The Easy Guide to Connecting with
Loved Ones on the Other Side
“Wonderful—a caring and compassionate guidebook like nothing
else I’ve ever read.”—p. m. h. atwater, lhd,
author of Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story
closer than you thin
“The perfect reminder that our loved ones on the
other side are closer than we think.”
—jenniffer weigel, author of I’m Spiritual, Dammit! and Stay Tuned
ever talk with your deceased loved ones? Do you sometimes feel their
tap on your shoulder? See them out of the corner of your eye? Hear their favorite
song and think they’re trying to tell you something?
Or maybe you wish you could talk with your mother/husband/daughter/friend just
one more time but worry that it’s a little crazy.
Listen up! It’s not crazy at all.
Debbie Heneghan should know. Her sister Kathy died when they were teenagers.
But Kathy kept right on showing up and offering advice when she needed it most.
It’s been over two decades and they still talk all the time. “She’s guided me into some
of my best work and life situations,” Deb offers in this story-filled guidebook. “She’s
saved me from danger more than once, one time literally saving my life!”
“Not another grief recovery book, this is a celebration of love and life in all realms,
and I give it ten stars!” —dr. caron goode,
author of Kids Who See Ghosts and Raising Intuitive Children
“Deborah Heneghan covers every aspect of death and dying, life and living in a
heart-filled, uplifting, and totally unique and wonderful way. She’s done us a favor.
She’s opened up our hearts . . . so we can see what’s inside.”
—p. m. h. atwater, lhd, author of The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences
and Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story
with debbie’s help, you will discover that your deceased loved ones are here to
stay. Learn to recognize rock-star appearances but also subtle nudges. And let yourself
grow richer from their guidance and wisdom. Which are always closer than you think.
ISBN: 978-1-57174-661-0 $16.95
Copyright © 2012 by Deborah Heneghan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage
and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Hampton
Roads Publishing, Inc. Reviewers may quote brief passages.
Cover design: Nita Ybarra
Cover art: Chris Stein
Interior design: StanInfo
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Charlottesville, VA 22906
Distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser, llc
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available on
Printed on acid-free paper in the United States of America
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Have you ever lost someone you love and wondered if she’s trying to reach out, send you signs, or let you know she’s
okay? Have you hoped to establish a clearer connection with
her? It can be remarkably easy when you know what to do. The
payoff, as you’ll see, is life changing.
I was fifteen when my seventeen-year-old sister died of
Leukemia. A few weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night
in my pitch-black bedroom to a faint whisper summoning me . . .
“Deb, Deb, Deb.”
I opened my eyes, and there she stood at my bedside. My eyes
traced the outline of her body. Her thin frame was unmistakable.
It’s Kathy! I thought. I had no doubt.
Trembling with excitement, I reached my hand out to try to
touch her. As I leaned in toward her image, she vanished. In a
panic, I jolted, fell back, and flew under my covers.
What did I just do? Did I scare her away? Is she okay? Is some-
thing wrong? Did she need something from me? Where did she go?
Seeing her, even for that moment, changed my life forever.
The next morning, confused but curious, I started talking
to my sister about everything and anything. I continued this for
days, and without realizing this was possible, the signs, messages,
and answers to my thoughts and questions started flowing in.
When I needed confirmation of something, I’d flick on the
radio and hear “Don’t Stop Believin’”—her favorite song by
Journey. I’d awaken in the middle of the night to see 3:10 on the
alarm clock—her favorite number combination—with the big,
bold, red digital numbers glowing brightly on the panel as if vali-
dating my question or concern. (I see this number all the time
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now—on license plates in front of me, on billboards or buildings
on my way to work, or in glancing at my clock just when I need
a sign. It’s become our code and lets me know Kathy is watching
Little did I know at first, but we were establishing a method
of communication between worlds. From time to time, I felt
what I like to call an invisible hug wrap around me. My senses
heightened, becoming more aware of these messages. Our con-
versations grew, and I talked with Kathy as if she were right
beside me. I kept a log, a diary of sorts, of the most obvious
angelic signs—something I’ll teach you to do in Chapter 4
(I call it my Angel in a Pocket). Remarkably, Kathy and I built
a trust between us, providing me with invaluable guidance
and support as well as the confidence I needed to move for-
ward. I like to think I also helped my sister fulfill unrealized
dreams from her life. There was no question; this was a new
It’s been over two decades, and Kathy’s angelic imprint is
still everywhere in my life, a constant. It’s so obvious at times that
it’s downright comical. She’s guided me into some of the best
work and life situations I’ve ever experienced, and she’s saved
me from danger, once literally saving my life! Our relationship
is a joyous two-way connection in which I continue her work
here on earth, my own work expands, and she continues guiding
and protecting me as my big sister. What started off as a bit of a
lark—living for two—has morphed from the reaction of a heart-
broken teenager to a lifelong practice. She never ceases guiding,
entertaining, and blessing our family and me beyond belief. I
never cease thinking of her and her dreams, and carrying her
with me. Each of us healed through the other. I want that for
The powerful ways in which my sister helps me, comforts
me, and communicates with me create a blueprint for you to
follow. With this book, your relationship with your loved one
can be one of the most fulfilling, protective, fun, natural, and
beautiful things in your world—so much so that you’ll believe, as
I do now, that death is a beautiful part of life; a beginning, not an
end. If that sounds too unbelievable from where you now stand,
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I understand. Perhaps you’re in a crisis of faith, as I once was.
Losing someone near and dear to your heart challenges faith as
nothing else can. I’m excited to share stories and techniques
that have helped me and countless others restore and grow our
faith, so much so that the first chapter is devoted to that subject.
Also, at the end of each chapter, you’ll find a core Fundamental
to help you work through challenging situations and to keep you
focused on your many blessings.
In case you’re wondering, I assure you, I’m not one of those
woo-woo types who sneezes rainbows and moonbeams. I do not
have my head in the clouds. I’m a working mother with two
young boys and stress like anyone else. I don’t live in la-la land
but rather in traditional Pennsylvania. I wear business suits,
and I design software solutions for IBM. I teach tele-seminars
and provide grief and life coaching to spread the profound
healing I’ve received since my sister’s death. I also enable peo-
ple to find their way on their spiritual path through spiritual
workshops and retreats and by sharing wisdom, experiences,
and stories as an Internet radio host.
But for as much as I’ve found the blessings in my sister’s
death, I should also admit another truth: death sucks! Believe
me, if I had my way and could reorganize the universe, I’d make
sure no one would ever have to lose someone they love ever
The brutality of having to say goodbye to a person who
gives your life meaning is unbearable. But because of how gut
wrenching my sister’s death was for me, because of how horrible
and unfair it was for my parents and my other older sister, for
my grandparents and Kathy’s young friends—most of whom had
never seen death—I had to find the silver lining. If not, I would
have gone nuts, like my friend who used to wake up at night
insanely trying to figure out ways to pull a Dr. Frankenstein and
bring her father back from the dead. That’s how crazy our minds
get when we experience the inconceivable pain of loss. Even
though I’m not a fan of the entire unfair system of death and
grief, I’ve stopped trying to avoid and fight it. It’s futile. After
all, death has been around a lot longer than me, and it's not
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