The Wonderfully Weird Things That Can Happen When A Loved One Dies

Feb 23, 2020 | SPIRITUALITY

I wish we would talk about death more. Not because it’s a happy subject, but so that we’d have a better relationship with it and that it wouldn’t terrify us as much as it does. There is grief, which deserves to be treated for what it is and is not what I am addressing here.

I’m writing this post as a result of an increasing number of conversations I am having with people who share with me the weird occurrences that happen around the time of, or after, the death of their loved ones. These beautiful conversations are usually in private, often confided to me almost in whispers, or with a glance over the shoulder to make sure no one else is listening – often in fear, not of the story itself, but of what others might think of us. 

I’ve had these conversations so many times and I’ve also had plenty of my own experiences so I want to open this up to say there is nothing to fear. I believe it is a cause for celebration, it’s so beautiful that you have these experiences and I wish we would share them with each other more often because they are more common than you think.

Because of the stigma around death, religion, mysticism, appearing unscientific or crazy and all manner of other things, it can really frighten people when they experience something they don’t expect and cannot explain. I’m not going to try to explain how these things happen, just to share that they commonly do. 

Please, please put aside any pre-conceptions you have about this kind of thing from TV shows about the paranormal, ghosts and the like. Having worked in the TV industry for over a decade (and having watched so many of these shows myself) I can tell you that many times they are over-dramatised for ratings, sadly they can often be entirely fictional. Most of these shows play on your fears and tell you nothing useful.  (Update: Surviving Death on Netflix is an exception).

Please come to it with an open heart and love for the person who died.

If they come to you, I believe it’s because they want to get your attention and let you know they are ok and that you are loved. It’s an honour to have an encounter like this. 

If you lose a loved one, don’t be surprised if any of the following things happen:

  • Dreams or visions/daydreams of a visitation by loved one, sometimes, but not always, with an important message;
  • Hearing, seeing, feeling things that cannot be explained scientifically (so called “ghostly encounters”);
  • Objects/Mementos appearing or moving mysteriously;
  • Clocks/Watches stopping – often at the time of death or a specific time;
  • Strange coincidences;
  • Your pets act strangely, as though they perceive the loved one;
  • Feathers or objects appearing in strange places;
  • Flickering lights when you talk, think about or feel the presence of your loved one;
  • Orbs of light or smokey shadows appearing in photographs;
  • Seeing sparkles of light;
  • Smelling them;
  • A song that you associate with your loved one starts playing just as you were thinking about them;
  • Persistent thoughts to do with your loved one, like the urge to do something that reminds you fondly of them;
  • The list goes on and on.

Often these things might happen around anniversaries, important or difficult times in your life or special dates such as birthdays/Christmas/graduations etc.

Visitations From My Father

My father died when I was 13. For a long time I didn’t know anyone who had experienced the death of a loved one so I didn’t have anyone else to compare notes with and had to keep my experiences private. I was never scared of death and already believed that somehow our souls go on, but I didn’t know anything else. Here are some weird things that happened when my dad died:

  • My mum and I were holding each of dad’s hands when he died in hospital. He squeezed both our hands as the respirators were turned off. This can apparently be explained scientifically as some sort of muscle contraction, but it felt affectionate nonetheless. My mum says she saw the spirit of my father lift out of his body, but I don’t remember this myself;
  • In preparation for the funeral, my mother found that dad’s watch had stopped, and so had hers, at the exact same time (both watches were analog);
  • She would feel dad stroking her cheek while lying in bed and whispering in her ear, I also felt him stroking my hair while I was half asleep;
  • A friend reported on the day of the funeral that my dad’s spanner, which he had lent to my friend, had flown off the shelf in the night and was found the next morning in the middle of the floor in his bedroom;
  • Some weeks after the funeral, I was at home alone one day, sitting on the sofa by the living room window and reading a book when suddenly the entire huge bay window banged loudly 3 times as though someone had hit it forcefully with their hands – but there was nobody there;
  • One evening later that same year, I was sat in my dad’s favourite armchair with our dog next to me on my left and I suddenly felt like my dad was sat on my right. It was a powerful and reassuring feeling of presence. My dog woke up and also started staring at the space to my right and she wouldn’t stop staring for at least 20 minutes. I also felt him there for about 20 minutes. I never told my mother this story until last year, she had been in the living room with us also at the time, she was reading a book on the sofa opposite me. She said she remembered also that she felt my dad there but had never said anything to me in case it frightened me. She remembered it vividly because it was her birthday and she felt dad had come to visit us especially.
  • Most of my experiences with my dad have been through dreams. Days after he died I dreamt he came to visit us. My mum, he and I were sat at our formal dining room table, which was usually reserved for special occasions and a place he felt much family pride. We were just having a lovely time together and he was reassuring us that he was ok, that we are still a strong family unit and that everything was going to be ok. He had a couple of nice “friends” with him who I gathered were looking after him on the other side and had escorted him back to see us. My mum told me the next day that she had had the exact same dream! He has come to visit me in dreams every now and then over the years and he always looks younger and more radiant each time. He always reassures me that he is always there whenever I need him and last time he said I should talk to him and ask for his help more often.

I think it is normal to feel scared at first when it’s something so strange and unusual that you’ve never encountered before. The only time I’ve been scared was an experience that happened in early 2017, and that was because it was totally out of the blue.

I stopped having visits from my dad for a long period and I had no paranormal experiences that I can recall for almost 20 years. In fact I grew quite skeptical of all these things during this time. The event that made me start opening the door to all this kind of thing was an unexpected ghost experience.

The Old Lady Next Door

A few years ago, I was house-sitting for a friend in London. I had done so on many occasions, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened, it’s just a lovely little house with a lovely old cat. My partner John had been staying also and went home a couple of days earlier than me. We’d had dinner and after he left, I decided to have an early night with the cat. The cat was curled up by my side in bed and I was just checking my phone before going to sleep.

For some reason, for reasons I still cannot explain, I just wanted to quickly Google who James Van Praagh was. I had never heard of him before, but his name had come up that evening on something I saw on my phone, so I was reading about him on Wikipedia and it said he is a famous medium. I’d never heard that word before, so I was just wondering to myself what on earth a medium is, when I suddenly heard the voice of an old lady downstairs.

She was calling “hello, hello!” as though announcing her arrival for tea or something. It sounded like someone entering and walking through the hallway, it was a moving sound.

My first thought was: “did I not lock the front door?” — Yes I definitely did. “Could an old lady be breaking into the house?” — I seriously doubt it. “Could it be a friend of my friend with a key to the house rudely inviting themselves in?” — No, the keys were in the door on the inside which prevents someone using a key from the outside. “Could I be hearing sounds from the adjoining house next door?” — Perhaps, but it was far too loud, it was definitely moving inside this house, my bedroom door was open so the cat could have free movement and I could hear the voice crystal clear. “Could it be that someone was at the front door just calling very loudly…?”

But 10 seconds later, as hundreds of rational questions raced through my mind, the same voice and the same call came from outside my bedroom window, at the back of the house this time — in the complete opposite direction.

“Hello, hello?”. An old lady was definitely looking for someone. “Could it be someone next door in their garden?” I wondered. Maybe, but how could they get from the front to the back so quickly? It wasn’t possible.

I kept erring back to the thought that it must be the neighbour being unusually loud. But it didn’t seem possible, I had heard muffled laughter from next door on previous occasions and it was always so quiet that you could never actually make out any words or conversation.

I didn’t know what to think, so I looked at the cat, hoping for some reassurance to bring me back to reality, but the cat suddenly stood up, arched her back and all her fur stood on end, like I’d only ever seen in cartoons.

Then she growled really loudly. I had never seen this gentle old cat behave this way and that’s when I felt frightened. The cat moved away from my side to the end of the bed and sat like a sphinx, alert and watching the open bedroom door as I pulled the blanket as far up as I could to hide somehow.

Then I suddenly remembered that a neighbour had come to the door earlier that day and my partner John had answered it. I was busy cooking at the time but the neighbour had asked if we could pass a message onto the owner of the house that the old lady next door had died two days previously. I had quickly texted this news to my friend as I was busy cooking but forgot about it until this moment. So as I lay there in bed I figured perhaps the spirit of the lady must be a little disoriented and didn’t mean any harm. 

The vibe in the house was a little weird for about 30 minutes but gradually started to feel normal again and the cat finally relaxed and came back to me and fell asleep by my side. I finally fell asleep too and prayed I wouldn’t need the toilet during the night. I did, damn it. But nothing else happened that night so when I woke up the next morning I thought perhaps it was all a dream. But as I was getting dressed, there was some really loud rummaging/banging noises in the hallway downstairs.  The noise was so loud, and hard to describe, it went on for about 10-15 seconds. It sounded like it was coming from the cupboards in the hallway downstairs, where I had heard the voice as well. But when I inspected them they were tidy as usual. I checked to see if the post man had been or if someone had tried to deliver something, nothing. I checked for signs of a break in and again, nothing. All was as it had been. By the time I got to work, I was so shaken by it, I had to tell my colleagues and bosses at work in our Monday meeting. They were nice and we had a few jokes about it. Someone later asked me what I would do if it happened again that night — I thought that’s a really good question! I didn’t know. 

We never heard from the old lady spirit ever again, I stayed many times since. Apparently she had lived in the house next door all her life and didn’t have any close family left by the time she died which was a bit sad. But this is how my interest in these things began. 

For some people it’s enough to accept that these weird things happen and that’s all they need to know. For others like me, they want to learn more about it. But one thing we should never feel is scared by any of it. Yes it might be unusual to you, but more people have at least one story like this than you might think.

I thought I had no friends I could talk to about it, but as I’ve slowly started telling people about my stories, I’ve been surprised and delighted how many people admit to their own experiences, beliefs and curiosity. 

More Visitations From My Father

After this ghost experience, I started reading about this topic and going to classes and workshops to find out more. Yes, there are schools where you can learn about psychic mediumship. Sometimes it feels a bit like going to Hogwarts, it’s very uplifting and exciting actually. I wish I had known about this so much earlier in my life, although, to be honest, I still struggle with skepticism even today, so I probably would have thought it was all nonsense back then.

I have in recent years been given very detailed messages from my dad by several mediums, with such detail about specific memories from my childhood and my current life that they could not possibly know otherwise. Not even a google or Facebook search would reveal such private details that remain only in my memories or my private thoughts and dreams. The very first time I received a message from my dad through a medium, was in a mediumship course I did. You never tell each other anything about yourselves beforehand and we were all strangers in this class. Dad had a lot to say to me after all these years and the whole class listened as well, we could all feel the love and we were all in tears by the end, it was so beautiful. It was then I realised there is no need to be scared by any of this. If it generates love then it can only be a beautiful and healing thing.

When I was on holiday with my partner in 2018, we both witnessed a menu in our accommodation fly across the kitchen, not just once, but three times over two days. That night I had such a vivid and beautiful dream of my dad for the first time in ages. He had a lot of news to tell me, it was very detailed and as I was writing about it in my journal the next morning the lights in the room started flickering until I was finished writing.

A week after our holiday, I was on another workshop at the College of Psychic Studies in London and I buddied up with a lady who started to describe the dream I had the week before. She didn’t know she was describing my dream, she was just telling me what she felt. Not only did she repeat everything my dad had said to me in that dream, which was very detailed, but she also described what he was wearing, which was an important and significant detail. I had told nobody about this dream.

I was quite skeptical about the idea of mediumship until I received several of these kind of messages. It’s not just the words they tell you. When you find a truly authentic medium who connects with your loved one, you also FEEL it. It’s like you feel embraced in the love of that person, you can feel their presence and love pouring into you and there is no way to explain it.

Perhaps the strongest thing that has pushed me past my own skepticism is when it’s been my turn in a class, to give a stranger a message from their loved ones. I’ve shared details that make no sense to me but is so significant to the other person. I also feel such intense love that I know is not mine, but that of their loved one. And love feels different each time. A grandfather’s love is different to a brother’s love for his baby sister and so on.

It’s beautiful and it has been so uplifting to know there is so much love around us, even when we think there is just bad news everywhere.

I can’t explain it and I still experience moments of skepticism, but if the feeling is that of love, then I don’t care to be honest. We need more love in this world. These kind of things have just become regular occurrences to me now and I embrace it.

What To Do If You Have A Paranormal Experience?

People often ask me what we’re supposed to do if something strange happens, if we need to do some kind of ghost hunter thing or something. Yet every story I’ve heard so far has always clearly been a sign from a departed loved one just trying to make contact to let the person know they are there. I’m still learning about this myself, so I don’t really know what’s best. From my experience you don’t need to do anything, you can choose to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen if you’re not comfortable with it.

Yet I would encourage you to open up to it, talk to your loved one. You don’t have to do it out loud necessarily. I always talk to my loved ones in my mind and my thoughts. Sometimes I send a prayer. Just have a conversation and know they can hear you. Be open to signs they might send, interact with them. Be comforted by their love and their presence, it means they care about you and they want you to know they are still there. My dad wants to help me in life and I know that the parents of other people I care about also want to help them. I don’t know what exactly they do, but they do help us, perhaps a bit like angels.

If you wish, you could find a reputable medium who might be able to give you a message. Tell them nothing of yourself, let them give you lots of detail, be discerning and use a healthy amount of skepticism. If they ask you too may questions, don’t feed them with your answers. Simply say yes or no. But also go with an open heart, because it can only ever work if you are open to receiving a communication with your loved one in the first place. 

If you want to find out more, here are some of the books I would recommend to read to get started. See if any of these resonate with you. 

Most importantly, feel the love. Feel the love. Feel the love. Love is really eternal. x


PLEASE NOTE: I love to read your comments and stories which I invite you to share for each other, however, I am not a medium and I am unable to give you confirmation for signs you may have had from your loved ones.



Coach & Mind-Body Educator, Creative Producer, B.A. Psychology, Certified TRE® Provider, Integrative Somatic Therapies, Dance & Movement Therapy (DTAA – Student), Zen Practitioner

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  1. My wife passed in Dear 2018 I still live in the home we had built and many times I can her Spirit. Last night i heard a door slam shut twice. This morning lying on the kitchen floor was the towel my wife always had on the back of my chair, the towel was folded in a way that she would fold it.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience Frank, I hope you feel her close in your heart 🙂

      • My ex husband passed away yesterday age 73. His identical twin was notified. He lives miles away. A few hours later his twin called to say that a unknown framed photograph of his brother appeared on his night stand next to his bed. He thanked his wife and she said she didn’t know what he was talking about. They are the only 2 in the house. He immediately called to inform the family and sent us a copy of the photo. Never had seen it and it was definitely my ex. NOT his twin. My daughters and I are believers in such things and have had experiences in the past. I must add his twin and wife were quite taken back yet amazed as well. Overall, I think he was pleased his other half came through to him. They had never encountered such a thing.

        • Hi Donna, wow, that’s magical. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and I send warmest thoughts to you and all who knew and love him. <3


      • For five nights my dream was my first time my ex boyfriend went to a pool bar and our first passionate kiss… i forgot his spelling of his last name. I put the his first name and three letters of his last name.. there was his picture. I click on his picture he pass on 8/29/21 i was in tears because i really love this man.

    • My deatly departed 26 yo daughter died 4/6/2020 and it hasn’t been easy. She was charismatic, very funny and loved to joke around so when I found my toast under my pillow I knew it was her Joslin me! Her ashes sit an arms length from my bed and I’d gone to the powder room leaving my toast on my bed, when I came back I was perplexed as it was gone and I thought hmmmm did I eat it? No, I couldn’t have eaten it that fast. So I’d forgotten about it until I went to bed tonight and there was my toast under my pillow!!! It’s a charming wonderful surprise only she would do.

    • Hello, my mother passed away 6 months ago, I was about to make up my bed and I noticed on sheet a heart shape figure it was weird what could that be or mean?

  2. We lost our son 8 weeks ago tomorrow, I’ve had dozens of weird encounters but this one is so bizarre! My son was in prison for 5 years and drew a picture of an alien like character at least a year ago. When he came home one day while I was cooking hamburgers about 4 months ago and he decided he wanted one and it kinda made me angry, but I got one out and threw it in the pot and splashed hot grease on my wrist and the healed up spot looks just like the alien that he drew. I would love to share this with everyone!

    • Hi Anthony, I’m sorry about your son’s passing, but thank you for sharing your story! I love it! What a brilliant way to leave his mark 🙂

  3. So happy I found this site and I’ve read the stories here. My mom passed away in 2019 at 87 years old, she was married to my dad for 58 years, waited on him hand & foot. Since her passing, I drove over every day to cook lunch for dad & I eventually started updating his house. This Jan. 2021 I decided to sell my house & move in with him he was still so lost not knowing how to cook and do things, remember mama did it all for him. Well a month ago I’m remodeling the living room, which required me to rip out 20 year old carpet to lay the new floors. I had a roll of paper towels that had been sat on so they were pretty flat, couldn’t stand them on their end, so I had them laying on the kitchen counter. I am in the living room floor with the box cutter slicing the carpet up with my back to the kitchen & the roll of flat paper towels flew across the living room. Mama loved her green carpet lol… i proceed to get the towels, get up and place them back on the kitchen counter & actually stand there and made sure they couldn’t roll……go back to the LR floor and start cutting again, and the paper towels came flying thru the LR again!!!….No one in the house except me & the small dogs, I calmly picked up the paper towels and said Mama stop it, I know you loved your carpet but it’s time for an update, proceeded to get up and put them back on the counter with no more encounters 🙂 I told my dad (85) when he came in and he said…well it does sound like something your mother would do lol…..
    So finding this site & knowing I’m not losing my mind was wonderful!! Over my lifetime I’ve had many things such as this happen to me with different people!!
    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Diane, thank you so much for sharing this with us! It’s so heartwarming to hear your story, you’re definitely not losing your mind 🙂 It also sounds like you’re looking after your dad really well – even though I don’t know you, I just felt like letting you know I can feel that from your story and I think you should know that – it’s beautiful. <3 Warmest wishes, Christine

  4. My father passed within the last year. All 3 of us girls are experiencing events in our homes. My TV turns on at night periodically. I know I’ve turned it off the night before. My dad was in the Marine Corp. I was looking thru my purse. Thought I had a quarter at first sight, it wasn’t it was a token for Toys for Tots, Marine Corp. Most recently talking to mom on the phone, heard static and then I heard my dads voice clear as a bell. The phone went dead. I called my mom back and said, “did you hear the static”, she replied “no”. Did you hear dad, “she replied no”. It was his voice, I would recognize it anywhere and what he said, isn’t appropriate for here, but it was so what he would say. I am going to a medium in April and can’t wait.

  5. Im not sure what to say about my experience. My husband died 12weeks ago. My husband was a believer that there is something once you die, but I’m a sceptic until something strange happened. We had a renovation done in our bathroom, but my poor husband couldn’t finish the sink, anyway long story short, our friend finished it for us, now I had been using this sink for 3weeks. On this occasion I was sat crying sobbing into my beautiful husband dressing gown begging for some sort off sign. When I went to bed got up next morning washed my hands no water not a drop hot or cold. What panicked what do I do. So long short of it all toilet flushed shower work just the sink, so I took draw out now someone had turned those taps off behind the sink unit. There is nothing that could catch to switch them off, if there is anything and I believe then I know my husband new I didn’t and he would have to do something for me to believe. The second thing was the other night I just couldn’t sleep, I was watching a series on tv, it was something my husband would of watched not really my cup of tea, made me jump a couple of times, well, After it finished & I tried to fall asleep tossed turned I heard a noise then a weird sensation through the inside my body from head to toe like a buzzing was weird only last a few seconds, I shouted ok John I know your hear. I am baffled on both things that happened my husband was my sole mate been together since we was both nearly 15, married 47 half yrs. he was my best friend my life. I just wanted to share what I believe to be a weird experience

  6. My beloved wife of 27+ years passed away on April 6th,2022.
    I came in the house from garage; she and I had spoken a few minutes earlier. 915pm ish

    She was slumped over the coffee table from couch.
    She had been down for minutes, i didn’t know that at the time. When I say down, I mean you know..

    I tried to rouse her, she slid off the table.
    I pushed coffee table away, her eyes were halfway open. I tried to rouse her again, no response

    Wake up , stop messing around, no response

    This does not make sense, I am confused, her eyes half open
    I felt for a pulse at her neck, I felt one beat
    I ran and got pulse ox meter, it showed flat line, , no beats, no oxygen level, must be broken,
    Hey baby wake up !
    Put meter on my finger , it slowly started working, showing heart beats, and oxygen
    I put it back on her finger, flat line again.
    I called 911
    They had me initiate CPR, help was on the way
    They asked, is she breathing, no she wasn’t.
    So I added air breathing to her CPR, each 5-7 pumps , crying and screaming come back to me baby.

    Help was coming,

    Several minutes into this, 911 is helping me , calling it out the count 1 2 3 4
    I crying , yelling out at her and the phone behind me, calling the count pump 1 2 3 ..
    I realized front door was locked, 911 said to run unlock
    I did , left door wide open, I could see out to the street, and they would be able to see me desperately pumping chest.
    Minutes tick by, three breath sets into it later, I lean over to breath air into her, her head is facing straight up, second before her tongue and lips were purple,

    I look left down the hallway; I see flickering emergency lights to start flashing, arriving

    After the air comes back out of her lungs,that weird sound in my tears I see her color back in tongue then

    Her head forcefully turn 90 degrees to me, her eyes fluttered, and a forced smile.
    from the wide open ceiling face with mouth open.

    I cry out that’s it baby, we can do this.

    Paramedics and fireman coming down the hallway , 7 of them take over.
    Pumping, shocking , intubation,
    They cant get a pulse and valiantly try for 30-35 minutes to revive her, they cant.

    What does the forced head turn and smile mean. ?
    Was my love trying to tell me she was ok ?

    The other day., 72 days after,. i’m in the office working, facing the wall towards the garage..
    I hear the sound of electronic yahtzee game totaling or rolling the dice, it was for about half a second, then
    it did it again…for another second…i tore the office apart looking for the game she had., no where ..

    the next day, im depressed and laying in the spot she died, in tears. i reach over to the cabinent with her urn and flowers on it, i opened the bottom drawer, theres the yahtzee game……

    theres no way it could of been it,. and its sound from the living room. the sounds , came from the wall by the office.

    oh, by the way, when we first moved intogether, we played board yahtzee, then later in life , electronic yhahtzee

    only she knew that..

  7. My 1st wife died 10 years ago of cancer. On her last day of consciousness (neither blood pressure nor pulse could be measured), she told me many things, some of which I did not understand until years later. But most importantly she told me of a man shot that in Colombia and of his son and wife — and that I would marry his wife. I asked her to spell their names, (which were consistent with Latin tradition) and I googled the woman’s name, and found her as a lawyer in LinkedIn. Nonetheless I did not really believe her, though a hospice counselor said (the next day when we were waiting for her last breaths) to expect it to come to pass because it was so consistently detailed. I have a more complete description I posted in Quora. As it was, she and her son did come to live locally and we did meet and marry. Her husband had died of a brutal robbery just at the moment my dying wife began to tell me this tale. As a scientist, this has changed my perspective on death and dying.

    • Wow, how incredible Brian, thank you so much for sharing this.


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