When someone we dearly love passes on, we miss their physical presence. Even when we truly believe they are in a better place and that we will see them again one day, we miss seeing them, holding them, and hearing their voice. This need for a physical connection is so strong, many of us would gladly make a huge sacrifice for just one more brief moment of contact.

I’ve reached a stage in life where I’ve had to say goodbye to loved ones who passed on. In my case, both parents, a sister, a nephew, a niece, and countless uncles and aunts. . What I realized, however, is that when I yearn for a strong physical connection — to see them, touch the, hear them — I am actually trying to connect to them on a dimension where they no longer reside.

Yes, I do know they sometimes make themselves known in our physical dimension — a smell of cologne that seems to show up from nowhere, for example. But the majority of time I think about them, they exist in a spiritual dimension. If instead of yearning for a physical connection, I reach out to them with a more spiritual approach, I can connect to them more readily–but without the concrete validation that a physical connection brings. When I think of them with love, gratitude, and a peaceful heart I am actually CLOSER to them — for that is where they reside. We rise to higher levels of consciousness whenever we come from love and gratitude. And in doing so, we meet them.

We just have to believe what our heart tells us — that they are beside us in spirit — and not rely on our physical senses to validate that truth.

Paul Coleman

Dr. Paul Coleman is a psychologist in private practice for over thirty years and the author of a dozen books including his most recent “Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces” (ADAMS MEDIA, 2014). He has appeared on national television shows such as “OPRAH” and “TODAY” and has appeared on dozens of national radio shows including NPR and WABC. Dr. Coleman specializes in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well helping people through grief and other life transitions. For fun, Paul enjoys acting and has appeared in over forty community theater stage productions. He recently appeared as a grief counselor in the HBO series “I Know This Much Is True” starring Mark Ruffalo. He has written several stage plays—as yet unpublished—but has had readings of his plays performed in New York City and Austin, Texas. Paul and his wife have three children and four grandchildren.

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