ASK RAYMOND #1: Do our departed loved ones retain their identities in the afterlife?

ASK RAYMOND #1: Do our departed loved ones retain their identities in the afterlife?

TODAY’S QUESTIONS relate to the continuity of identity in the afterlife. 

Do people who have NDEs report that their loved ones look exactly as they did on earth? 

Is it right to think of our departed loved ones as being as we knew them when they were in this life form?  

If people reincarnate, then how would they continue to appear in apparitional form as we once knew them?

Click on the video above to hear answer to these inter-related questions.

(Note from Lisa: This segment ends a little abruptly. Some of you who watched it wanted to hear a little more about the appearance of our loved ones on the other side. Here are a few comments from me, and Raymond will respond more fully in a future blog.)

Do you know that feeling when you are in a dark room, and someone enters and you just know who it is?

 One of the things, I have heard is that when people encounter their deceased loved ones during an NDE,  often people’s kinesthetic or feeling sense is intensified, and there is a recognition of people  on the energetic level.

They can just feel others. However, that feeling is often associated with the other senses—that is, it is synesthesic. One of the qualities of afterlife experiences is that often it involves the blending of the senses, eg: “My uncle was there, and I could feel him, and it was as if he were the color blue and his voice had this silver, like the metal, quality as he spoke. I could hear him, feel him, see him in this kind of combined sensory experience.”

Dr. Ken Ring in his book Mindsight researched the NDEs of the blind, and 80% reported being able to see when they “left their bodies.”  Several described seeing their own bodies on the bed below –after never having seen themselves before. They described, however, a way of “seeing” that Ring called “transcendental awareness” as their seeing involved the same kind of synesthesia described above.

 As people die, it is very common, that soon before dying, they experience the presence of departed loved ones at their bedside. It is as if these presences appear as take-away figures. For some people, the awareness of these figures is very visual with varying degrees of clarity and density of vision while for others the presence is more auditory—and people hear the voices of their loved ones while  feeling their presence. It appears there is as much variation in how we process other world experiences as there is variation in how we process life here on this plane. We all have certain process preferences in terms of visual , auditory and kinesthetic.

 And yet, it does seem that the closer we move towards death and into the afterlife, these modalities integrate into a new way of “knowing” or seeing, a new “transcendental awareness” that involves an integration of the senses.

 As Raymond mentions, often our deceased loved ones visit us as they appeared in prime of life. It is rare that they come to us in the condition in which we last saw them before their passing unless they were young when they passed on.

Those who have experienced after-death communications, describe the appearance of their loved ones in a number of ways that often do not have the same kind of bodily form that is described by the dying or those who have had NDEs.  Often, we hear about the presence of their loved one showing up in animals, strange electronic occurrences, synchronicities, etc. -Lisa Smartt


If you are as curious as I am about the afterlife, then you will be fascinated by the account of  Jeff Olsen and Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll:  

When Jeffery Olsen had a powerful NDE after a tragic car accident that killed his wife and child, Dr. O’Driscoll, his trauma surgeon, had uncanny encounters with Olsen’s deceased wife. On December 4 from 7-8 PM ET * this patient and doctor will join me for a conversation about what they learned from their near-death and shared-death experiences. 

This will be only the second public appearance of Dr. O’Driscoll  who will speak about the shared-death experience that transformed his perspective on consciousness. 

*Can’t afford the webinar but want to attend? Scholarships are available. Please contact us at