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Traumatic Grief and 6th Sense Experiences

Does trauma increase the likelihood of having 6th sense experiences involving their deceased loved one?  Perhaps.  

Interviewing homicide survivors for my podcast has yielded spontaneous reports of survivors experiencing their first anomalous experience following the violent murder.

According to a Gallup Poll, 32 percent of Americans believe the spirits of the dead can return.  Another 16 percent aren’t sure.  Psychology Today tells us that a fifth of these experiences provide new information that later turned out to be true.

The simplest explanation is that it’s just misplaced hope and yearning, vestiges of our Dark Age tendencies.

Why This Topic?

My purpose in conveying this information is not to persuade you to believe one way or another.  Rather, it’s merely to faithfully report what I’ve been told, in order to give comfort to survivors who’ve had similar events.

Here are some examples.

Four guests

Shelley Edwards Jorgenson – In Season Three, the episode released February 16, 2022, Shelley described a vivid experience that changed her life.  Her mother had been killed by her father following years of escalating domestic violence. He then torched the house. Shelley was a teen at the time.  About a month after her mom’s murder Shelley described this.

I was having recurring nightmares and not sleeping.  I was lying on my side with my back to the door of my room. The lights were off.  I was miserable, overwhelmed with grief.  Things weren’t getting better.  I didn’t care if I lived or not.  I was lying there with my eyes open.  Then, behind me, my room started to light up.  I thought someone opened the door.  I rolled over.  But I saw my mom standing there in the light.  She looked beautiful.  A kind of peace washed over me.   She said, “Shelley, I love you.  Everything will be okay.”  Then the light closed up and she was gone again.  I knew I wasn’t crazy.  I knew it was real.  I saw her.  I felt her.  I heard her.  The message seemed profound to me.  I held on to that.

Todd Bosczkowski – Also in Season Three, on January 5, 2022, we heard from Todd who described the drowning death of both his mother and stepmother.  Todd was 5 and 9 years old at the time of these losses.  His father was convicted of killing them both.  From prison, his father casually told Todd he was present at one of the drownings. 

While in military service Todd recalled this life-changing event.

I was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. While I was there, I found myself in a situation where I was fully retriggered.  All my survival instincts were fully activated to the point where I had an out-of-body experience.  In that out-of-body experience, I actually saw the faces of my mother and stepmother. From that moment I was changed.  I didn’t want the military anymore.  I became more spiritual.  [Since then] I run into them.  I come face to face with them.  Afterward, I have a different perspective.

Jessica Lewis – Opening up Season Four on January 11, 2023, we heard from Jessica.  She and Russell were newlyweds and live-in caretakers for a ranch in a remote area of California.  They thought it was a dream come true. But one night Russell failed to come home.  A storm had knocked out power but Russell’s friend left a note on their gate informing Jessica that Russell had been fatally shot.  She had to wait two agonizing hours to get through to the sheriff to confirm this awful news.

She recalled the following.

Russell used to dream all the time that he was getting shot.  He would make gurgling sounds in his sleep.  I’d wake him up and ask him what he was dreaming about.  He’d tell me he was being shot.  I look back and I think he was getting some kind of warning, somehow.  He had those nightmares pretty much throughout our relationship.  But they got worse right before we moved to that ranch house. They were like every night.  We did have a conversation about it.  He said, “Maybe in another life, I was like in a World War or something…”  Never did we think it would really happen.

Dan Yearick and Ryan Hadley – During the first season, on October 28, 2020, we heard from Dan.  He described the moment he and Ryan were standing in the vacant home on the very spot where the murder of Ryan’s parents took place several months earlier.  This is what Dan reported.

At one point we were standing and talking.  I became aware of a dark presence.  I began hearing noises like a wind rushing through the house.  I didn’t say anything to Ryan but he did.  He described those same things to me – the wind, the noise… However, what he described was voices talking.  It was intense. My response was to pray against it, and it stopped.

Each of these guests found unshakable meaning and vividness in these memories.  Whenever one of my guests discloses an anomalous experience I always wonder how many more trauma survivors have had them too, but just keep them to themselves.

What Could This Be?

Some quantum mechanics scientists state that intense situations create intense energies.  When two things connect, they remain so forever. That connection cannot be undone.  It’s as if the intense energy of trauma opens a “valve” to a wider energy field around us.

To get more technical, Albert Einstein had a name for this.  He called it “quantum entanglement.”  And it goes something like this.  Each person’s atoms (the building blocks of their presence in the universe) become entangled with emotional attachment.  One particle will influence another even when they don’t touch and are separated by billions of miles. 

It may surprise you to learn that The University of Virginia, The Pentagon, the University of Edinburgh, the Office of U.S. Naval Research, Cambridge, and Lund University in Sweden are all seeking to understand and use information about these non-traditional ways of knowing.

Just because science can’t (yet) fully explain these anomalous experiences does not mean they don’t happen. The trauma of murder and suicide may well open our minds and senses in new ways, and when this occurs, the experience is unshakeable.

Losing a loved one raises questions that are commonly answered by faith, hope, and sharing with others who’ve had them, questions like:

  • Does our loved one’s spirit live on?
  • Is physical reality—what we know through our senses—all there is?
  • Will we see our loved ones again in the afterlife?

The only source of knowledge is experience.

                                            —–Albert Einstein

For more detailed information and for other resources, please refer to my book What Now? Navigating the Aftermath of Homicide and Suicide, available now on Amazon.

Click this Amazon link:

I’m Jan Canty. Psychologist, author, podcast host, speaker…  and homicide survivor.

I am passionate about finding ways to support and help other so-called “homicide or suicide survivors.”

No one should have to go through this kind of loss… but if you do, I want you to know… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

You aren’t crazy. It’s not your imagination! Society does not know how to comfort us. Fortunately, we know how to comfort one another.

Check out my books and get tools and resources to help you or someone you love!