwheels. Clearly, her deceased little brother knew how to meaningfully connect with his big sister.

Children hold the faint memory of their soul time before birth and are less jaded about the possibility of the unknown. Some children see their guardian angels; others have imaginary friends. I wonder if some of these imaginary pals are more than a grand imagination, but spiritual allies at the ready.

This leads me to one more story.

There was a young boy, let's call him Bobby, who was having Sunday dinner at his grandparents' house. The dinner table was full -- there were Bobby's parents, his older brother and grandmother. His grandfather, who was in the end stages of cancer, was in bed, too weak and too ill to be part of this Sunday tradition.

Bobby raced through his meal and, when finished, asked if he could be excused and rejoin his grandfather in the front bedroom. His parents gave their permission, and Bobby happily skipped off to be with his granddad.

A short while later, Bobby is yelling for his family to come quickly. Everyone bolts from the table and heads pell-mell to the grandfather's bedroom. The adults check to see that the grandfather is resting comfortably and still breathing, and he is. Bobby, on the other hand, is wild-eyed and pointing to the end of the bed.

At the end of the bed, Bobby has seen a red-haired young boy, about his age, beckoning to his grandfather. Bobby wants to know who the red-haired boy is. His parents look blank, shrug their shoulders and shake their heads. They have no idea, nor do they see a red-haired boy. His grandmother, however, knows exactly who the red-haired boy is. He is the grandfather's brother who died as a young boy in a boating accident.

Bobby's mother came to me and asked if I thought Bobby's vision was real. I said yes, and explained that it is not unusual for loved ones to ease the transition of their relatives. They offer familiarity and comfort in making the shift from human body to soul being.

For those left on the earth plane, the loss of a loved one can feel like cruel and unusual punishment. It is hard to absorb, much less accept, the permanency of the loss. We grieve for the dead, but, in reality, we are grieving the pain of the loss of connection with our loved one.

I suggest there might be more than merely the physical plane and your deceased loved ones are applauding your efforts regularly. You know the feeling of love and connection; perhaps, it is closer than you think.


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