16 Tips for Continuing Bonds with People We’ve Lost

With decades of grief theory that focused on closure, acceptance, and moving on, it is no wonder that so many grievers feel self-conscious about maintaining ties with their deceased loved one after a certain period of time. We posted a few weeks ago about the continuing bonds theory of grief.  If you read the post hopefully you know that when it comes to grief theory, oh the times they are a ’changin’.  Many now believe that healthy grief involves finding a new and different relationship with the person who died.  Check out the post here if you missed it.

If you love the continuing bonds theory (which we know many of you do!) you may be looking for ways to continue bonds with your loved one.  We have some ideas here, and we hope you will add others that we missed by leaving a comment.  Some may be things you hadn’t thought about, many may be things you already do but thought meant your grief was unhealthy or you weren’t ‘moving on’ like you should.  Either way, hopefully, you will find some tips on our list that resonate with you.

1. Talk to them

Really! It’s okay – it doesn’t mean you’re crazy! The fact that we don’t have a post about this is mind-boggling to me because talking to a loved one who died is something we certainly do, it is something many (dare I say most?) grievers do, and it can bring a lot of comfort during the moments you miss them most.  So talk away – be it out loud or in your head, this is a common way we continue a relationship with your loved one.

2. Write letters to the person you lost.  

This is something you can do in a journal, on the computer, or in actual letters.  There is an online resource to make writing even easier for you called AfterTalk where you can write privately to loved ones using their interactive writing tools.  You can do it weekly, monthly, annually… whatever works for you. 

You can keep the letters or you can get rid of them.   If you choose the latter and you have physical letters, you can do it in creative ways – you can tear them up and collage with them, paint over them in an art journal, or whatever else works for you.  No matter where you write them or what you do with them, these letters keep you connected with your loved one in the present.  If you are looking for inspiration, check out this post on thought catalog: “An Open Letter to My Dead Best Friend”. 

3. Keep photos of the person around.  

This may seem absurdly obvious, but there will be people who make you feel uncomfortable about keeping photos.  For example, a woman who wrote in to Ask Amy expressing concern that her widowed boyfriend still had pictures of his wife around.  She didn’t ask our opinion, but luckily we decided to share what we thought anyway.  Keeping photos around keeps us connected with our loved one and often helps us remember the ways that person continues to influence our lives.

4. Incorporate your loved one into events and special days

Check out our suggestions for how you can remember your loved one on your wedding day.  Consider leaving an empty chair at holiday meals to honor your loved one, or using one of our 18 other suggestions.  Discuss as a family other ways that you may want to involve your loved one’s memory at special events.  You will certainly be thinking of them on these big days, so there is no reason to keep that inside if you want to find a more open way to involve your loved one in the event.


5. Imagine what advice they would give you when making tough decisions.  

Big decisions are often overwhelming and when you have lost the person who you would have talked it over with it can be especially hard.  Imagining a conversation with them, what they would have said, and the advice they might have given can help us feel connected and also help make big life choices a little easier.


6. Talk about them with new people, who never got to know your loved one.   

There will often be new and important people in your life who did not know your loved one.  It may be new friends, a significant other, or children, who never had the opportunity to meet your loved one when they were alive.   

Find ways to tell new people about your loved one, sharing stories or photos.  This is a way that your loved one’s legacy continues and you continue to keep them in your life as you move forward.   In case you thought it was easy, you can read about my experience with new friends after the death of my dad here.

7. Live your life in a way you know they would be proud of

Be it a spouse, a parent, grandparent, child, or friend, we often struggle knowing our loved one won’t be there for accomplishments and milestones.  Taking time to recognize that your loved one would be proud of you for a specific accomplishment can be comforting and remind us how we continue to be connected to our loved one.

8. Finish a project they were working on

Be it a project around the house, a piece of artwork, a team they coached, or a volunteer project they were involved in, consider picking up where they left off.  This can help you learn new things about your loved one, continue your connection with them in the present, and continue their legacy.


9. Take a trip they always wanted to take

Though this one may sound depressing, I have known many grievers who have found comfort in this.  Death can make us realize that life is short.  We may ourselves be feeling inspired to travel and this can help us travel in a way that is meaningful in our grief.  

On trips like this, we may feel close to our loved one, imagining how they would have felt about the trip.  It can be tough, certainly bittersweet, but for some people comforting.  A great example of this is the movie “The Way”.

10. Keep up their facebook page.  This is more and more common and Facebook has even got the process in place to support it.  You can request a memorialization page through facebook here.  Keeping up a Facebook page allows the person’s friends to keep interacting on their wall, keeping an ongoing relationship with the person.


11. Adopt a hobby that they enjoyed.  This one may push you out of your comfort zone, but if they loved to knit, learn to knit.  If they loved to garden, learn to garden.  It may not end up being the right fit for you, but either way, people often feel a closeness with their loved one in the process.

12. Create a Dear Photograph.  Eleanor wrote a great post about Dear Photograph, a way to take a photo from the past and capture it in the present.  She created her own, which you should absolutely check out!  It can be a powerful symbolic reminder of the ways our loved ones still impact us in the present.


13. Plan for the anniversary

Though it may feel like everyone else has moved on, you should not feel embarrassed or self-conscious about planning something in memory of your loved on each year on the anniversary of their death, or another special day.  Be it a small, personal ritual or a large event, find something that works for you.  Check out our 30 suggestions for the anniversary of your loved one’s death here.

14. Keep something that belonged to your loved one

You can’t keep everything (even though sometimes it is very hard to part with items!) but keep a few meaningful items can be extremely powerful.  This could be an item they owned or an item they gave you.  Either way, there can be comfort found in these items, as they make us feel close to our loved one. 

Of note, there is a study floating around out there that says keeping belongings can cause increased sadness.  This has not been my personal experience, nor is it the experience of many grievers I have worked with, which is why I have included it.  It may not be ideal for everyone.

15. Enjoy comfort foods.  In this case, comfort foods are foods that remind you of your loved one.  Making a recipe your loved one always made, or eating one of your loved one’s favorite foods can bring back great memories and continue to connect us to our loved ones in everyday activities, like cooking and eating.  I tried to make grandmother’s holiday cookies (and epically failed), but I did succeed in making my dad’s favorite cake.


16. Experience your loved one’s presence.  

It is common to feel the presence of your loved one – it may just be a feeling, it may be a specific type of wind or bird or countless other things that seem to be a sign of our loved one’s presence.  Unlike the studies about keeping something that belonged to your loved one, feeling your loved one’s presence has been shown in studies to ease the sadness that accompanies grief.  So when you feel your loved one’s presence, feel it without apology or any worry that you are crazy! This is a normal and helpful way we continue bonds with our loved ones.

Alright, we know we missed tons of ideas.  Bring ‘em on.  Leave a comment.   


Prefer to listen to your grief support?  Hear us discuss the different ways to continue bonds with your deceased loved one in the podcast below:


April 15, 2019

73 responses on "16 Tips for Continuing Bonds with People We've Lost"

  1. Thank you for all the posts & comments… on August 25, 2019 this year. So not even 2 months ago I lost my boyfriend which would have been my soon to be husband… he was older than me and we had known eAchother since I was younger and then later in life our relationship was meant to be something else which was a true love story. And then on that night as we were away at a hotel for a night for an event I had for a friend… he passed away right in front of me from a heart attack… it was truly like something out of a movie, the screaming and crying and begging him to hold on and not leave me… I never thought my heart could actually break like this. I’m in so much pain.. & when I read the first post it felt like how I feel. I just want to lay in bed all day and cry.. I would give anything in this world to have him and his life back. I know I will never ever love someone like him to the point where i feel like I can never be with anyone else ever again. I just want him & I’m so lost… I just don’t know how to go through these motions and get through the worse of times…. and I try to do everything I can the to try and feel him or have him come tk me and I just don’t even know. All I feel I do is sit here and stare at the wall and think about every moment with us & I just feel like I’m dying inside. I just want the love of my life back… thank you for listenin…. I wish everyone the best of hope on your grief of loosing your loved one, I now know how painful it could be…

    I love you Randy… you are and always will be the love of my life. Your with me always, I can feel you! Miss you baby!

  2. I lost my soul mate in 2008. He was T-boned driving through an intersection when a man who was drunk and high on multiple different pills, who even after having his license taken away after multiple DUIs, still got behind the wheel and flew through the red light at 90mph and hit him, completely tearing through my loves vehicle to the point that it was unrecognizable. My heart shattered into a million pieces and after 11 years I am sorry to say that those pieces are still on the floor. I am angry because the POS who hit him survived with only a few broken bones. My love was pronounced DOA. The funeral is where it all became real. I walked into the parlor and saw the casket on the other side and my loves hair is all I saw when my legs gave out, I couldnt stand. I broke down in the middle of the room. I couldnt bring myself to go see him in his casket until the end of the viewing service and only after my sister convinced me I would regret it if I didnt. I miss him. He was so handsome, so perfect. He looked like James Dean and could always make me smile. Hes the only man I’ve ever loved completely… before and after his death…. I hate to say it never gets better, but it’s gotten easier to deal with after all these years. I still have days when I cant bring myself to get out of bed, when all I do is cry. I still lay in bed at night and try to remember every single moment I had with him. All those beautiful moments that are now so painful in my heart. I long for the nights I can see him in my dreams even though it means losing him all over again when I wake.
    I wish you all peace and healing. Just be strong even when you just want it to end.
    “Hes gone to heaven so I’ve got to be good
    so I can see my baby when I leave this world”

    • Thank you for your post. I lost my soulmate in August 2017. I couldn’t even acknowledge that it happened until a few months ago because my spirit knew I couldn’t deal with it. I was depressed and withdrawn for over 2 years. When it did start affecting me, it was and is the worst thing I’ve ever had to deal with. My 23 year old son died in 2007 and I thought that was the end of me. But my man put me back together then. I feel like 99% of my heart has died. I just found this article and it’s comforting because I feel my partner everywhere. I look for more ways to stay connected to him. 💞💞

  3. I recently lost my dear mother. She was very close to my heart and the day she died I didn’t speak to her. She was the only person with whom I used to share my feelings and now I feel devastated. I know she can’t come back but somewhere deep down I want her back in my life. I want to express my feelings to her but what to do. I want to talk to her soul is it risky? I don’t know but somehow I want to communicate with her just once. I can’t pen down my exact feelings but I even don’t feel her presence in form of dreams. What should I do?

  4. Yes I have had some of my old baby clothes from when I was little!! One of them is a onies baby outfit & one is my old brownie uniform!!! Everytime I hold it I feel my mother’s presence!!! I hold it real close to me and hug the clothes I also have a teddy bear that she gave me when I was little!!! I keep them very close to me!!! & I made a locket & I made her a facebook page in her memory!!! I think next what I will do is make a video with people saying what they remembered about our loved ones!!!

  5. My wife Connie passed away about one year ago but since that time I have music every day

  6. I am not close to my family for different reasons, but the two people I love to think about from my past were my neighbor who I loved to annoy/visit after my grandmother passed away thirty three years ago. I was a little girl, but I have fond memories of them. My father is a minister and the church he ministered, my neighbors belonged to that church. Within the past nine years, I gained an interest in sewing children’s clothes because one of the last things Mary gave me was a yard of fabric. Her husband died shortly after she did. But my problem is I feel like I am dwelling on the negative in the past concerning my family. Sometimes I feel discouraged or not right that I have my neighbors’ photo on my home screen on my phone. I see my family happy and I feel like I am living in the past. Is this healthy?

  7. He left me on June 9th, 2019.
    And I am so devastated. My husband was my life . I just can not breathe. The world has moved since then but I am still standing there, on 9th June, waiting for him to call my name. Perhaps I have yet not accepted that he is never coming back. When I look into his eyes in his picture in my bedroom – I just break down, I collapse. I feel suicidal all the time. Nothing is comforting me. Literally nothing. He gifted me a diary in March this year and asked me to write our story in it but at that time I was like .. ok I will someday. Now , when I pick that diary up, it just feels like a huge stone kept right over my heart. A question arises – did he already know that one day we will become a story ? This all leaves me breathless and lost for life. I am still fighting with myself each second to chose between life and death. I do not even get to see him in my dreams. That is even more painful as his brother dreams of him every second night. Each memory, each second spent with him kills me now. The most wonderful moments have turned into most painful moments. His voice notes …yes I have them and some of our call recordings, the videos we made on phone… I am just getting mad. People out there.. please pray for me .. I thing I have lost it and I won’t be able to make it up to life.

    • I lost my husband on July 23, 2019. September 11, would have been our 17th wedding anniversary. He had suffered a heart attack 2 yrs ago and received cpr for over 1/2 hour. His kidneys shut down, & he was on kidney dialysis which his kidneys fully recovered from. The Drs. said he was a miracle and should have never survived it, yet he did. His cardiologist told us in June 2019 that “everything was working as it should.” Because of that news, I felt comfortable to fly our grandson home. I was due to fly back on July 23 the same day my neighbors found him dead on our bathroom floor. I had asked them to check on him when he didn’t call me back. I am paralyzed with grief and guilt that I wasn’t there to help him. My heart hurts. He was my soulmate, my best friend and the love of my life. I am angry at God, and the Drs. that said he was “ok.” I don’t know how I am supposed to live without him. Most of me died with him and I don’t know what to do.

      • OMG! I lost my fiance July 21st. I also had no reason to think he was in any danger with his heart. But we had just moved in this house and 5 days after he died of a heart attack while sleeping on the couch. I was busy trying to get stuff put away. He felt nauseous earlier that afternoon so I spent 15 minutes or so helping him and I got to hold him in my arms while I washed him down with a cold washcloth. I wish I knew that would be the last time we held each other.
        By the time I finished up for the night it was 4:40 in the morning. I walked over to him on the couch to bring him to bed with me and the closer I got to him I could see he was already gone. I lost it. I was screaming his name and sobbing but he’d been gone for hours bc he’d started to change and I will be forever haunted by that image. He was cold and stiff.
        I don’t know how to deal with this. I can’t let him go. I just found the shirts he was wearing that day. He was sweating so much that I took them off of him. I just put on his shirts from that day. I have begged God to bring him back to me. I don’t leave the house because I feel he’s here and once I walk out of the door I will lose him forever and I feel like I’m abandoning him if I leave here. I feel like I’m suffocating. I miss him so much it’s physically painful. How do you just pick up and move on when you have lost the one person who was everything to you?? I can’t see the phone anymore due to the sobbing.
        I want him to let me see him.

    • Once you start writing even if it a dear letter to your loved one, the stone does begin to lift. Writing is a beautiful way to express the pain, loss, suffering. I can fathom your loss. I have had many losses, and sometimes there seems to be so little to do to get rid of the feeling because you tried so many ways. I remember my mother saying… always have a hobby of some sort because you get lost in it for awhile and stop dwelling on problems. If you go the diary, you don’t have to write in it, you can doodle your expressions, then look back it when some days or weeks past. You will see how you have grown. Much hugs

    • I can so relate to your story. I lost my love and soulmate January 15, 2018 where he was in the hospital in ICU. He was very sick, but I did not know he was gonna die. Ever since that time it has been extremely difficult. Crying all the time, no motivation, depressed and yes, i think about suicide but too scared to do it, but it does cross my mind. I know as a Christian I should get my head in the word and meditate on that, but instead I just stay miserable and dont know how to continue living.

  8. I lost my sweet and handsome husband January 11,2019. We were married 52 years and we were always very close. We were both virgins when we married and he was my one and only sex partner. He said I was his one and only as well. I have no reason to doubt him, we did everything together. The pain of losing him is almost unbearable at times. He was my life and now my life is so empty. We have one child and I talk to them about their dad al ost everyday. It has really hit them hard as well as me. I need away to grieve without trying to move on and get over it. I don’t want to get over it.

  9. Daddy passed away 2 months ago…. I miss him so so much and it angers me everyday because I still have things to say to him….. daddy I love you

    • my fiance died April 27th this sounds just like his daughter I really hope you can get through your emotions and work things out and feel the presence of him with you daily

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  11. Elaborating further on my post of January 30: My husband died in an apparent accident 3-1/2 years ago. Six months after his death, I created a memorial fund in his name, which supports the causes he and I had supported together during his life. The work of the fund allows me to continue to say my husband’s name daily in the context of talking about the causes — and this seems to be socially acceptable, whereas just sharing memories of my husband himself seems not to be. Grrrr. I’ve found memorial funds to be surprisingly rare – especially funds that memorialize a spouse (vs. another loved one) and funds that support a cause the deceased loved in life (vs. a cause that is about fighting the way they died). I’m not sure why memorial funds are so rare. Perhaps people think they have to be zillionaires to start one? Obviously the more money you have, the better, but you can start a fund for as little as $5,000. And for me, it fills so many needs. For example, from the numbered list in this post, my memorial fund addresses items 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 13!

  12. It was July 20th, 2018 and my alarm went off as normal at 530. I hit the snooze and laid in bed for a little longer.
    Finally getting up before the alarm went off again, I jumped in the shower to start my day and then get my butt downstairs, fix breakfast and get to work.
    When I get out of the shower and start drying off, I notice my wife is awake and checking e-mails on her phone while she still lays in bed. She had just gotten back the night before from a business trip in Memphis for her work.
    She asked me if she should make the bed or strip it. I said strip it and stayed upstairs long enough to see her get out of bed and make sure I took in her naked body as she started to pull the bedspread down before I headed downstairs.
    While I was downstairs starting to get things together for breakfast…I heard odd noises upstairs and went back up to see if everything was okay.
    I found her laying across the stripped bed, naked and my first thought was she picked a hell of a time to entice me for a romp this morning. I had to chuckle to myself.
    Then I got closer and noticed that she was stiff as a board and laying in a pool of her own urine. Instant panic….as I grabbed her and shook her and slapped her face a few times as I thought she had suffered a seizure. She opened her eyes and looked at me but looked confused. She did not understand what had happened to her and neither did I. Still thinking she had a seizure I grabbed towels to mop up the urine and started to try and get some clothes on her and get her down to Urgent Care…only a few blocks away. She kept saying that she felt odd, could not breath so I called 911. I then went and woke up my son and told him that his Mom had suffered a seizure and to go downstairs and wait for the ambulance, also to call his grandmother and tell her we were on our way to the hospital and to meet us there.
    At this point, she and I both knew something else was wrong. Her lips were blue and the look of confusion on her face told me there was more going on. She continued to say that she couldn’t breathe.
    It was then that whatever it was hit her again and she fell down onto the bed, non-responsive.
    I started CPR on her right then and there…doing compressions and giving breaths as quickly as I could. I only stopped for a moment to call 911 again…..where the fuck are you…they are only down the street and why aren’t they here. WHY!!!!????
    I put the phone down with the 911 operator still on the line and continued doing CPR. I screamed at my wife the entire time. Please don’t go, please don’t leave us…we love you…. don’t you dare leave me. I gave the last breath before the EMT’s arrived and the air just left her, and I looked into her eyes for the last time and I knew in the back of my mind that she was gone. I held out hope because the EMT’s were here and they can do almost anything. Revive, shock, drugs…..all of it and I was holding out for their miracle.
    I left the room and went downstairs to be with my son while they worked on her. They were very efficient and had her on a gurney, down the stairs and in the ambulance in minutes. We answered a few questions from the Sheriffs deputies and then headed to the hospital. It was pouring down rain the entire time and the ride to the hospital took a little longer. Her Mom was there when we got there talking to a nurse in the ER lobby. It was not more than 15 minutes before they came out and said that she was gone.
    Those words will stay with me forever. Her Mom broke immediately, and it took only a few seconds for it to hit me. What was I going to do?? How I am I going to do this without her?
    Then other things started to pour into my head……I must call people, I have call work, I must call her work, who do I call at her work. What do I say????!!!!! FUCK!!! What do I say?????!!!!
    I called my parents, I called my older sons, I called my office, I finally got in touch with someone in her office and talked to her boss. Somehow or another our pastor was called, and he showed up shortly afterwards.
    It is all like a horrible dream that I can’t wake up from. None of us can.
    Now I have a 17-year-old son that is a senior in high school this year and she won’t be around for any of those milestones. The drivers license, the prom, senior dance, class play (family night), graduation, Eagle court of honor, start college, grandkids. All of that is gone for her and me to experience together and I am angry every day about it. I scream and yell and God. I scream and yell at her for leaving me/us…. alone. I don’t know how people deal with this loss and come out on the other side or if they even come out on the other side. It’s been 9 months now since my wife died and I know it’s better now than that first day, that first month but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

    As I read a story today, I will close with a quote….
    ………. The woman I married is in a cardboard box in the corner of my bedroom. And she’s never coming back.

    • My mom left us about 3 weeks ago, she simply felt hot, couldn’t breathe and then slept forever before the paramedics got to her. She was gone in 8 minutes. Your story is so similiar because your wife didnt display any signs of ill-health or that she would leave. I am annoyed at my mum for leaving us and our dad, and her mom, although we (her kids) are adults, I feel abandoned. As for God, him and I are having issues, I can’t imagine why He would steal her away, it angers me to feel cheated by Him.
      But I look around me and see my friends and others that have lost someone close, and they still smile and continue life. I try to remind myself that I am my mother’s daughter, and that I take from her strength and determination, despite the hardest moments that overwhelm me. It’s still early days for me, but this is helping me get up each day.

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  14. Laura Michelle KennedyApril 23, 2019 at 10:02 amReply

    I don’t have suggestions, but wanted to comment that this site has helped me in ways nothing else has been able to (including grief counseling). I am super grateful and hope to see this site continue for many years to come. I lost my mother in March 2018 and it’s the most profound loss I have ever experienced – to have this extra support is invaluable. Thank you WYG.

  15. Thank you for posting this. I think this is why after about 16 months the pain as eased. I am 18 months out and have done most of these on my own. Minh is still a part of my life daily naturally and that has helped greatly.

  16. I miss you antonio !! I love u more more every day !!

  17. I am impressed with this site, very I am a big fan.

  18. In October 2015, my 52-year old husband of 23 years was inexplicably crushed to death by his own vintage car on the small farm we had just purchased and fixed up as our dream home. I sold the property and the car, and used the proceeds to establish a memorial fund to continue honoring my husband and the animal rights causes he and I had supported together during our marriage.

  19. This article totally resonates with my grieving experience. As, I try to live the rest of my life without my loved one’s physical presence in this world, I find comfort in wearing my best friend’s beloved ashes in keepsake jewelry and keeping her photographs in frames in my bedroom. I also find comfort in holding close her fave dress- it was something she wore ALOT. 🙂 And I have made a few tribute videos. That at least makes me smile. She is so beautiful, inside and out. I also have saved texts, emails, and 32 voicemails on my smartphone. Listening to her voice is so comforting!
    Coming to terms with my bestie’s passing is tough, the grieving process is slow because even though we are physically separated, I still LOVE her with a passion and death didn’t destroy it. So, I know that Love is eternal. And every day I do feel her spirit is with me.

    • Your post hit home for me as I too am trying to deal with losing my best friend of 51 years who died suddenly and unexpectantly alone in her home in March. I am crushed beyond words over losing her. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that she is really gone. It just kills me. Anyhow, I have a few items of hers that her brothers were kind enough to send to me that do bring me some comfort but they also bring tears when I look at them. It is so hard losing your best friend. We just go on so well we did. She was everything to me. Now that she is gone I find it very hard to go on without her and wonder why I am here and she is not? Guilt over she is gone and I am still here. I feel we were robbed of our time together. She was only 59. She and I had many conversations before her death and in one she told me she had never known anyone as long as she had known me. I thought wow that is odd to say out of the blue..and it was. But it was true. We had known each other forever… our lifetime. And now she is gone and I have no idea how to move on without my best friend. I have done things in her memory to remember her by but I still am not able to find much comfort in anything I do that way. I just want her back so bad. I know it is crazy coz it cannot happen. I miss her so much. I just feel lost without her now. I found a voicemail I had from her and I have decided that I am going to have a Soundwave tattoo done of it so that I will forever be able to hear her voice and never worry about losing the voicemail I do have of her. I never want to forget her voice…like you with your friend and all her voicemails to you. I have also found that time does not heal…it just makes things hurt more coz you realize your best friend will never come back. They are gone forever and somehow we have to figure out how to move on without them which is so very hard to do. So sad.

  20. My husband of 52 yrs 6 mos 14 dys 3 hrs & 50 mins passed away last month. It’s like my heart was ripped out of my chest. It will never heal. He was my best friend, we grew up together. He asked me to marry him the day after we met & 6 wks later we were married. We also have a teen son & a teen daughter at home that lost their birth parents when they were very young. He died 18 dys after being told how sick he was. Shock – no time to say goodbye for taking care of him & navigating the hospice system & dealing with relatives. Thank you for this special information – it incorporates many peoples ways to grieve – we aren’t all the same.

  21. i want to use this medium to really appreciate my spiritual father a man who built his world the needing, man who displeases his self to please others, a man who put his self and family on the line to ensure one happiness, Dr Mack on behalf of my family we say thank you. for restoring my home my husband change suddenly after 6 years of our marriage i did all i could to restoring him to non avail at a time i gave up because this time he has no feeling for me anymore i cried i prayed God lead me to one blog where a testimony was shared how he help a lady out of her family predicament, i contacted him and he gave me a life responds. he told me what was wrong that i should provide him few details which i did 12hour later husband call begging on phone, i dont know what he did but i know something was done.
    if i have find him earlier in my life i would not have undergo such pain in life so am sharing to the general public if you having marriage crises of relationship problem contact him now on his mail.
    ***********[email protected] yahoo. com*******

    ( wish you best of luck ).

  22. I lost my Daughter and 5 grandchildren on May 15,2017 when a man in their neighborhood set their house on fire. I have been having a real hard time dealing with it. However I was quite pleased to read the list of things they suggested to help deal with the grief because I have been doing alot of them and was afraid to tell anyone for fear they would think I was crazy,now I know I’m not.I turned my spare bedroom into a memorial for them. I made a huge collage and put on one wall and have a blanket with pictures of all of them on another wall and then through out the room I have poems,pictures that the elementary school did in memory of my grand daughter and their class mate,and things like that and I also have the toy box full of toys I had at my house for them,some of their personal things like slippers,jewelry,story books,blankets that I just can’t part with in this room. I had to force myself to put up a Christmas tree and when I did I decorated it with their personalized ornaments,angels and precious memories,then after Christmas I couldn’t make myself take it down so I removed the Christmas ornaments and in February decorated it for Valentine’s day,and in March I redecorated it for Easter and I will continue to do this til Christmas comes again and then maybe I’ll be able to take it down. I also go over to their house,( which is just a shell,but still there and can’t be torn down til after the trial) and decorate the fence around it for each holiday,and on their birthdays I set off a balloon for every year old they are and sing Happy Birthday to them. Everyone keeps telling me it will get easier but I’m not sure it will. I thought that maybe after the trial,but now I’m told that it might not take place until 2019 and the thought of having to relive the tragedy again 2 years later is something I don’t know if I can handle.

    • There are situations that i read about that boggle my mind; one is yours. I don’t know how you get up in the morning but good for you! that you do. My husband and I lost our only son to suicide three and a half years ago and we daily struggle. After all this time I am tormented by the fact that that i couldn’t stop him from doing the deed, nor did I know that he was suicidal. My son was hit by a car when he was around eight years old. I was not there to witness it but was told that he flew in the air by the impact and landed hard. I wonder if there was damage to his head where the brain separates from the skull and can affect the victim in profound ways unless they get help. No one recognized this as a possibility back then. He had a terrible life as an adult, was in and out of rehabilitation centers until he was thirty eight and had had enough. We will never get over this death and while we try to put on a brave front for the public we cry inside every day. You are a brave soul my dear; keep doing what is working for you.

  23. I’m going to have my darling husband’s shirts and jeans made into a patchwork skirt and quilt. That will save me the heartache of putting them out to strangers, and is another way I’ll feel connected to him. Excellent article.

    • I made a jean jacket out of the jeans myself. It really is cool looking and I know my loved one surely had a hand from above in making it with me.

  24. Hope Ryan Woodward was credited or was notified that text was put on his hard, hard work 😉

    • Hi Emsss- absolutely. the still frame image from the video has a credit in bottom left corner, citing both Woodward and the source. We also then include the video itself in the post, directly from his post on YouTube.

      • The best Person to restore your broken marriage and bring back your ex lover email him at Robinson.buckler {@} yahoo .com…………Best of luck!!!!!!

  25. Great list of things to keep your loved one’s spirit alive ♡ my 20 year old son Jacob passed away in Oct 2015 & we’ve got a life size cut out of him that we get out of the box to accompany us at family celebrations to have photos with. Some people might think it’s really weird but that’s the way we deal with things. No one knows how they will deal with grief, it’s as individual as DNA, a thumbprint. I’m pretty sure we do all in the list. Thanks for sharing x

  26. I found it upsetting at first to even look at my husband’s belongings in the closet, in his drawers. But the night of my first deep weeping, two weeks after his death, I wanted to touch and smell everything that he wore. I couldn’t find anything with his “smell “on it as I had washed all items while he was here at home with in-home care. I finally found a vest that he wore often, not a washable item, and there he was! I still go to hold it and sniff it to feel his presence. I don’t think this is odd at all, but just makes me feel connected to him still. I miss him so much . It is almost 6 weeks now that he is gone.

    • I wear my husband’s after shave, lynx africa. Get some funny looks but I don’t care. On the morning he died as I was sadly walking down the 6 flights of stairs, I got halfway down arriving on the ICU floor. As I turned to take the next flight down I was surrounded by the scent of lynx africa. I must have looked shocked as a Dr came running over to me. I asked if a man had gone past and she replied that we were the only people on the landing. When I told her what had just happened she squeezed my hand and said he’s letting you know he’s made it home.

    • Oh Marie, I am so glad you found something that still had that comforting scent. It is amazing how much smells connect us to memories and can make us feel close to someone!

  27. I love your post,. I lost my husband of 39 years marriage, It was a sudden accident. two in a half years ago. I miss his sound of his voice. My grandson is graduating in a few weeks. He will be so missed at this event. My husband also died on this Grandson birthday. They were very close. I talk about my husband lots. we say things like papa would say or do, Never fails at family events we always seem to set the table with extra setting and sometimes an empty chair, Some days that are hard days a favorite song comes on the radio he liked, or I see a cardinal and always think it could be a sign,

    • Bette, I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure the graduation will be bittersweet. After a loss that is the way, even the happiest of events are laced with sadness, wishing the person we love was there. It sounds like you are doing beautiful things to remember him, I hope the graduation day brings much joy.

      • I so enjoy your site. I talk to my dog about Gary saying his name comfort for my dog to hear his name too. I took Gary slippers out left in a corner so my dog knows he is still the boss . The dog right after he died would lay on his slippers missed him too . Again I so enjoy your site

  28. We lost our son Nick 7 years ago at age 18. Since the first Christmas without him, we have hosted a Christmas party for all his friends (and now their children and spouses). They were a close group, and every year when I express doubts about having the celebration, they are quick to tell me it’s the one thing they look forward to during the holiday season. We always toast Nick, remembering to keep him in our hearts, and have a large time – exactly what he would do. Also, we have planted a tree in his memory in a city park near the high school he attended. We released balloons on the first birthday after we lost him, with a small ceremony at that same tree. We established a scholarship in his memory to a deserving band member at that same school, because we know how much he loved music and being a member of the marching band.
    And I talk to him all the time.

  29. Hi Litsa and Eleanor,

    Having lost both of my parents at a young age, I love all of these ideas and the concept of continuing bonds. Knowing that love lives on and the relationship continues has brought me comfort over many years. Thanks for all these great ideas and your inspiring work! I wish this concept could become mainstream rather than the misconceptions of “closure” and “moving on”. We know that no one really gets over grief, but learns to live with it, and by enjoying continuing bonds this makes living life more enjoyable …. that your beloved people can still be a part of your life, in new and different ways.

    Chelsea Hanson

    • Thank you Chelsea! And thanks for all the great items you provide that help people remember loved ones. Memorial items no doubt help us feel close to those we have lost and celebrate their memory, rather than making us feel we need to ‘move on’ in the traditional sense.

  30. Hi! I really love your posts and thank you so much for posting all that you do! but I have a question…I understand the grieving process is not a continual line from point a to point b…some times its one step forward and 500 back…and I also understand the process can take years …I guess my question is how do you get to the point when you can do all the wonderful suggestions without so much pain?…I lost my dad 2/07/13 and im not able to get to any point with out it being so painful still that it sometimes just takes my breath away…

    • Melissa, I am so sorry about your dad. You bring up a good but tough question. Personally, I think the key is starting small, just saying I will do one small, manageable thing today or this week or whatever. It then sometimes means accepting that it will be hard. They call it ‘grief work’ for a reason. Just like going to the gym can feel miserable and you just don’t want to do it, but you feel good afterwards and better in the long run, grief can be much the same. Our inclination is to avoid the pain, but sometimes it is only by leaning into the pain, working with it, that it eventually gets easier to manage. Some days will always be tough. Always. But eventually the really bad, take your breath away days get fewer and further between.

    • Exactly! As mentioned in a previous post concerning the suicide death of our son on Aug. 19 2015; how does one do all these things without so much pain? I shudder when a memory comes to mind. The memory is still too much to bear. Or I become breathless momentarily when i slip into ruminating about what he must have suffered before he did the deed. Someone posted me a cruel message on Facebook a few weeks ago indicating that the world does not revolve around me and to ‘suck it up.’ I share a lot of posts that others put on Facebook about being kind to those who are grieving. And I post a lot of photos of our son so they won’t forget that he once was a live, breathing human being. Many people say that time heals and some people put a timeline on grief. I am ‘up on a soap box’ and cannot come down off of it yet. Even if he is out of his misery my husband and I are in misery. I appreciate your article very much and it reminds me that i have normal feelings.

  31. Dearest Ron, It was so good to read your thoughts on “after death.” When wemet for lunch and you wondered how I was dealing with Ross’ inevitable death (he was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and death was inevitable. I knew what you were going through but I am not sure if I gave you a complete answer. I did not send a sympathy card or anything when Jenny died as I didn’t know how you were dealing with it. I know how much you two loved each other. But you are right on with your list of 16 ways to deal with death. Sine Ross’ death, he has manifested (not sure if that’s the right word) to me on different occasions. He is continuing the research we did together and is so glad that am also. He thinks our research (mine doing and thinkingand Randy’s) will result in great answers. Those on the other side know what we are doing, what we are thing and when think of them. According to one of friends, with whom we kept in touch, remarked that he was happy, but wished his wife could , and not grieve the way she was grieving.

  32. I lost my husband to sepsis, which happened very quickly from a hospital acquired infection. It’s good to hear about continuing the bond with the deceased person instead of “closure, moving on”, etc. Love doesn’t die because the person is gone. I especially have a hard time parting with those things I associate with him. I am one who feels that it’s good to “go with the flow” instead of fighting it. My husband will always be a part of my life, whether others like it or not.

  33. Hi Nita,

    My father died of Sepsis too.
    That was the hard part…..he died have to die.

    Continuing Bonds is a wonderful, useful “theory”, but it’s a DOING
    dynamic too. It gives you the ability to take action.
    When we first were gel-ing the idea for Aftertalk, our sub title was:
    “Continue the Conversation”. I had no idea writing to my father in
    Aftertalk’s Private Conversations was even continuing bonds.
    But I didn’t care what it was called , I overflowed with what I wanted
    to tell him because so much was going on (Wrong….) in my family.
    Who knew he was the glue. BUT….if I am quiet…..and I am writing
    to him……it almost feels like we are visiting each other.
    I like to believe he is.

    Wishing you Peace of Mind…..day by day.
    ALL THE BEST, Lisa

  34. Hi,
    I just celebrated the One year Anniversary of my Daughter Rachelle, she passed away from Sepsis, and I found your ideas to be so great. I was able to remember my daughter in such a loving way. Thank you!!

  35. Interesting post Kelly. Thanks for bringing up such an engaging topic. These are some really great practical tips for continuing bonds – thank you for sharing the post with all of us 🙂

  36. This is really interesting, Kelly. I am so glad it brought you what you needed from your mom. This is a really great example of continuing bonds – thank you so much for sharing.

  37. Kiri, this sounds amazing!! Please, if you think of it, come back after the trip and let us know how it goes. It sounds like it will be an amazing trip, however bittersweet! Take care for Zoe’s brithday – it sounds like you have a wonderful day planned to remember and be close to her.

  38. Hi Pamela. I am so sorry for your loss. You are right that this is something we should write more posts about. We do have one post that may interest you called “When Kids Can’t Remember”. It has some ideas for grieving when children didn’t know or can’t remember the person the lost, but many could apply for adults as well. We will definitely write more on this topic in the future.

    • I think this is a good point. I work as a nanny and in Nov 2015 my lovely boss lost her precious ivf baby at 7 weeks pregnant. I was devastated, still am if truth be known even though 9 months have passed. I loved that little one from the moment of conception and was so looking forward to caring for him. Just 3 months later I lost my husband of 4 years suddenly and unexpectedly. I’m in a fog of grief I just can’t get out of. Add to this the fact that I believe that my boss has had ivf again and may be pregnant, I really can’t cope with any of it any longer.

  39. I agree Julie! I am not sure what I said that implied I thought that was strange, because I don’t think that at all!! I find so much comfort in several items I have that belonged to loved ones I have lost. I think it is so comforting to have items that remind me of the people I have lost. I only mentioned it may not be right for everyone because there has been some research showing it isn’t always a good fit.

  40. I don’t understand why you would say that keeping something that belonged to your loved one may seem like a strange idea…really? I think even the most old-school thinking wouldn’t call this strange.

  41. Hello Litsa!

    Sooo sorry you could not find AfterTalk .

    Link is: http://www.aftertalk.com

    Would LOVE for you to share AfterTalk with your audience!
    We’re a perfect fit.

    Question: Are you attending the ADEC conference in Baltimore?
    We are. Would love to meet you!

    All the Best, Lisa

  42. Lista,
    I recently lost my cousin to a congenital liver disease that didn’t fit the method of determining the priority for receiving a liver transplant. He therefore had to get too sick to have the transplant and died. I had only, about 15 months ago, re-connected with him after 35 years. Since he was in end-stage liver disease, I really didn’t get to know him as a well, vivacious, young man. I also moved from WA to Tulsa, OK to care for him in his last three months.
    My comment is: not really knowing him, it’s hard to keep a connection, or in ways, make one. I do find your posts extremely helpful. At the same time, I would appreciate some comment(s) (maybe even a post) about losing someone when you haven’t had the chance to get to know them very well. I’m sure there are others who have lost someone at a very young age, or maybe even parents of pre-mature/still birth deaths who may appreciate some thoughts as well.
    I may not have said this all very well (in fact his liver doctor, who knew him for 3 years, said he was looking forward to meeting the real Mark)…I’m still sorting things out from Mark’s death and the way it has impacted me. I might not have known him well, but in ways this was a very intimate relationship and his death has hit me hard and very much by surprise.
    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  43. This year I am taking a trip Zoe wanted to do. After reading Thea Stilton and thy Mystery in Paris, she decided she wanted to go there, so we were planning to save for it. I will go to the Eiffel tower, Sacre Couer and the Opera House for her. She would have been 8 next week and like last year I will be going out to have her favourite breakfast, as well as doing other things to remember her, such as some things for The Angel Zoe Kindness Project.

  44. Great suggestions Litsa and I’ve done some of them myself. I have another to share if you don’t mind, it was suggested to me by a woman I didn’t really know, we were having a conversation about a condition in certain people called being reversed where they aren’t able to absorb nutrients. She was “reading” my body to see if I was “reversed”… and out of the blue she said, “Well, you’re fine but why is your mother here?” My mother had been dead for more than 20 years and I hadn’t said a word about her to this woman. I was shocked to say the least!
    Anyway, she said that my mom was always with me and that she wanted me to use automatic writing to communicate with me. So I did that 3 or 4 times and found a lot of peace and comfort from it and realized that I didn’t really need to do it anymore, that my mom had said what I needed to hear from her and that brought closure and much peace for me. Automatic writing involves getting into a meditative state, at least relaxed and in a quiet, peaceful place, and then picking up a pen or pencil and just writing whatever comes to mind without thinking about what you’re writing. It’s very cool and kind of strange but in the end, when you go back and read the words, there will be no doubt that the message is what you need to hear. I had prayed for so long for some kind of contact with my mom and those prayers were finally answered… or maybe I was just ready to hear.

    Bless you for the work that you do! <3

  45. Thanks for sharing this information Lisa! I actually wanted to include your website in this post, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name! I did a Google search yesterday trying to find you guys, but I just kept getting information about writing sympathy cards. Apparently I was not using the best search terms!! I will definitely go back and add your website to the content of our post.

  46. Hi Litsa (and Eleanor)!

    Both, my colleague Larry Lynn, and myself have really enjoyed your website and blogs.
    Love the information, love how you both share yourselves with your audience.

    http://www.AFTERTALK.com is EXACTLY what you are sharing today about
    continuing bonds. We feel and function in many of the ways you describe
    on your blog today.

    Not to be self promoting here…..that is not my intention….BUT
    AFTERTALK is an interactive grieve and loss website where all the
    things you mention can be shared in our “Private Conversation” section (privately).
    You can continue to write and share with your deceased loved ones.
    And share only what you want with selected “Family and Friends”.

    Well, THANKS for illuminating the subject of “Continuing Bonds”.
    There is still thinking that it is pathological or negative to continue to think
    about and share with someone who is deceased.
    But, I know how good it makes me feel to share with my deceased father.
    You don’t have to give up or forget someone who has died.

    Ladies, as always, THANK YOU for your inspiration !

    Lisa Bogatin, Co-Founder AFTERTALK

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