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2 find departed have lots to say

John Faherty
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Sunni Welles and Christine Duminiak talk to dead people.

They are not alone. Maybe you talk to your Aunt Rose or your father Frank every morning when you wake up. Maybe you have one-sided conversations with your sister Maura as you drive home.

But what distinguishes Welles and Duminiak from most people is that when they talk to dead people, the dead people talk back.

Welles is a medium, which allows her to connect living people with their dead loved ones.

Duminiak specializes in what she calls after-death communication, which helps living people interpret signs from their dead loved ones.

If you talk to these women for five minutes you will think they are good-natured, but crazy.

If you keep talking with them, however, they start making some sense.

Duminiak is Catholic and admits that before she had experience interacting with the dead, the concept seemed a little bit "out there."

That first experience came from her in-laws in 1998.

She was lying in bed one night in her home near Philadelphia when her husband's parents, John and Stella, appeared in her bedroom.

"They had passed a number of years before. I woke up my husband and said, 'Your parents are here, your parents are here.' "

Her in-laws kept showing up, but she could only see them, not hear them. Ultimately she was advised to contact Welles, a well-known medium living in Sedona.

Welles hooked up Duminiak with her guardian angel, and that communication started the ball rolling.

After talking to her guardian angel, she eventually got into bereavement counseling, which led to prayer, which led to helping people recognize signs from those who had died.

She advises people to open their hearts and minds and recognize the unexplainable as perhaps communication.

She says contact from the dead can come in dreams, music, voices, even animals.

"People get more peaceful when they get a sign from their loved ones," Duminiak said. "A lot of people feel they need to know that their loved one is OK."

Welles is more of your central-casting-type medium.

She said she was first visited by angels in 1994 while in Las Vegas. After telling her mother, Welles, a born-again Christian, called her pastor. Then she started working with friends. Word spread, and she started taking on clients. She hasn't had a "day job" since 1998.

Her Web site details some of the ways she is able to connect people with the dead.

• Automatic handwriting: the spirits take over Welles' hand to write exactly what they want to say.

• Clairaudience: Welles can hear the spirits when they speak into her ear, as they write through her hand.

• Calling a specific spirit: Welles' angels let her know ahead of time if the requested spirit is available to come to your session, which is done over the phone.

Welles says there is usually no problem getting the dead to communicate.

"I've found over the years that spirits just love to talk. Sometimes I need to tell a client to jump in because they will keep going," she said.

Clearly, some people believe, and some people do not. But these two women, who both described themselves as baby boomers, said they rarely run into people who think they are crazy.

"We don't meet the naysayers," Welles said. "We meet the people who are crying in their hearts. We meet the people who are coming to us."