The last time I talked with a dead person

From a time gone by

The last dead person I talked with was a year and a half ago.

You have all talked with the dead, haven’t you?

It’s quite easy.  All you have to do is get yourself out of the way.  You know, all your thoughts and opinions and judgments and ideas and beliefs.  You put them all to the side and let the dead folks speak through your own thoughts.  What others might call your “imagination”.

It’s most helpful when the dead people contact you first.  (“She’s crazy!” you’re saying, aren’t you? “She’s finally cracked…everyone knows you can’t talk to dead people unless you’re a medium and have your own TV show.”)  But it’s not essential that you wait until they contact you.

You just have to trust that your imagination can lead you into deeper or wider places than you’ve ever been before.

The first dead person I talked with was my grandpa.  That was back in 1988, after the local Anishinabe people invited me into their ceremonies and lives.  Spending time with them in sweat lodges and other gatherings lowered the veil between the visible and invisible worlds.  They called me a “dreamer”.


I just thought it was a very active imagination–until the first conversation with my grandpa.  He was in the hospital, dying.  It was January, 1988.  I was lying in bed, reading a book.  Suddenly, unexpectedly, I threw the book on the floor.  Began to talk with Grandpa in my mind.  He answered in my thoughts.  Pictures flashed across the mind’s screen.  Pictures of half-forgotten objects:  a red plastic coin purse, a dish with a rooster at the bottom, walking hand-in-hand with him to the bank.  The pictures passed through the mind with lightening speed.  I told him how much I loved him.  He did the same.  Our hearts were open, joined in love.  I cried with the beauty of it.

The phone abruptly rang.  It was my dad.  “Grandpa just passed away,” he said. 

He showed up a couple of times later as I walked in the woods and shared personal messages for my mother.  He shared things that only Mom knew. 

It was strange, yet also very ordinary and comforting. 

Grandpa would have loved these ducks

During the next ten or fifteen years, departed loved ones appeared every once in a while.  They usually brought a message to convince others that it really was them–and not Kathy’s creative imagination. 

Once a former co-worker of my husband’s appeared in my mind’s eye.  He had recently died of a heart attack on the East Coast and Barry wrote a column memorializing his life. 

Here’s how it happened:  Inner image in the mind form of his former co-worker.  “Hello,” my thoughts say.  My thoughts reply–in his voice, with his intonation, “Can you tell Barry I really appreciated his editorial?”  (Odd–Barry would never call it an editorial.  He would have called it a column.)  I think, “Why don’t you tell him yourself?  He’s sleeping on the couch over there.  You tell HIM.”  Co-worker replies, “But you’re such a good two-way radio.”  (Co-worker was in Vietnam War.  OK, that reference makes sense.)  “How will he know it was you?” I ask.  “Tell him,” he said, “That the Detroit Tigers won again.”

Of course–because it’s imagination, right?–you forget this exchange until maybe an hour or two later.  When–suddenly–you shout out the front door to your unsuspecting husband, “HEY!  Your former co-worker has a message for you!”

Unsuspecting husband just looks at you.

“And he says to tell you that the Tigers won again,” I say quickly, lest he think the messenger is crazy.  “What does that mean?”

Turns out that every single day the co-worker came into work he would announce whether the Detroit Tigers won or lost.  No kidding.  How would an “imagination” know that?

Claws of a hawk

My last encounter with a dearly departed occurred in June, 2009.  I was traveling downstate to visit my parents.  Stopped to spend the night in their former cottage in Bellaire, now owned by brother, Tim.   Was in high spirits–completely energized–feeling vibrant and excited. 

Lay down ready to sleep when, unexpectedly, images of my parent’s recently deceased friend, appeared larger-than-life in the active imagination of the mind. 

His inner image looked so real.  His smile so real.  So perfectly him.  And then he started talking.  Using my thoughts, of course. 

He talked.  He talked.  Oh, goodness, how he talked.  He had been at the cottage before and he shared memory after old-time memory.  Finally–after maybe a half hour–(and all I wanted to do was sleep)–he started talking about his funeral.  About how his family always sat in a certain pew in the church.

I raised my inner eyebrows and decided this was all just crazy and would this imaginary conversation just go away?   Why in the world would my mind make this stuff up?  (See, after more than twenty years it still feels like imagination.)

Drove downstate the next day and told my parents, “Umm, your dead friend has a message for you.” 

Mom and Dad stare.  (But they stare kindly, for they have learned that quite often these sharings turn out to be “true” or strangely feasible, anyway.)

I give the message.  Tell them what he said.  “But, then he started talking about having a special pew just for their family in church,” I said.  “Don’t know what that’s about.”

My parents gasp. 

Turns out the minister talked about their family’s special pew at the funeral.  Turns out their family did have a special pew. 

We didn’t go to their church–we didn’t even know about their special pew.

Go figure. 


Just wanted you to know that it’s easier to talk with the dead than one might expect.  The gateway is imagination.  The secret is being to be able to let go of your own agenda and thoughts (at least while the other person speaks using your thoughts.)  The biggest secret of all is to overcome doubt. 

Because–after all–who talks with the dead?  Unless you’re a medium and have your own TV show. 

P.S.  don’t ask me to speak with your own dearly departed.  I don’t do that anymore, unless they insistently show up and announce themselves.  But YOU can talk with your own loved ones.   Don’t be afraid to give it a try.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to The last time I talked with a dead person

  1. Uncle Tree says:

    Thank you for this! 🙂
    ‘Tis good to see another
    who knows what’s what.

    Nice to meet you! Cool stories!

    Peace, UT

  2. Sybil says:


    May I repeat.


    Here is another reason for me to try to quiet my chattering mind.

    Oh, to hear from my ma and da would be so marvellous. Marvellous is too weak a word. It would be HEAVEN.


    Do you meditate Kathy ? How do you manage to be so open … how do you learn to “hear”

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, I have been a serious spiritual practitioner for twenty five years. Yikes! That’s a quarter of a century! My first spiritual awakening happened in 1986. It’s been a long road of deepening, expanding, learning to still the mind, learning to go beyond boundaries and preconceived ideas. Yes, I have meditated very regularly since 2003, and now do so daily. Learning to “hear” involves opening the heart, the mind, the body and the spirit.

      You can do it. You probably already do it. I suspect your ma and da have talked with you many times~~but you probably dismissed it as imagination or your own thoughts.

  3. I believe you. It has happened with me too, but in a slightly different way. My grandmother passed away almost 2 years ago. She keeps coming back to me in my dreams every now and then just to know how things are going with everyone. She once came just because I was ill and it worried her. I found that really freaky initially, those dreams, but gradually, I calmed down and accepted it as normal. She comes rarely these days, but never fails to show up on days when I’m extremely low or when I just want to be with her. There are other dimensions we can’t see, which science can’t prove or justify. The dead stay in one of those worlds. Love the pictures. 🙂

  4. Elisa's Spot says:

    Thank you for courage. Thank you for my tears. Dammit I HATE crying 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Why do you hate your precious tears, Elisa? Let them come, I say. I have a friend who has such a hard time crying…whenever she cries, she rejoices. It’s funny. I thought I might regret writing this blog, but I haven’t. I feel strangely peaceful about it.

  5. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Very illuminating, Kathy.

    After my mother died my sister and I received messages from her during unusual encounters with birds – she was an avid birdwatcher. And one very special message for me with a doe. My grandmother was still alive and whenever I was with her she would tell me about her nightly conversations with her daughter (my mother). The rest of the family thought Grandmother was senile, but I believed her. I was with my mother when she died – she was looking intently at someone the rest of us couldn’t see. Her last words were, “I hope they hurry up.” She hadn’t spoken for several hours before saying those words. I wonder if she was waiting for her own grandparents, since both of her parents were still alive.

    You have been blessed to have two-way conversations. I will have to give it a try…

    • Kathy says:

      It is interesting how often our loved ones choose to communicate through nature. I think that’s because it’s usually very challenging to communicate through thoughts–as most of us think that our thoughts are our own. I have heard that it is often a sacred special time being with people who are dying. They open to new dimensions–or heaven–or whatever we call it–and see what we humans cannot usually see. Let me know how your conversations go.

  6. Susan D says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, Kathy. My most significant conversations and “signs” have been with my grandpa, who remains my favorite fellow ever. His psoriasis briefly manifested on my hands when my heart wondered if he’d gotten my last letter to him before his passing. I don’t ask for or call to any unknown spirits or to God; my conversations and experiences come to me randomly. They are never scary. Sometimes, it’s only a sense of a presence; sometimes there is a sweet aroma; sometimes, it comes as a bird! They’re all treasures.

    Beautifully written and the photos are thoughtful messages, too. Wonderful.

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you have a favorite grandpa-fellow, too, Susan. Fascinating how something like psoriasis can actually go on the hands as a way of communication. Like you, I prefer the random experiences of communication–which is why it’s been since 2009 since the last conversation. I like how you describe them as “treasures.” They surely are.

  7. barb says:

    I have had a few of these experiences but not recently. Mine are like dream sequences that I remembered after the fact, maybe days or weeks later, possibly when I feel a sense of deja vu and my mind plays the dream again though this time I’m awake. In one, I am trail running and suddenly 3 “bad” men are chasing me. A former Hospice patient of mine appears with my Mother behind him – he raises his hand and tells the “bad guys” that he is my protector, and they can’t hurt me. My mother doesn’t say a word – just stands in an aura and smiles. I remembered this sequence about a week after I “dreamed” it when I was running on the exact trail as I was in the dream. My patient had been dead about 6 months and my Mother 5 years. It’s the only time I’ve “seen” her in this type of dream. I sometimes “talk” to my Mother in my head or feel she is near me – it’s comforting.

    • Kathy says:

      I understand about that feeling of dream-sequences and deja vu. Interesting that your mother should come to you with “protector energy.” What a good sign. I think so many of us talk with our dead relatives in our head–I know one good friend who talks with her dead husband many times throughout the day. And he sometimes responds through something unexpected appearing–that only the two of them knew about. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. Karma says:

    I’ve never been much of a believer in this sort of thing, but as I mentioned earlier this year, I plan to seek opportunities to grow this year, even in spiritual ways. Your stories here are pretty amazing and definitely seem like hints that there is more than this mortal life.
    Your animal pictures here are gorgeous. Is that a bobcat?

    • Kathy says:

      My mom was never much a believer in these kind of things, either, Karen. She’s been so open-minded and positive about the experiences, it’s been a joy. I believe there is more than this mortal life. Don’t know how to else to explain these happenings. Yes, this is a bobcat. A stuffed bobcat. It was taken at a nature center during our trip to Southern CA last week.

  9. Colleen says:

    Yes, oh yes……all so true 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Sounds like you’ve had similar experiences, Colleen.

      • Colleen says:

        Yes, I have. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to share, I just didn’t know how or where to begin. Or what experiences to share. It felt overwhelming at that moment.

        There are so many levels of communication from so many different sources. Our loved ones (and others) being just one part of it all. And to be honest, it’s a part that I’m not always entirely at ease with. Much more so with the plant and animal realms and our own “highest of selves” and from this perspective….all who choose accompany and help us on our journey.

        Honoring the many different ways of understanding and experiencing this 🙂

  10. Kathy, you won’t believe this (hmm, maybe you will!) but I started up a brand new blog “A Sense of Spirit” just over a week ago, to cover such stories as the one’s you have related here. To me, talking to the dead is almost as natural as talking to the living.
    I do not believe you are cracked or crazy! Just very in-tune with everything, both physical and spiritual. 🙂
    Loved this post. Thank you for being both brave and honest here!

    • Kathy says:

      You really started a blog to discuss things like this? That makes me happy, Joanne. You will make many more people comfortable, perhaps, to consider that there is more to life than just what our rational minds allow. Thank you!

  11. Jillian Sheldon says:

    Ahh Aunt Kathy I love this post… I’m so envious of your courage. As soon as I think about the idea of communicating with a dead person, I start reacting to every noise or light in the room. (and not in a good way) haha. Have you ever spoken to Grandma O? If there is one person I’d love to speak to it would be her. Maybe I should give it a try…

    • Kathy says:

      Jillian, I know what you mean. It can be scary, especially at first. But I think when we talk with our loved ones, it suddenly becomes less scary because someone like Grandma or Grandpa O would never do anything to frighten us. I used to talk with Grandma O, too, but never had anything dramatic happen. Just ordinary conversations. You might want to try having a conversation in your notebook sometime when you are really relaxed. Ask questions and then just let your mind relax and write down the answers that pop in your head, without editing or judging. Later you could ask Nanny or me or your dad or someone if things she said sounded true or not. That way you can start to get an idea if it’s your voice or something deeper. The more relaxed you are, the more can usually come through. Let me know…I know that you and Grandma have a bond due to your birthday.

  12. I got goosebumps, reading this.

    • Kathy says:

      Wondering if anything like this has happened with you? After awhile it seems so ordinary that you don’t even get goosebumps anymore! (OK, that’s not really true. I am always excited.)

  13. june says:

    The next world is ever so close. I think I feel my grandparents who I have never known sometimes, nearby watching over me, and some elders told me they saw them too, this was very strange but kind of comforting.

  14. Marianne says:

    Excellent post, Kathy! So glad you raised the topic. I had a need experience last month while having energy work treatments. Now, I’ve been a doubter for a good portion of my life. Something in me wanted to believe, but then the doubter would come in to snatch it away. Thought,I couldn’t doubt this one experience for sure. I was nicely relaxed when I felt the definite presence of two angels close to my head. They told me that they would help me heal. Later, during the session, I felt the room was full of light. After it was over, I compared my story with the practitioner who had the same experience with the light. I love this stuff! By the way, I’m starting a new self-hosted blog called Miracle Mama to collect miracle stories and magical moments. It’s being set up now.

    • Kathy says:

      Interesting what it takes to overcome our doubt, Marianne. When you felt those angels, it sounds like you really knew. Please let me know the web address when you start your new blog. Would you to read more of those magical moments. Thank you for sharing this one.

  15. Reggie says:

    Goosebumps all over… I’m definitely open to the idea, and I *think* I’ve had some brief conversations like those, but I also wondered at the time if I was imagining it and didn’t think to ask for some sort of ‘evidence’ or ‘confirmation’. But now that you’ve explained it so well, and made it sound so normal, I will definitely give it another try. Who knows what I’ll learn?!

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad to have made it sound so “normal”, Reggie. It is so normal. It’s so normal that we ignore it, push it away, deny it. I hope you will find some affirmation that your conversations are “true.” Much love, Kathy

  16. Elle says:

    Hello Kathy,

    Wonderful site that you have started and thank you for sharing. I recently lost someone on Christmas Eve, he had cancer and was expected to live longer. He was too young, now forever young. I never knew that life could feel this way. I am confident that he has communicated through my thoughts. When this does not happen for a while, say for a few days or at least when I am not paying attention I suppose, I become lonesome. Then, I sense when the thoughts are his and I feel in touch again. He even jokes occasionally. After reading your story and have further reassurance, I am now going to pay even more attention and see if there is not a pattern if you will. My question to you, is there a clear distinction between who’s spirit may be sending thoughts? Do you have this communication daily, weekly?

    Thank you kindly, Elle

    • Kathy says:

      Elle, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one or friend on Christmas Eve. What a time for a soul to transition! I am happy that you are communicating with him…that you are open enough to believe that your thoughts may not simply be your own. Or astute enough to sense the difference.

      It can be challenging to connect with who is sending the communications unless you feel their personal “feeling”. Sometimes they tell who they are–sometimes they can be someone you don’t know–sometimes they say it doesn’t really matter.

      I actually do not communicate much with spirits any more. It used to be daily back in the 80’s and 90’s. Now I am much more focused on meditating and learning to live in presence and awareness. So it’s been a long time since a dearly departed loved one chose to communicate.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s