"1 in 6 people experience some type of ADC (After Death Communication) during their lives, making the study of ADC experiences seem all that much more important by sheer numerical volume.”
The why of ADC is variable as well. Some seem to occur to help with the grieving process, I.e. Dad stopping by to tell Mom he’s ok. According to other accounts, sometimes they seem to happen to appease the desires of the departed, like Grandma stopping by to see the new baby, born after she passed. Still others happen during a crisis moment in the life of the living, where the departed makes an appearance in order to be of assistance - as in the story below. In other words the experiences, their time table and the messages behind them are extremely unpredictable and individual. These experiences are different from the traditional haunting in the fact that they occur once or perhaps a couple of times, but then stop.
Recalling the stories I had collected over the years from family, friends and acquaintances I started to realize that, actually the vast majority of “ghost stories” I had gathered were actually ADC’s. They’re simple and rather homespun in the telling, and I’m guessing most families have their own share of strange stories. It’s the time my Dad knew the phone call was to tell us that Grandmother had died. Or the time my husband reports feeling very down and just knowing suddenly that his departed sister was with him. A former student recalled the morning after her father’s funeral, waking up on the couch in the family room and seeing her dad making up the fire - just as he had always done. They are what they are, stories, unverifiable for the most part., intriguing but not reliable. Indeed, many, if not most, are based merely on gut feelings.
The value of the ADC is that it is personally gratifying to the person left behind. Directly after the ADC most report feeling relieved, happy…even euphoric For many, ADC experiences can literally shorten the grieving process and make loss easier. The ADC is often the springboard into a new relationship between the living and the dead. According to Alexandra Kennedy, Psychotherapist, in her book Your Loved One Lives on Within You, many people develop an internal relationship with their departed loved ones. Kennedy reports that “’many people are surprised to discover the deceased takes for granted that the relationship [with the living] is ongoing.’ That is a powerful force in the coping process. The pivotal factor in structuring the ongoing relationship is the imagination. Reaching the presence within demands a commitment to express deep feelings, to listen, be open and to use dreams as a springboard to inner communication. Developing the inner relationship is not difficult to manage and often results in the belief that direct contact has been made.”
Paranormal investigators who are in the field because they’re skeptical should tread lightly in the area of ADC’s. For those thirsting for scientific evidence, the ADC can seem the worst of the “touchy-feelies.” However, the real value of the ADC experience is not in the advancement of the paranormal field, but rather in the good it does for the grieving. To be specific, you may interpret the dream your Mom had about your Dad as a fabrication of her unconscious mind under duress. Criticizing her dream, however, is to undo all the potential good it did her in the dreaming. In the case of ADC’s, the significance lies not in the verifying, but in the fact that those who experienced it believe it, and very often the believing is a delicate construct which will not stand up to scrutiny.
My husband took a different approach. He made a joke of it, after which I felt both devastated and embarrassed. Luckily, having read fairly heavily in the area I was able to recognize the experience for what it was, and to explain to my husband that his criticism was out of place.
So, do I really think my father had returned from the grave to visit me in my dreams? I don’t know. Did I feel like he was there visiting me in my dreams? Yes, and it had made me feel happier than I had in a long time. Did it make our separation easier to bear? Unequivocally, yes. Whether it was a construct of my unconscious or an actual visit from my father, the pain was lessened by the experience, and in the consequent memory of the event…after I told my husband not to steal my thunder. And therein lies the real value of the ADC.
La Grand, Louis Messages and Miracles: Extraordinary Experiences of the Bereaved.
Other Readings in the Area of ADC’s
Kennedy, Alexandra Your Loved One Lives On Within You