Past-life regression expert and former skeptic Dr. Brian Weiss has devoted the last several decades of his career as an Ivy League-trained psychiatrist to exploring reincarnation and the afterlife. Now a believer, Dr. Weiss says that the people who have loved you on this earth are called master teachers -- and can be viewed as angels after they pass. This is a sentiment that resonates with Oprah, who recently spoke with Dr. Weiss about everyday angels on an episode of "Super Soul Sunday."
"I always say to people when they lose someone, 'Now you have an angel you can call by name,'" Oprah says.
The comment sparks Dr. Weiss to share a story from his book Miracles Happen about a grieving woman whose late husband sent her and her two sons a message about the other side. "[The deceased man] had become their angel or their spiritual guide," Dr. Weiss says.
Humans aren't the only ones who cross over, Dr. Weiss says. Our pets do, too. For Oprah, who lost her beloved dog Sophie, the spiritual connection to a pet is something she understands profoundly.
"I was really deeply grieving the loss of Sophie," Oprah says of her dog's passing. "I allowed myself to do that for a period of time and then moved into the space of knowing that, just like all other beings, she was a spirit. A sweet little spirit."
This understanding elevated Oprah's already deep connection with Sophie to a surprising new level. "When I allowed the sweet spirit of her to be present with me, I actually moved into a space where I am closer to her -- makes me want to cry -- I am closer to her now than I could have been when she was still in the body," Oprah says.
"Love and life never stops. It never ends," Dr. Weiss says. "It doesn't end with the death of the physical body."
"When you lose someone... the essence of that person, the heart, the love of that person... I find, become more powerful because you are infused with that energy and that spirit in a way that you couldn't haven't been before," Oprah says.
"Energy doesn't have boundaries the way we think," Dr. Weiss agrees. "These spiritual contacts are very real, very important. And that should be nurturing to everybody, to heal hearts, to heal grief... We're always going to be reunited, but even before that, they're still with us."