One question that I am often asked is, “How long after a person dies do I have to wait before I can contact them?” I have heard many varying theories regarding this matter. Some say that you have to wait three to seven days for the soul to settle. The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church observes a 40-day memorial period after death to allow the soul to wander the earth before ascending, as Jesus did after his resurrection. The ancient Romans believed that it took the soul seven years to renew and regenerate.

Regardless of the length of the “settling in” period, the question remains, “When can I talk to them?” The short answer is, “What time is it now?” There is no set-in-stone timetable for spirits to be able to reach out to us or for us to reach out to them. Everyone is different and the circumstances of the ways people die are varied. Besides, time on the other side is quite different from the linear concept we hold in this physical life.

I have personally experienced the presence of loved ones at the exact moment of their deaths from great distances away. I have also encountered entities who are unable or unwilling to connect at any particular time. There is also a big difference in connecting with spirits that are earth bound and those who have fully transitioned. Because of all these differences and more, I always tell my clients not to get their hopes and expectations up for contact with a specific individual. It really depends on the needs of those involved, on both sides.

In general, I recommend that living loved ones, especially those closest to the deceased, give themselves a little time to grieve and settle before attempting contact. Here again, the amount of time depends on the individual and their emotional state. For someone who has totally accepted the passing and is spiritually attuned, they may be ready to connect immediately. For someone in a more delicate emotional place, it may take weeks, months, or even years before they are ready for an encounter of this kind.

Ultimately, it comes down to a question not only of when they are ready, but when you are ready as well. The grieving process is very personal and complex. If you are feeling a sense of overwhelming loss or guilt, you’re not ready. I like to tell people that when you can remember the person who passed and laugh a little before you cry, then you’re ready.

If you’re feeling anger or resentment, you’re not ready. Settling unresolved issues or conflicts is important and often necessary. But, if you’re looking for resolution, both parties have to be ready, willing, and able. There is no such thing as a one-sided truce. If there was an issue, can you really let it go? If an entity is earthbound, they need the conflict resolved more than you do. Remember the whole “compassion versus confrontation” thing? Your energy and intentions set the stage for the encounter.

If the entity has fully transitioned, it’s important to note that they have already released any conflicts or other issues that held them here. In that case, the contact is totally for your benefit and need.

When we practice as psychics or mediums, we assume a great responsibility. We are dealing with our clients’ feelings and emotions on a very personal level. We may become privy to deeply guarded secrets. Information may come through that people aren’t quite ready for. We have to be sensitive, not only to the metaphysical energies, but also to the physical and emotional energy of our clients. Sometimes it’s OK to say, “Maybe we should wait a while.”

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