A friend just lost his wife and although he is Protestant he was very intrigued by the Catholic teaching on the communion of the saints. He knows, as Catholics would also affirm, that we cannot converse with the dead in an audible way. However he had never considered that a communion still exists. I understand that we can pray to the saints but would that include loved ones who have clearly followed Christ in their lives?
“A perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory, and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.”
-Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 1475).
All the souls departed who are in God’s hands are saints. They can still receive our prayers. There was once a question by someone wondering how is this possible? The answer was simply God makes it available for them to know. It is the same when someone here on earth will say to you that so and so a person says hello to you and ask of you. You will feel good hearing it. The departed soul also knows when God reveals it to them that someone is praying for them and there is that good feeling again.