Recently, death took two significant people in my life: my beloved aunt (mother figure) and my younger brother (only sibling). They died two months apart. My aunt’s death was expected, but my brother’s was sudden. My world shattered and my heart broke. While I believe the soul is eternal and death is an illusion, these tragedies forced me to go deeper into this mystery in order to heal and find comfort. To my surprise, several experiences helped me strengthened my belief in the immortality of the soul.

Coping with death is difficult, and we all grieve in our own way. However, a few of my insights may help you affirm the living presence of the soul and develop heart-felt relationships that last forever. When loved ones die, we must let go of their physical presence, yet at the same time, we can hold them close in our hearts and souls. We grieve their loss and connect with them in a new way.

We do not know what death of the physical body means exactly; however, if we believe life exists in some form after death, we can keep our departed loved ones close. This may seem a stretch for some, but I choose to believe this new kind of relationship is possible. I am comfortable interacting with my deceased relatives and friends in a grounded, life-affirming way—not an escape into denial or wishful thinking. I even understand how some people would think this is absurd.

I tell myself that if the soul is eternal, then a personality free of the vulnerability and defenses of the egoic mind still exist in the realm of Spirit. Simply put, we can have a heart connection with the Essence of a deceased loved one without the mental distortions the ego creates, and therefore, loving encounters and conversations are possible even if our loved one was a challenge in this lifetime. For the individuals with whom we wish to disconnect, we can leave them in the hands of a Higher Power. You do not have to be a psychic or medium to feel the presence of a departed loved one, but you do need to believe it is possible.

Close Encounters with Loved Ones

In my grief, I also feel the Presence of my aunt and brother and notice the signs they are sending me. While I still miss calling my aunt every day, I can hear her silent voice at times saying something in a way that only she would say it. On a walk near my home, I found a dollar bill. I believe my brother sent me 100 “pennies from heaven” as a sign of his love for me. While standing in the butterfly pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World, I watched the butterflies and said to myself, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a butterfly landed on me to tell me my brother was around.” Five minutes later, a small white butterfly landed on my right shoulder and would not leave. I took it out of the pavilion, with permission, into the park. About fifteen minutes later it flew into a cluster of geraniums.

These three insights work for me:

Love and acceptance heal relationships.
If we are willing to love our departed “loved ones” unconditionally, we can experience them from the other side without judgments. I was very angry at my brother for not taking better care of himself, and he reminded me that it was his life to live his way. The truth of that took the wind out of my anger and eliminated my guilt for not being able to save him. We made jokes and let go of what could have been. Unconditional acceptance takes relationships to a higher level: to a connection based in truth; a connection that unites; and a connection that uplifts.

A heartfelt connection keeps “loved ones” close.
My parents, who died around five years ago, feel closer to me too! I have come to believe that as long we want a connection, the departed are there for us. (Even if it is only in our imagination.) This understanding and practice can be a great source of comfort once the difficult stages of grief have been surmounted. In order to develop this awareness, we first much acknowledge that our loved ones exist in a dimension beyond “time and space.” Once we do this, we might feel them in the same room, or receive messages telepathically, or receive messages through symbols, or experience them in dreams. All of these are possible if we believe with open hearts and minds.

Loved Ones will also be a part of us.
Whatever your belief, the people you have loved in this life are a part of you and always will be. Love connects! With strong love relationships, you carry others in your heart and soul whether they are alive or dead: Family members, friends, teachers, and colleagues can be brought to life within us when we think about them. Your mind and soul have the power to bring up memories and feelings. Have gratitude for being a part of a “special relationship” because it deserves to be cherished. Make developing resilient love relationships a priority in your life; none are perfect.

As I grieve, I am developing a new relationship with my brother in Spirit. In some ways it is better because I feel him around me more; in other ways my heart breaks every time I think of not being able to call or see him in person.

You have the ability to connect with departed “loved ones” in the present moment no matter how long ago they have died. It takes a desire of the heart and a willingness to believe this is possible. Whether you feel the connection or not, be comforted in the awareness that your special relationships is alive within your soul and memories. When you desire the connection, you create a meeting place of a Higher Order.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Miniere, M.Ed., is a life and integrative wellness coach, certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner, Amazon best-selling author and speaker. She is a former holistic mental health counselor and has been helping people transform themselves and their lives for over 30 years. Her website is