It is surprisingly common to continue to see, hear or feel someone after they have died. Some studies have suggested that this might be the case in almost half of people affected by bereavement.
In our culture, hallucinations are associated with mental illness and chemically altered states, but may also be experienced by those who are completely sane and sober. In the case of hallucinations during bereavement, research suggests that these episodes are a normal part of the process of grieving. Some people find these experiences comforting and helpful. For others, understandably, they can become a source of upset and distress.
Given that psychological studies have concluded these episodes are a normal part of grieving and coming to terms with loss, it would be unethical for someone untrained in grief counselling to interfere with that process. It is likely that a professional counsellor can provide more benefit to someone troubled by episodes such as these than a ‘psychic’ or a paranormal investigator.
- ‘The Hallucinations of Widowhood’ (1971). Classic study by W. Dewi Rees.
- ‘Ghost Stories: Visits from the Deceased’ (2008). Article from Scientific American, by Vaughan Bell.
- Cruse Bereavement Care. A voluntary organisation (UK) that offers bereavement counselling.