I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times.”
― Goethe

The ancient Greek word psykhopompos "spirit-guide" (from psykhē "the soul, mind, spirit" + pompos "guide, conductor”) refers to the function and service of helping a soul to cross over and continue the journey on the other side. Death in this dimension is being reborn on the other side and vice versa, it is always a transition of state, and a natural cycle.  

Once our physical body has finished its journey in this dimension, there are other dimensions where part of our energy body has still a consciousness and memory linked to the incarnation just experienced. The layers of our energy body start to dissolve, therefore making it lighter to move on. 

In my experience, a guide on the other side offers help immediately to the soul to cross over. The soul may try to negotiate a bit more time, or may not recognize that they are in another state, not recognize the guide or deliberately let the guide go, as they are not ready.

Be it for religious or dogmatic conditioning, ignorance, fear of the unknown, attachments to a previous incarnation, what is perceived as unfinished business, sudden deaths, lack of the necessary spiritual energy needed to do the cross-over and so on, there are several reasons why a earthbound spirit may need extra assistance in crossing over. This is why praying, offering beverages, meals and so on to the ancestors has always been a normal practice from the beginning of time, not only in shamanic cultures.

Unfortunately, few of us have been really prepared for this transition and continuation of our journey during our lifetime. Most of us do not live in an environment where we are taught, without fears and superstitions, about this important passage that we all must take. 

Helping the soul to cross over is also a form of spiritual healing for them and their beloved ones.  

One of my first encounters with the multidimensionality of our being, happened through my spontaneous experiences as pyschopomp when I was a child. Experiences that used to terrify me for years as I did not know anything or have any support around me to explain what was it about. I would find myself being called, touched or showed other spirits in their parallel reality, re-living again and again the same feelings, issues or even dramas that have characterized their existence and they could not let go. I have found myself in dream states in non-ordinary geographies, explaining to them that their journey was not over and that the concerns they had did not matter anymore, witnessing the opening of portals for the souls to cross over such as lights, stairways to the stars, bridges to another side where beloved ones where waiting and many other beautiful ways. 

When it was needed, to help a soul to cross over, I would journey to where they were, or I would meet them with my guides and power animals in the non-ordinary reality where I can listen to their reasons to stay, explain to them how their journey has not ended, how they could really be more helpful to their beloved ones if they were to continue on their soul evolution through all stages, taking their baggage from them and giving it to the fire for example or to my guides to be transformed. At this point, a goodbye, a portal, a feeling of peace. 

Once they really cross over, in my experience, they appear in dreams of their beloved ones, especially the ones who were still holding onto them with their grief, to say goodbye to them and / or to show them where they are now. Normally they show their beloved ones still on this earthly dimension, that they are in a beautiful place of peace and further learning, by revising the previous incarnation’s experiences, the lessons learned and those missed.

 Life never ends. It only changes dimension. And love with it.