I believe as a person we cease to exist, we know nothing, feel nothing...etc. I base this on reason.
1. How did it feel before we were born? We are unaware because we didn't exist.
2. If 1 is the case then why should we assume death is different?
3. I don't believe in any god based on the fact that there is no proof any god has ever existed, so heaven and hell is out.
As for the dead communicating with us...No I don't think it is possible based on my reasoning above.
Here is what I do believe though. My loved ones who have died in the past have left a little of themselves in my head. I can sometimes hear their voice giving me advice that I assume they would give if they were here. They shared with me their love and their ideas. In essence they have become a part of me. I will use that and hopefully some of me will rub off on my loved ones, and then to others and so on.
Because, who I have become is part of those that have passed away I am giving a little piece of who they were as well. This goes on and on. To live on in the hearts of those you loved is never to die.
Or to put it another way, we all must die but the good we did for others never will.