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Thirtysomething years ago, when my kids made comments about their “imaginary friends” — making visits, having conversations, joining us on outings — we accepted them as exactly that: imaginary friends dreamed up in their vivid, child-like imaginations. But our knowledge and experience about so many things has changed since then.

Children are now raised with different messages about health and wellness, sexuality, bullying, safety, technology, and — thanks to many movies and TV shows — psychic mediumship, the presence of loved ones in spirit, and the ability to communicate with them.

While logic and reason say otherwise, I now have to believe that those imaginary friends were actually visits from my deceased loved ones — now known as after-death communication (ADC). An ADC occurs as a visit between a family member or friend who is dead and someone who is alive, without the help or involvement of a psychic medium or ritual. Far from imaginary, this is a genuine encounter.

I have met with psychic mediums and I have received astonishing messages from my deceased family members — information that was private, detailed and accurate. Those life-changing visits validated what I had often wondered about – the on-going presence of my family on the “other side.”

But none of the visits to the medium can compare to the experiences I am currently having with my almost 3-year-old grandson.

Any drop of skepticism has now diminished. G.O.N.E.

“The lady told me to be careful not fall out of my bed,” my young grandson, Ben, told my daughter, Rebecca, the morning after she took the rails off his bed.

“What lady?”

“The lady who was in my room.”

My daughter called me later that day to tell me what had happened, but knowing that Ben commonly remembers his dreams, we assumed it was just a dream.

And then “the lady” came up again as he was sitting and eating breakfast with Rebecca a few days later.

With his spoon in the air, he asked “What did the lady just say?”

He then looked around, seemingly puzzled. “Where did she go?”

“What lady?” my daughter asked.

“The lady who comes to my room. She was just here.”

My daughter and I discussed this later on the phone. Who is this lady he keeps referring to?

Ben was at my house on Friday night, and we were reading a book in the family room. About halfway through the book, he casually got up and walked over to the wall of old photos.

“That’s the lady who comes to see me in my room,” he said, pointing to a photo of my late mother (1930-1970). “She comes to my room in her rocket ship!”

Incredible and credible.

I was absolutely speechless.

It is truly impossible to describe the emotions I felt when he made that statement — a totally genuine, innocent comment that reassured me that this “lady” was not just in Ben’s imagination. He knew exactly who she was, my mom, whom I lost in a plane crash in 1970 when I was 13 years old.

I asked Ben if he knew anyone else in the pictures.

“Nope,” he said, and then casually walked back to the couch and picked up the book so we could continue reading.

The on-going exposure to psychic mediums in the media has successfully increased awareness and acceptance of the ability to connect with the deceased. Many people are finally starting to believe in the ability to communicate with spirits.

For me, it is incredibly comforting and validating, knowing that our loved ones never really leave us.

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Lynda Fishman, clinical social worker, inspirational speaker, author of Repairing Rainbows, and survivor of an unspeakable personal tragedy. In 1970, when she was 13, her mother and two sisters were killed in an Air Canada plane crash. Her father fell into a deep depression, and she was essentially left to fend for herself. Lynda has turned her wounds into wisdom. With a message about courage, strength and hope, Lynda now spends her time sharing her moving story and her eight “happiness-inducing choices.” Visit www.repairingrainbows.com.

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