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Death is often joked about as being unavoidable like taxes and aging. The truth is it's not a laughing matter as many consider the afterlife a factual part of the living. A recent CBS News poll found most Americans believe in the existence of heaven, hell and ghosts. Additionally, 3 out of 4 people believe there's a distinct probability of connecting with the dead. When we think about communicating with our dead loved ones, an immediate representation of a storefront psychic holding a crystal ball comes to mind. Author and Dr. Elisa Medhus believed this. But after her son died, she encountered too many experiences to disregard eternity. "I’ve heard Erik’s voice live, on recordings and even on the telephone, nothing compares to those times when I’ve actually seen him, physically," she said. If she could experience an encounter like this, why can't the rest us? Step into another environment and contemplate interacting with someone on the other side. Here are 6 concepts to consider in communicating with the departed.

Talk to them.

Begin with yes-or-no questions and designate one hand as being a "yes" and the other as being a "no." Researchers recommend that you ask a question like "Are you safe?" You can also turn your palms up to feel the change in temperature. Another variation is feeling physical pressure. You may feel a tingling, a burning, or a numbing sensation as well. "If you don’t get anything, ask them to make it stronger until you’re satisfied that you feel a change," Medus added. There might be a feeling of awkwardness on your part, but be still and go with it.

They come into your dreams.

Just like God gave Joseph a dream about his future, the Lord also spoke through Joel in dreams: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions.” Dreams can be more than a message from God, they can be a vessel that people use to communicate with you. When we sleep, we're more open to connecting with the other side because we're more relaxed. I had a dream my grandparents were having their coffee together in Heaven and this brought a sense of peace.

Start thinking of them.

People in the afterlife may leave objects like dimes or may leave their scent. They may play songs or move objects to get your attention. They may sit in their favorite chair and you might get a glimpse. "I watched as he hopped back and forth, fully realizing how surreal the moment was. After several seconds, Erik turned to face me. His expression turned from contentment to startle," Medhus recounted. Her son appeared to her and "It lasted only a few seconds, but he felt so solid and the moment was lovely." You might notice the pressure in the bed next to you change or sense someone is watching over you. Additionally, there could be a transformation in the energy that seems unusual or a shift in the airflow when you're thinking about them. This is their way of addressing you.

Be open to clues.

Sometimes our loved ones communicate with animals, flowers, numbers and small objects using a ball of energy. They will select something that will be common enough to get to you. Many believe a red cardinal is a sign that a loved one is near. They can use apparitions, appliances or use audible voices. In her book, Surviving Death, Leslie Kean, reported case studies and records of people experiencing the same conditions. Personally, she encountered another dimension by hearing from her own brother after his death.

Hold an object of theirs.

Holding an object of your departed loved one can really help you connect with them. This can be a hair brush, clothes, a picture, a letter or anything that they used or loved. While you're doing this close your eyes and start praying for them and release your faith. Pay attention to your body and any physical sensations. Open your eyes again and speak their name aloud while focusing again on all of your senses. "Sometimes people report hearing a voice when no one was there. Again, this could be a sign to you. Did you recognize the voice? Try to respond aloud and see if your loved one can speak with you," Power of Positivity shared.

They may call.

Some people receive phone calls with static on the other end. Many people encounter this because it's an electrical object. A spirit can work to manipulate the energy with the device and may cause this phenomenon after they transitioned. Ghost phone calls from the dead occur randomly and it's believed that the voice on the other end sounds just like the person's voice before their passing. Sometimes callers from the other side show up as 000-000-0000 on the caller ID.

Use a recorder.

You can place a digital recorder and it may record the voice known as Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Ask several questions on how and where they are and allow the recorder to run. Sometimes when it's played back, there's another voice there and it's not yours.

Secrets of the afterlife can be revealed through communication in the physical realm. It's a matter of being open and being willing to listen.

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