Continuing Bonds: My Loved One #WouldHaveLovedThis
Coping with Grief : Litsa Williams/
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WYG CONFESSION: I saw Fifty Shades of Grey. In the theatre. I think/hope that those of you who spend time at WYG know me well enough to know that seeing FSOG (Is that the official internet abbreviation?) was not at the top of my to-do list. For the record, I did not even read Fifty Shades of Grey. So, you may be wondering what took me to the theatre to see it. You may be even more curious why in the world I am writing about it today. Let’s go back a few steps. This does have to do with grief. Promise.
A couple years ago, my friend’s mom died. It was… well, you all probably know what it was or you wouldn’t be hanging out on a grief website reading this. It was surreal. It was devastating. It was a bottomless pit of despair. I wrote a post about how it spiraled me into a puddle of tears in the middle of the sock aisle at Target. My friend wrote a post about the tattoo she got in memory of her mom. It has been over two years now, which seems impossible to believe. Time has turned elastic, the way it does. At moments, it feels like it has been two months and, at others, like it has been two decades. This past weekend would have been my friend’s mom’s birthday and I knew there would be birthday plans. For birthdays, for anniversaries, for special days, my friend always makes plans. She is amazing that way, inviting people to share memories of her mom, bringing people together the way her mom did.
This year, when the email came about plans for her mom’s birthday, my friend explained she wanted to do something a little different. Instead of just doing something that she had done with her mom in the past, she wanted to do whatever she and her mom would have done for her birthday this year if her mom was still alive. Instead of just doing something that she had done with her mom in the past, she imagined what her mom would have wanted to do in this moment in time. The answer to that question was clear: She would want to go see Fifty Shades of Grey in the theatre. Obvs. Oh, and eat apple squares.
Flight of ideas, bear with me: My dad was a big beer drinker. He loved beer and, in the years since he died, craft beers and microbreweries have taken off. When I walk into a bar with 18 microbrews on tap, or a liquor store with shelves filled with hundreds of craft beers, I so often think, My dad would have loved this. Much like the moment my friend saw the preview for FSOG and thought, My mom would have loved this.
When we remember our loved ones, it isn’t just remembering the things we know they loved or the things that were part of their lives. Part of continuing bonds is connecting the memory of the person we loved into the life that we live today. Remembering doesn’t have to be only about the past, but also about connecting our loved one to the present. It can be about remembering them in the context of new things: Things they never saw, but things you wish they could have seen and known. Sounds sad, I know. But I promise it can actually be really great and comforting.
We have given many ideas for things you can do to honor and remember your loved one for birthdays and anniversaries AND we have suggestions for continuing bonds with your loved one. But today, we want to remind you that the things we do to remember our loved one and keep their memories alive can be little, everyday things. It can be as simple as looking at the world and taking a moment to acknowledge the things they would have loved. We often see things we know they would have loved, but hesitate to say anything for fear that it will make others around us sad, or uncomfortable, or whatever. So today, I am here to say stop holding yourself back from saying something! When these things pop up in the world around you, acknowledge them and share them.
The WYG Super-Duper Unofficial ‘Would Have Loved This’ Challenge
We are making this an official challenge by starting a hashtag. When these moments come up, post something about it on social media using the hashtag #WouldHaveLovedThis. Now, for those of you who don’t use hashtags, it is super easy. Just share a post (a photo, text, etc.) and then add #WouldHaveLovedThis to the caption. When you click on or search that hashtag, you will then be able to see every other post on that topic where someone has used the hashtag. You can add the hashtag to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… wherever! Don’t quite get it? Let me give you an example.
I might post on Facebook or Instagram the photo of my movie stub and say “Went to see 50 Shades of Grey. Jeanne C. #WouldHaveLovedThis” …or I might Tweet “Just heard a new song by Ryan Adams. So great, Pete #WouldHaveLovedThis”.
We’ll be posting some #WouldHaveLovedThis posts about those we love and miss. We hope you’ll do the same, not just today or this week or this month, but anytime going forward that you see something that you know your loved one would have loved.
Share the things your loved one would have loved in a comment or on social media with the hashtag! And don’t forget to subscribe to get all our fabulous grief posts right to your email.
8 Comments on "Continuing Bonds: My Loved One #WouldHaveLovedThis"Click here to leave a Comment
Marty R. December 26, 2021 at 3:33 am
I lost the Love of my Life, my girlfriend, my best friend, my greatest lover, my soul mate, my dream come true, my EVERYTHING on August 21, 2020 due to an accidental drug overdose. It was a sudden, unexpected, and totally devastating event. I found her blue dead body laying in the floor on her back in our bedroom. This is the first person that I had ever lost in my life that I loved dearly and had a deep connection with. I was a traumatized and had PTSD due to this life altering event.
My girlfriend displayed 4 b&w photos of us on our bedroom wall. My favorite of the photos is sitting on my desk in our bedroom. It’s one of those photos where her eyes are always looking at you. I love it. I started talking to her using this photo about a year ago, and I carry on conversations with her. I sense her presence in our bedroom. I know that she is here. I have seen her from time to time briefly, And I can feel her presence. Sometimes when I am talking to her photo, I her facial expression changes slightly. Her smile is bigger. Some may say that it’s my mind playing tricks on me. I belive that it’s her way of letting me know that she is here with me. It has helped me so much by talking to her photo. It helps me to grieve in a comfortable way and also keeps me connected with her.
Thank You WYG for establishing a website for grieving people like me. Your articles are helpful, thought provoking, educational, comforting, and awesome. Keep up the good work. You’re helping me and many others find our way thru this maze called grief.
Litsa December 27, 2021 at 4:16 pm
Thank you so much for your kind words, Marty. I am so sorry for the immense grief you are coping with after losing someone who meant everything to you. I am so glad you still have the photos and find so much comfort and closeness in the photo on your desk and in being able to talk with her.
Cushla October 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm
Four years ago my husband planted me swine magnolia . This year it flower. He would have loved this
Vicki September 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm
I did that on my Page honoring the Navy Seals who found Osama bin Laden, but I didn’t know about the wouldhavelovedthis hash tag. I told them Eric would have loved that a Belgian Malinois dog named Cairo went on the operation with them bc the man positively adored big dogs. In fact the more ginormous the animal the more thrilled he seemed to be with it. He had these two mastiffs (named Ares and Ajax) that were pretty dang sizable. I was worried at first that he had them around our 8-yr. old daughter. They were almost her size when they were in a sitting position, but they turned out to be all right. His favorite were Belgian Malinois.
I read a book about the operation of finding bin Laden and heard about the dog in there. There’s a hilarious story about it. President Obama wanted to see this dog bc he wanted to honor all the soldiers who went on the mission, including Cairo. McRaven, the dog’s handler and chief of planning the operation said “Well sir, then I advise you to bring plenty of dog treats with you.”
It was funny in the context, as if the dog would only be happy if he got treats first.
Bianca S April 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm
“Part of continuing bonds is connecting the memory of the person we loved into the life that we live today. Remembering doesn’t have to be only about the past, but about connecting our loved one to the present” – what a beautiful post!! I really enjoyed reading this; thank you for sharing 🙂 This really reminded me of a book I recently read entitled, “Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased” by Dr. Jamie Turndorf (https://askdrlove.com/). This is not a religious book by any means, this one is purely spiritual, and very comforting to read. The most common form of grief therapy pushes you to grieve, let go and move on… Dr, Turndorf has emphasized the exact opposite; it is so important to reconnect and, if needed, make peace with the deceased. Never forgot the loved ones you have lost. Celebrate them, talk to them, share them with others.
Kiri March 11, 2015 at 12:15 am
I love the hashtag idea!
Cara March 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm
I just had a dinner of graham crackers. Jeanne C. #wouldhavelovedthis but not as much as she wanted us to eat popcorn at FSOG.
Mary March 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm
I just posted one! Thank you for starting this.