Psychic Abilities Opening up After a Death in the Family 

psychic abilities opening up after a death in the family

A common scenario I’ve seen for people who are going through a spiritual or psychic awakening, is that a death in the family served as a catalyst for their awakening.

Typically, this means that when a person loses a beloved family member or friend, they have an experience around the person’s passing (usually something of a paranormal nature) and it opens up their spiritual awareness or challenges their worldview & beliefs about the afterlife.

I’ve had a lot of emails in the past from new readers beginning “My loved one recently passed away, and I’m finding that my abilities are opening up…”

I’ll give you an example of how this can play out…through a story involving my little brother, Tony.

This is Tony and me in the photo below:

Tony is only 18 months younger than me and was my little partner in crime when we were small… we were really close, with an almost telepathic bond.

When I set myself up as an intuitive back in 2008, Tony honestly thought I was a bit bonkers. However, he had a paranormal experience a few years ago that was so odd, it completely changed his mind….

Back then, he had a routine going when he got home from work in the evening. Every night, when he arrived home and parked up, his beloved cat Ling would wait for him & jump on the bonnet of the car when he arrived, and Tony would wind down his window and the cat would give him a kiss, and jump into the car.

Anyway, one day, when he got back home from work, the cat jumped on the bonnet as usual but this time, he did not get into the car when Tony wound down the window. Instead, he ran off into the garden as if he’d been spooked by something. That had never happened before.

Tony opened the car door, and was amazed & horrified to find the cat that had just greeted him cold and dead on the floor. As he was standing there, a taxi driver drove past and said, “Is that your cat? I came past here earlier…he’s been dead for a few hours, I didn’t want to move him so that the owners could find him easily.”

Sadly Ling had been hit by a car at some point earlier that day. It is an experience Tony can’t explain. Perhaps that was the cat’s way of saying goodbye.

How losing a loved one can trigger an awakening

After a person passes, it is not uncommon to have experiences (like my brother’s experience) that we simply cannot explain. Sometimes the signs we receive from our deceased loved ones are subtle signs, like hearing their favourite song on the radio, seeing something moving in the corner of your eye, or even just having the sense that the person’s energy is with you.

Or sometimes the experience we have can be more dramatic, such as what happened to my brother.

I’ve often heard of experiences for people where a deceased loved one passes in the night, perhaps a long distance away, and the person who is left behind wakes up at exactly the time that the passing took place, or they wake up hearing the deceased person calling their name at the time the passing happened. The deceased can quite easily come to us in our dreams (in this article, I explain why.)

Another common experience that can cause us to change the way we look at the world is when a medium is able to connect to our deceased loved one and pass on information that is unmistakably from the deceased.

So when you go through such experiences, it’s not surprising that your beliefs about life after death are challenged, and this can spark a spiritual awakening.

There’s also another mechanism through which our intuitive gifts can awaken when someone close to us passes…

Part of us follows the deceased person to the ‘other side’

The other phenomenon that can occur after a loved one dies, is that part of our energy/soul can follow the deceased into the afterlife for a while. This doesn’t happen to all those who go through a loss, but it does sometimes happen, especially when a death is unexpected and sudden.

This corresponds to the concept of ‘soul loss‘ in shamanism. Soul loss is based on the idea that that traumas can cause us to “lose” fragments of our soul’s energy temporarily. In psychology, it corresponds to splitting, dissociation and the idea of part of our psyche being stuck in the past, with another person or or with a past experience that is unresolved.

When you experience soul loss, you may feel like part of you is missing, or has been lost somehow. You may not feel like ‘yourself’. You may have low energy and low immunity. You might also have gaps in your memory when it comes to the trauma or loss that affected you.

The part of you that is temporarily missing following a bereavement can usually be found in the afterlife, with your deceased loved one. After some time, and as you come to terms with the loss, this soul fragment will usually return to you, but in the mean time, having a piece of you reside with your deceased loved one on the other side, can cause a heightened sense of spiritual awareness.

This can manifest as you noticing when your deceased loved one is visiting you. You may become more perceptive when it comes to receiving spiritual communication from them. If you had any latent mediumship abilities at all, these begin to open up.

This is a phenomenon I have first hand experience of myself, following the loss of a pet.

I hope this article explains why a death of a loved one can often be a potent catalyst for a spiritual or psychic awakening. You can perhaps think of it as your deceased loved one’s gift to you.

Did this happen to you? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please share in the comments section below.

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Helen Hageman

    Hi Anna, 10 and a half years ago my mum passed away and my mediumship opened up on a rapid scale. Just 2 weeks after her passing I heard her talking to me very faintly (the start of the Clairaudience) she made me listen to develop and hone this skill and showed herself to me regularly. I was already a sensitive empath and clairsentient but all of my abilities heightened. Mum works with me from spirit and comes in on my right I feel and hear her and she is also the key to my psychic dreams. I lucid dream a lot and if there is a message within a dream for me mum suddenly appears in it and then I take notice and pick up my message. I really enjoy recieving your mail and love your books. Sending love and light ????

  2. Anna Sayce

    Hi Helen, thanks for sharing your experience! That’s so cool that your mum helped you to develop your gifts from the other side.

  3. Nisha

    Thank you Anna. This was interesting. I just began learning about Spirit Guides and I came across your blog… call it Divine Synchronicity 🙂 God Blessings

  4. Michelle

    Two years ago my 4-year-old grandson passed away unexpectedly. I was teaching on that day and I had the odd experience of someone running their fingers through my hair. I had chills all over my body. Then, and I don’t know how else to explain it, it felt like I was emerged in a warm bathtub of overwhelming love. I could feel it inside and outside my body. I looked at the time, 7:45 a.m. An hour later I got the call, I knew it was him. When returning home, our entire home smelled strongly of maple syrup (his favorite food was pancakes). We did not have any in the house. At least 2 or 3 times a week my lights begin to flicker at 7:45 a.m. I think it is him. They never flicker otherwise.

  5. VALDA

    Talking on the phone to my daughter I was telling her I had found the letter Mum had left with her funeral wishes. Just as I said she even asked for her flowers to be pink, my daughter said pink at the same time. Right at that moment the room filled with a pink smoke/haze. As I frantically looked for my mobile to take a photo I turned and out the window was a large NZ Post truck with red canopies. The sun was reflecting back off it and into Mums unit filling the room with pink light. When the minister called in to discuss Mums funeral I told him what had happened and made the comment ‘ the truck canopies appease the sceptics but Gods timing is perfect.’ When my brother arrived he noticed the pink ‘smoke’ in the corner and queried it. He also knew of Mums love for the colour pink and as the sun moved the reflection disappeared but it was a delightful experience.

  6. VALDA

    When my sister died my husband and I decided we had better get a plaque in place on my great grandmothers grave as she only had the word ‘mother’ and nothing else…no name or dates. My mother had had the plaque made and we wanted it in place before she passed as well. My husband had just put some lines of glue on the flat concrete grave when suddenly a picture of a face appeared like an old photo negative. It looked just like my sister when she was a little girl. We took photos and emailed them to my brother. When my mum saw the photos on the screen she asked my brother where I had got the photos of my sister from. It was an astonishing and heart warming experience. Great grandmother really didn’t need a plaque with names and dates because my sister had met up with her on the ‘other side’ and it’s lovely knowing they are together even though they had never met on the earthly plane.

  7. Ryan Wilson

    What has happened to me is in my sleep. I notice it when someone taps into my life and I’m explaining what happened to my life and why I’m where I’m at. I’m actually not in the best place in life. Someone spiritually close to me when I was a child passed away a few days earlier before the dream I had actually just a couple weeks ago, and at the time I didn’t know but I check the obituaries that morning because this has happened to me before. It almost seemed like a goodbye from this person I knew even after I pass away.

  8. Vivian Marable Roberts

    I almost had an auto accident a few years ago. A man pulled out in front of me and stopped. I swerved into the left lane with a car coming my way. I thought that I had enough time to make it out of that lane before we collided…I made it. This is the strange part, as I swerved, I heard my father’s voice yelling at me, “don’t overcorrect, don’t overcorrect.” He had passed away about 20 years before this happened, his voice was as clear as if he were in the car beside me.

  9. maggie andrade

    This article is so timely and so relevant to me right now. I had two friends die this year and although I haven’t been able to feel one of them around me yet, the other one has made it very clear that he is around and wants to communicate. I’ve been toying around with the idea of mediumship because it has always interested me but also intimidated me a bit. After my friends have passed I have suddenly been better able to learn more and understand the afterlife and how I can develop and attune to that energy.
    Thank you for the reminder through this article 🙂

  10. Anna Sayce

    Nisha – Welcome! 🙂

    Michelle – I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandson. What amazing experiences you had around the time of his passing.

    Valda – what cool experiences to have, God’s timing is perfect indeed. Thanks for sharing.

    Ryan – I’m sorry for your loss! I hope things feel better soon.

    Vivian – I got chills reading your comment… I’m sure he was watching over you at that moment.

    Maggie – glad you found this timely 🙂

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