Answer: Your friend may be alive in your memory, and your memories of her may keep her memory a kind of “presence” in your life, long after she has died. But what you are feeling is your memory, not your friend. According to the Bible, if she has died, she is dead. If you encounter some spirit that claims to be her, it’s an evil spirit and you should not trust it at all.
Your Bible puts it plainly: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6). Also: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Apart from God’s intervention to resurrect her, your friend is dead and will not again have consciousness until the resurrection. Thankfully, however, God does promise to resurrect the dead. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
Those who died as faithful Christians will be resurrected to immortality at Christ’s return. Those who died unaware of Christ and the true Gospel will be resurrected to physical life, where they will have their first opportunity to know the Truth, and then be judged. As the prophet Daniel tells us: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). If your friend knew the Truth, repented, accepted baptism and the Holy Spirit… and then said “I DON’T WANT THIS” then she will be resurrected to “everlasting contempt” and will burn to ashes in the Lake of Fire. But if she is like most innocent, ignorant people, she will yet have her opportunity for salvation at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20), where the Bible’s truth will be opened to her for the first time.
Anyone who has lost a close friend or loved one knows how devastating and emotionally traumatizing it can be. The anguish and sorrow combined with vivid memories can take its toll even at the subconscious level. We can take comfort knowing that our loved ones are asleep and awaiting the resurrection. The memory of them continues to be an important part of who we are.