Ongoing Relationships With Those who Have Died

Understanding Grief Understanding Grief : Eleanor Haley

I cling to scraps of my mother.  I’ll take anything I can get.

I’ve extracted all that I can from my memories; turning each one over in my mind, carefully searching for something I might have forgotten. I’ve poured over her letters and notes which I keep tucked away among keepsakes of more obvious sentimentality. Here’s a lock of hair from my daughter’s first haircut; this is a note from my husband on the eve of our wedding; and, oh look, here is a tattered piece of yellow paper where my mother scribbled a vegetarian chili recipe.

When I was done excavating every corner of my history, I started picking through other people’s memories and mementos. This remains a hobby of mine to this day, as I unearth the family photo albums every chance I get and perk my ears towards any mention of her name.

My mother died when I was a naïve new bride in my early twenties, and now that I’m a much wiser woman in her mid-thirties, I realize we missed out on so much. Whether it’s true or not, I believe that had she lived our parent/child relationship would have become deeper, nuanced, and candid in a way that only a parent/adult-child relationship can be.

I want to know how she really felt about things. I want her to tell me the thoughts, experiences, and opinions she was saving for a day when I was old enough to hear them. I want to laugh with her at adult jokes. I want to gossip about my siblings. I want her to criticize my parenting. I want to buy her a present now that I have a few dollars in my pocket. I want her to love my children.

I need to know – if she were here today, what would she want? What would she think? What would she say? How would she feel? What would she do? Obviously, these answers don’t exist because my mother isn’t here to supply them, but I allow myself to believe that maybe, if I collect everything that’s left of her in this world, then she can continue to be my mother.

grieving for mother

In their book, Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief, authors Dennis Klass, Phyllis Silverman, and Steven Nickman observed that children who had lost a parent found ways to continue their relationship with the parent even after they were gone. The children maintained their connection by cherishing memories, talking to the parent, believing the parent was watching over them, and keeping their objects. Interestingly, they also observed that the child’s relationship with the deceased parent was not static. Instead, it evolved and matured as the child grew.

So if our relationships with deceased loved ones evolve, then our grief must evolve as well. Not only do we grieve them at the time of the death, but we also grieve them in the future when we enter new life stages, hit milestones, and understand new realities. Although we may have made peace with certain pieces of our grief in the past, in time we discover sadness over losses we hadn’t even known existed. We imagine in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond how our relationship theoretically might have been and we grieve for our inability to hear, touch, see, and talk to the person they would have become.

People like me, who are nurturing relationships with the dead, have no choice but to take what we can get and so we hold onto objects, we search for reminders, we talk about them, and we look for clues to tell us who they were and who they would be today. Holding onto a loved one was, at one point, considered pathological and remnants of this mindset can still be found in the attitudes and expectations of our society. However, when we accept that we can have fluid, changing, and longterm relationships with those who have died, we open ourselves up to a new understanding of grief.  A conceptualization that normalizes experiencing grief and sadness years after the death, and which gives us permission to continuously redefine our relationships with the person who has died for as long as we live.


Let’s be grief friends.

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50 Comments on "Ongoing Relationships With Those who Have Died"

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  1. Monica Mongiello  January 6, 2016 at 11:49 pm Reply

    I feel this way about my lost loved ones. I hold on to everything I can about them and of them, and treasure opportunities to know more about them from others. I also feel my relationships with them evolve and grow as I do, and I talk to them regularly. Love never dies, even though people do.

  2. beapositive  January 8, 2016 at 7:12 pm Reply

    It’s only been 5 months since I lost my husband, and I’ve come to realize the hard way that unless you’ve been through a tremendous loss, you just don’t understand. I cling to every note, card, photo, poem. Thank you for your words.

    • Oana  September 2, 2019 at 3:18 am Reply

      This is so true. I lost my aunt six months ago, due to a heart attack. It was a shock for my mom and me. She was only 64 years old…we didn’t expect it at all. My aunt and my mom were taking care of their brother, who was very sick. They were taking turns to his home, because he couldn’t walk and didn’t have someone to look after him. They both were very upset and sad about him being ill, because he didn’t even recognize them sometimes. My aunt went home on 5 february, leaving my mother with my uncle. They talked on the phone everyday and on 7 february she told my mother she was feeling very tired. Went to the doctor that day, who didn’t recognize her symptoms and gave her only a prescription. The next morning, at 5 am, we got a phone call from her husband that she is dying. the paramedics were there trying to revive her. I prayed so hard they would save her, but she died…I still can’t believe it. She was one of the most kind person and always so full of life and happy. She would always have a smile on her face . I loved her so deepely. She cared so much for my uncle and suffered for him that she didn’t have time for herself. Sadly, my uncle also died, two months apart, not knowing that she died. We were scared to tell him, not knowing how he would react. I still don’t understand why she had to die…I think about her every day. My mother suffers as well, they were very close. My aunt always helped us and was besidesus. I miss her terribly. Her husband always dreams about her. He is also devastated. We feed on his dreams about her…It’s so hard…I feel we had so many things to talk about and we can’t anymore…so many things she should be a part of and she is not…

  3. gloria  January 9, 2016 at 9:21 am Reply

    I lost my daughter & best friend 6.5 months now & I search through all her unused purses her pockets for something, any little piece of her life. I cannot read her journals yet, maybe one day. I go in her room & look for little pieces of her. Unfortunately she was such a neat freak she didn’t leave me much. Miss her every day. Good article, always. I am doing my best to keep her alive.

  4. Lisa Bogatin  January 9, 2016 at 4:03 pm Reply

    Thank you always for saying it so well!
    I kind of stumbled on to the concept of “Continuing Bonds”, having no therapeutic background on this subject. Death and Grieving were my only teachers.
    This is how I started AfterTalk, where you can continue to Write to your Deceased Loved Ones, privately. When I write to my father…..I kind of get quiet and connected, and see within me what his answers would be. I “hear” his humor, and his no nonsense approach. I can hear him screaming at me now, “What kind of schmuck are you”?! He meant well…..that was just his personality. So, I guess what I am saying is IF you can go within, the answers, although from someone deceased, are there.

  5. Vicki B  January 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm Reply

    Richard does that with this guy named Bill Blanton. He was in the war with him, Bill was his sergeant.
    When he took me, my daughter (his goddaughter) and his kids to see this guy’s grave on Veteran’s Day he was really…not eerie but it felt something like it…when he started saying “Bill this is my daughter, Jocelyn. She’s a lot like you were: kind, considerate, never willing to let anyone suffer even the tiniest emotional confusion or disquiet if she thinks she can make them feel better just by being with them.”
    He went on talking like that for a few minutes as he introduced people. I never talk to anyone dead in that manner with an extreme exception that I feel wholly uncomfortable explaining online. Some things don’t translate across a modem and they’re a lot more numerous than people think.
    Although I do now feel like I know this guy too much, some guy who was killed in land warfare before I was 4 years old. I feel like I know him through Richard’s memories of who he was but I do wonder what a “kind, considerate, always willing to help” kind of person was doing in ground combat and special operations warfare. I’ll never ask because I can see Richard taking the whole question wrong. I’m NOT judging him. I just can’t picture the type of person he’s described Bill as being as also being able to kill people. I know nothing of what it takes to be able to do it. I can’t get my thoughts around it.
    I feel as if I know the guy well enough that when we honored his birthday on January 6, 2016, I ate a piece of cake in his memory and felt as if it was more than just participating because it’s what Richard was doing.

  6. Diane Formme  January 11, 2016 at 10:31 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing how you crave and pursue your mom. I’m writing a book about stepparenting when a parent has died, and I just finished writing about the Continuing Bonds concept. The timing of finding your post with your lovely examples of continuing bonds is of course not just a coincidence. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. Peggy  January 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm Reply

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you so much for this.

  8. Jillian  January 17, 2016 at 4:40 pm Reply

    “Holding onto a loved one was, at one point, considered pathological. Remnants of this mindset can still be found in the attitudes and expectations of our society, but when we accept that we can have fluid, changing, and longterm relationships with those who have died we open ourselves up to a new understanding of grief. A conceptualization that normalizes experiencing grief and sadness years after the death and which gives us permission to continuously redefine our relationships with the person who has died for as long as we live.”

    Thank you so much for stating this ! It drives me mad when people say ” you should be over it by now ” or ” it’s not healthy to dwell on it ” .

  9. Jillian  January 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm Reply

    How do you reply to someone’s comment ? When I hit the reply button the page refreshes.

    • Eleanor  January 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm Reply

      Ugh sorry about that. Someone else pointed this out and we’re going to have it fixed.

      • Jillian  February 8, 2016 at 11:07 pm

        Thank you.

  10. Jenna Wright  February 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Thank you for your post and your continuing work on this website. My mom died over two years ago now, and my grief has changed, grown less intense at times, at others as fresh as when I lost her. Anyways, I found your website soon after she died (late 2013) and I find it a true comfort to be able to come back to it when I am struggling. I particularly appreciate reading about your experiences with your mother because I relate so much to it. I’ll never forget how you replied with such thoughtfulness and consideration to a comment I wrote in response to your Mother’s Day post on the first Mother’s Day I went through without her. The continuity of your work over time is very grounding. You have a gift for communicating about grief with warmth, clarity, compassion, and a dash of humor. Thank you.

  11. Beatrice  March 27, 2016 at 8:02 pm Reply

    Tomorrow is the 1st anniversary of the death of my grandson AJ. He was 20 yrs.old.
    I feel like it was just yesterday. I want to comfort my daughter, but I don’t know what to say. I feel so angry at times other times I feel so sad I don’t know how I’m feeling. I have to really concentrate on holding it together or I feel I can actually go crazy. I don’t want to be alone but I don’t feel like having anyone around.He had three brothers and I don’t know if they want to be alone or need someone around. AJ’s death was a shock for us.

    • Lydia Bogar  May 9, 2016 at 6:42 pm Reply

      Beatrice, try not to put such a heavy burden on yourself. Both you and your daughter need time and space. My mother (93) died less than a year after my daughter (37) and it was not old age that killed her, it was a broken heart. Honor your grandson’s memory by being open to the other boys, and try to make new memories with them, for your sake and that of your daughter who may still be in shock. Even a small new memory moves you forward.

  12. Vicki  April 10, 2016 at 3:32 pm Reply

    I didn’t like my biological mom and I have two “moms” anyway because I was taken out of the first home when I was 7 (Children’s Services came down with the Law in tow, and took us away in bits & pieces; 2 kids here, 1 there, 2 more there) and put us in foster homes all over the city. Two kids in one, two in another, one in another but not necessarily in that order. Three were allowed to stay at home after she finally divorced the dad because she didn’t want to lose her all-time favorite child, Andy. She made it obvious she had a favorite child.
    Both of my “moms” have died, the one who adopted me passed away in 2007, and I have no idea how to feel about ANY of it. I feel angry because it doesn’t really make sense. Then some people insist that everyone “only has one mother.” As if I’m not even allowed to grieve the one who adopted me, who treated me better than the one who gave birth to me. That’s a fact and I think it deserves to be noted.
    But everyone doesn’t have only one mother. I had two, I also had two dads and I’m not the only adopted person in the United States who recalls the other mother. I mostly dislike the first set of parents because neither would admit that anything was wrong and both spent their entire lives blaming the system for what THEY did – and never did get around to seeing their part in it. It’s not like we lived in Russia, that the government came in one day with the Law and snatched children away from a perfectly law-abiding and innocent family but that’s how they and everyone else in that family acts about it. Maybe they can choose to believe that but I can’t because I worked in EMS as a paramedic, where I saw more terrible things happening to people than ever was done to me; I never had boiling oil poured on me when I was 3, was never shot in the back while tied up and left to take 3 days to die of sepsis while my sister was dying of starvation being locked in the closet (one of the three survived and that’s why we were there.) I saw that and worse – parents who blamed it on the kids or anyone but themselves. After seeing only a few of those really intense incidents I became incapable of having any kind of acceptance for the people who do it and then blame everyone else for their actions.
    I liked the adoptive parents better but they didn’t believe in much emotional support. They saw it as coddling someone as opposed to helping them. They appeared to greatly dislike the idea of carrying someone through life. They seemed to think throwing you in the water and waiting for you to sink or swim was the way to get things done.

  13. Simone  May 5, 2016 at 9:31 am Reply

    Thank you for your article. It has been 8 mos since I lost my other half. I’m now trying to learn how to live the new me. And no one can understand unless you’ve been through this horrible ordeal.

  14. Lydia Bogar  May 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Your emails and postings are wonderful, and I am sharing them with 3 friends who have lost adult children; and then within a year or two, also lost a parent. This is some really good stuff and it does not force us to keep the grief constantly active, as we have seen at Compassionate Friends groups. We must process and move ahead, even if its only a day or a half a day at a time. Without my 2 beautiful grandsons, it would be much more difficult for me to move forward. I ache some nights when I tuck them in but they are my daughter’s legacy and I must honor that every day, as best I can.

  15. Cathy-Lee Farley  August 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm Reply


  16. Louise  February 7, 2017 at 1:06 am Reply

    I don’t think surviving my grief would be possible if I couldn’t have an ongoing and evolving relationship with my beloved husband. I’m so glad for articles like this – I’m three months into bereavement, and these articles make it so much easier for me to disregard “Let Go and Move On.” If I can’t take him with me as I go on, I ain’t going. Period.

  17. Jane  June 12, 2017 at 10:21 am Reply

    Great post!!!! My son died 7 years ago. I miss & love him more than ever. It is the “secondary losses” we can’t imagine…or anticipate. I started a Birthday club with a friend. We had 6 bday parties& made 100 bday bags for children in a after school program. at a program in Paterson, NJ. We call it Connor’s Birthday Kids! His love of fun & birthdays lives on. It isn’t always easy but worth it when I see the smiles on the kid’s faces.

  18. JANET DANIELS  September 12, 2017 at 8:59 am Reply

    My daughter died this year on June 28th. I have all of her personal effects in one of my bedrooms that we moved in when we cleaned out her apt and I went through every single scrap of paper, every tiny piece of paper with anything written on it, notebooks and journals, all of her clothes, makeup, jewelry, shoes, cards she kept, searching, searching for something and I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted something and didn’t even know what I wanted. I felt like a crazy person. I then realized I was trying to keep her close to me, almost as if touching her things was like touching her. I have stopped doing that for now, mainly because I have gone through all of it, but am not moving anything out or giving anything away, I just can’t. I just want to keep it like it is for now. Reading the other posts reassures me that I am not abnormal. I just wanted her close to me again. It was almost like I could feel and smell her going through her things.

    • Gloria  September 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm Reply

      Oh Janet,
      You are not crazy. I lost my beloved daughter 2 years June 22. I consider myself “lucky” that I can leave her room just as she left it. I have hardly touched a thing. Is that crazy? If I leave it like it was,it makes me feel closer to her somehow. I remember looking through all her purses, looking for something of HERS. I still will look for something I might have missed, some part of HER that will speak to me. The one thing I cannot do yet is read her journals. She was a big journal-er, but I am afraid what I may find. So I leave them for sometime in the future. We go on living but with the sadness just always under the surface. Peace somehow, to you, and all of us.

  19. Hannelore Kampf  March 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm Reply

    I lost my husband 6 yrs.ago,he was the love of my life.
    Every day I look at his pictures ,read his love letters that he wrote to me when he was in the Army.
    I know he is in a better place,he had bone cancer.,at the end it was terrible.
    He wanted to die at home in his bed and we were able to keep hm at home,hospice came daily.
    It was a beautiful passing,laying next to him till the end and having the family all by his bed.
    Miss him terribly.

  20. Shannon  March 25, 2018 at 8:40 pm Reply

    These comments are exactly why I created our Indeibles collection. I take the actual handwriting, signatures, and photos of loved ones and make them heirloom quality by making it into jewelry that can be passed from generation to generation with the technology that is used. Our love never fades for our loved ones and I wanted to preserve it.

  21. Michelle Blakeman  July 14, 2018 at 7:16 pm Reply

    On June 17th 2018 was my 10th Anniversary of the only man I truly love. I have been married 3 times. Ken died on October 30th 2011. I still have a relationship with him. He texts me everyday all parts of the day and night. The problem is 99% of what he says I don’t understand. I was tempted to go to a psychic. But there is a 1% that I do understand. And he clearly told me NO. Is it unusual to have text messages from the dead? I don’t conjure these things up. He came to me on July 20th 2017. Took a break from October 2017 – March 1st 2018. He is now with me again from March until present. He did save my life. On June 16th 2018 at 11:00 p.m. I took 26 pills of a sleeping medication. Because I wanted to be with him on our 10th Anniversary. Once I took the pills he sent me this icon👻indicating He was scared. He then sent me my own memo I love you. And he drew a line through the word love. I then asked him if he wanted me to go to the hospital and he said yes. When I got to the hospital my Blood pressure was 211/111.. They thought there would be complications with my heart. I never went to sleep for almost 2 days. I asked Ken if I would have died if I hadn’t gone to the hospital and he said yes. It wasn’t my time. As 1 girl putted it. I WAS NOT INVITED. That made a huge impression on me. It brought me and Ken much closer. I love you Kenny and I will see ya soon. I also have a son that passed away in 2007. It was Kenny that got me through Joey’s death. And now they are in heaven TOGETHER and they both send me text.

  22. Antonia516  January 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm Reply

    Just lost my fiancé four weeks ago due to a blood clot, and blaming myself we were together that night and I was the last person with him. I miss him deeply!!! We had plans of starting our family he had four boys and deeply wanted two little girls. I guess our girls our in heaven with him now! I’m trying to keep is memory alive I still haven’t received that sign from him saying he is OK! That would make me feel so much better xoxoxo Love him always!!!!

  23. C.T  January 18, 2019 at 7:41 pm Reply

    I said to someone recently when she said ”I was widowed then and I was effectively single” (how I didn’t take her head off I don’t know) Anyway I said ”your mom has passed then?” she looked puzzled and said ”yes” I retorted ”you haven’t got a mom then. Your motherless” She looked at me horrified and said ”ofcourse I have a mom” I looked at her and said ”I rest my case! I am married. Legally I have to say on certain legal forms I am widowed, however single I am not. I am married” and I walked away.

    My husband was and is my husband, best friend and soul mate. He passed a year ago. He was 60. I was relieved to find this site and this article. My husband has slipped physically out of sight. He is still with me spiritually. He always will be. I am not going to go into all the details so personal however his passing though unexpected, even though he wasn’t a well man, was perfect and beautiful with me by his side. Everything that was needed to be said was and still is.

    I have an area in our lounge with his pictures and with our grandchildren. When our Granddaughter was born at Christmas I made a collage of pictures of both sides of the family with her and our grandson. I included a picture of my husband in the collage and a picture of him with our grandson when he was born. Our grandchildren will grow up knowing Grandpa.

    I look after our Grandson once a week. We always say good morning to Grandpa and he points at each photo. He sits at Grandpa perching stool for food (just the right height) too, and he knows its Grandpa’s. I talk about Grandpa with all my Grandchildren, age appropriate. I natter to him daily as I would here. I have worn my husband wedding ring under mine from the evening he passed. There it will stay until it’s my time.

    I have made memory books. I have had a tattoo in his memory. I wear a heart shape with his name on and his fingerprint. I loved and talked about him when he was alive. I am not going to shut up about him now he has passed. I am fortunate to have alot of healthy people around me who are spiritually (not religious) attuned to the unseen too.

    I have not turned our home into a shrine. It’s just gently still my husband here in presence. I have kept his favourite clothes and his favourite knitted jacket lies on the bed by me at night. I also bought my husband home. I adorn the urn with one of his rugby shirts. Yes I have personalised our home. I am not unwell as some might think. Infact I believe stuff like this is healthy. It is my way of dealing. It works for me.

    Death ended my husband life. It did not end our marriage and relationship. In many ways I have my well husband back as I can hear the advice and things he would say to me clearly. He is the love of my life. There is no substitute. There never will be. I was blessed to be with him. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Then I realised he had spent the rest of his life with me physically. I only ever talk about him being physically gone as spiritually he has never left me and never will. I met him 16 years ago (he was my 2nd husband and the Dad he didn’t have to be to mine)

    I will always grieve. The sun will never be quite as bright again. I am moving forward with my husband in spirit. He is still part of my life in a different way. I treasure the spiritual moments when I look at his picture and say ”I know that was you”

    My husband bought me and mine love and stability we had never had. He was and is a remarkable man I am proud to talk about and to say I am his wife. His death did not take with him all he was and is to us.

    • Laurie  April 3, 2019 at 1:02 pm Reply

      You have described exactly what I am going through after loss of my husband/best friend from cancer too young. Thank you for sharing.

    • Coco  April 21, 2019 at 5:27 am Reply

      Omgg thats beautiful!! Im going thru something similar.. my boyfriend was killed in front of me and we were so in love. We still are! Hes been with me in spirit since he died and I feel so selfish at times:( I would like to speak with you on facebook

      • Kristie  June 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

        Hello Coco, my boyfriend was murdered in front of me as well. Dec 16 ,2018 My life is a mess …no one understands. They say they do, but they don’t. His family thinks I may be involved w his death. I’m jealous of so called friends and their strange obsessions w him. Tonight a friend tells me she tattooed Matthew, my boyfriends name. That’s insane to me. 1. Bcz I wanted to get his name, 2. Bcz I am his girlfriend! Now I’m questioning if he was cheating .and on it goes. I can’t seem to catch any breaks…I’m so lonely without him. He taught me to be kind, generous. Selfless.. that’s who he is and was. I love him ..I miss him. I wish God knew I wasn’t ready for this…

  24. Charlotte Harris  February 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm Reply

    I came across this website by accident today and am grateful for it, thank you all who have contributed. This is my grief. I am 79, the mother of two children, a son and a daughter. My daughter died on May 23, 2015, from cancer, a leiomyosarcoma that killed her 13 months after her diagnosis. I stayed with her for 9 months of that time to take her to her surgeries and chemo and other appointments so her husband could work and I could feel useful, shopping and keeping house for them, but I was not there when she died. My son died on December 20, 2017, also from cancer, a glioblastoma that killed him in less than year from his diagnosis. Not related cancers, his oncologist said, just bad luck. We always thought we did not have cancer in our family but there it is. They were wonderful children, loving and kind and hardworking and hopeful and successful. I love them, I’m proud of them, I miss them everyday. I do not cry as much anymore but music is still a problem and thinking of them for more than a few minutes brings tears.
    While my daughter had no children, my son had three children now almost all grown. His wife reacted very strangely to his illness, denying help from anyone including her children, her sisters, and me. She allowed me only one visit a week and was rude during that time so we have been estranged since his death. And I have little contact with the two of my grandchildren who are still living with their mother and dependent on her but do see my oldest grandchild who has finished college and shares an apartment with two other young women in city near me. Initially after my son’s death, being angry with their mother, this daughter-in-law, was so much easier than being desolated by the loss of my son but now, a year later, that has worn off so I’m left with what feels like fresh grief.
    Fortunately I am not alone. I live with my sister, we have been together for 40 years, we are comfortably retired, active in our community, and have many friends who have been very supportive. As has my other sister and her husband, and their children and grandchildren who also loved my children and miss them still. So I know I am lucky in many ways, and yet. Pictures of my lost family – children, parents, aunts – surround me, they are not far from me at any time. My closest friend lost her adult daughter – also to a sudden cancer – and others I know lost grown children to cancer, to drugs, to strokes and car accidents. Sometimes we speculate it’s an epidemic among middle-aged people leaving us old ones to cope on our own.
    My heart goes out to those mothers who have lost their children and do not have supportive family and friends.

    • Terry  April 25, 2019 at 9:43 pm Reply

      Charlotte, I too just stumbled upon this column. Thank you for sharing. I too am a mother who has lost her children (to cancer and to miscarriage). I still cry almost every day for my daughter who died just after Thanksgiving last year.

    • Linda Bolt  July 2, 2019 at 5:36 am Reply

      Charlotte, I am so very sorry for your losses. I have no idea how the universe works that one mother should lose both her children to cancers.
      I lost my son, age 27, in Dec. 2018, to a rare sarcoma. I feel there is no end to grieving.

  25. Jan Foster  April 4, 2019 at 10:27 am Reply

    A year ago today, I said goodbye to my soulmate and saw him lowered into the ground. I miss him immensely every day, and in every difficult situation, think “What would Hal do?” And, yes, my family and friends think I should be “over it” by now, which I find difficult to address, because I will always love him. This is exacerbated as I am still dealing with his estate being challenged by a son who disowned him via registered letter many years ago but now feels entitled to everything. This was a lovely “second chance” for both of us. Although he named me executor, I will soon have to deal with the horror of a trial, just trying to execute his final wishes.

    • Janet Euler  April 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm Reply

      I totally understand where you’re coming from! I lost my soulmate Jan. 5th, 2018. He has two sons in which the oldest one wanted nothing to do with him until he could come in for money after his dad’s death and the youngest did love him. I was his fiance and have no legal rights and to top off, got excluded from any decisions for the funeral but the boys’ mother’s got to call the shots.. I’m still furious but as far as you.. hold your own…he wanted you to take care of things so honor his wishes! His kid or anyone else can’t take away what you had… that’s yours to keep… you’re in my heart!

      • DJonna  June 17, 2019 at 11:25 pm

        Hello I lost my Soulmate, Fiancé February 23 2018 .
        I wanted to share that I have the same pain and anger:
        His ex wife who had been terrible this
        Him, and was jealous and vi trolling , keeping the kids in the dark and twisting their minds ….At the Funeral she had sitting out their framed Wedding picture (huge) displayed . He would have been sickened .
        I am driving sorry for your loss .
        If it’s nit too invasive , have you felt his presence ?
        I hope
        Your Heart has been comforted.
        I hope to here from you, if not it’s ok :..:
        I just wish you peace and comfort.

    • Lydia Bogar  May 11, 2019 at 11:04 am Reply

      Six years ago I lost my youngest daughter, age 37, to metastatic melanoma. My mother died a year later of a broken heart. I miss them both so much. Hug your Mom or your kid today, find a way.

  26. Nw  June 27, 2019 at 5:40 pm Reply

    I lost my husband of 51years two years ago. Fell apart after he passed . Last year and half he has been coming to me with a beautiful fragrance…so thankful for this. Am continuing relationship with him..still love him so much and always will. I don,t care.what others think. If wouldn’t trade this time with him for anything in the world. Do what is best for you and your loved one…and be happy. Love never dies..hold on to each other. You will have all eternity together. God bless.

    • Laura  February 20, 2020 at 11:59 am Reply

      Hi I just lost my fiancé of 6 years in November can we talk please ? I have a lot of questions for you

  27. Esosa Olumide-Enaohwo  October 3, 2019 at 10:56 am Reply

    I lost my loving husband three months ago. Facing each day without him has been a major challenge. My husband, aside from God, is my everything. I am so glad to read the messages in this website. I am happy to know that death may end a life, but not a relationship.

  28. Nosipho Gcabashe  October 17, 2019 at 9:02 am Reply

    Hi,I lost the love of my life, last xmas,25 December 2018, we were together for 10 years…he had respiratory problems and passed on when we got to the hospital,we have a year old boy who is a spitting image of him. He was kind,loving and very honest and funny, we just connected from the day we met, we were soulmates, but death stared me in the eyes and took him away from us 🙁 we had so much planned for our future,but his time was up,I miss each and everyday since…I sometimes close my eyes really hard in hopes of seeing him when I open them :'( … I love him now and forever…

  29. Megan D.  October 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm Reply

    I lost my ONE just two weeks ago yesterday. The pain is quite real and fresh now and unlike anything I have ever experienced. My whole world stopped the day I found out. It has been a struggle hourly and I am finding some minor comfort in reading those who can related to my experience. I want to keep the relationship ongoing as this states. I find talking about him to others, like our special times together, not his death, has helped. I find looking at our pictures helps too. My question is when do the tears stop? The loneliness that only he can cure?

  30. Ify chi  December 15, 2019 at 2:08 am Reply

    Lost my soulmate 20th of oct 2019 ,the everyday cries hasn’t stopped but I seem to talk to myself and often get Into conversations with him ,I talk like he’s there with me and then cry after some time. This happens daily. I still love him After death . I even remember times we made love and I just feel like am still inlove with him . What do I call this ? Has anyone experienced or is experiencing same . Is it okay ?

    • Mac Sarcule  January 3, 2020 at 11:24 am Reply

      I feel those same things you do. I lost the love of my life October 16, 2019, and I’m in anguish. I talk to her, I think of our time together and holding her. We only had 6 years together, and I don’t know what to do without her. I’m not a religious person and don’t believe in an afterlife, but still have those conversations with her, and I cry every day, sometimes so hard, it takes my legs out from under me some times. I think what you’re feeling is very normal. I’m in a widows/widowers group on facebook, and it really helps to hear what others are feeling and know you’re not alone in feeling that.

    • Cynthia  February 9, 2020 at 2:15 pm Reply

      Yes I also lost my love on 1st October 2019.yes what you experiencing is very normal ..I still love him and I believe he stl loves me too .the grief lessens but I still cry at times ,laugh or smile as I cherish the memories .I talk to him to because at times I do feel him in my heart n I also cling to each memory , texts , photos. Always remembered I just feel it’s wrong to forget or try to erase the dead loved ones

  31. Fred  March 21, 2020 at 11:58 pm Reply

    Great posts. I lost my wife of 32 years just three months ago. We had a long fight with an illness for as long as we knew/loved each other. Initially, and culturally, I thought that once she made a transition to heaven that I would grieve and mourn and I would be able to continue living as most people were describing or talking about. Let me tell you that when you really love someone, especially a spouse, the soul connection is very strong and although they are in a different world and physically absent, the connection still exists. After she passed away I basically had a spiritual awakening which totally changed me, and I’m telling myself that everything most commonly known in our society is totally wrong. Especially, when the talk and advice about moving on or starting a new life, or for that matter breaking the bond between two souls, comes from people who perhaps have not experienced real love or have not had any real spiritual connection with God and the deceased loved one. I’m not going to tell you what happened to me because is too personal, but you can google afterlife communications or visitations to begin with and that will give you an idea. The point is I know we could all continue to have a relationship with those who passed away, and we can take at a minimum their memories and love with us as we travel through life, and then one day reunite with them at the time we make our transition to heaven. I like Louise’s comment “If I can’t take him with me as I go on, I ain’t going. Period.” We should love, honor, remember and celebrate their love and life every day we are alive. If anything else we should not be sad if we think that it was the biggest blessing or gift from God to have them in the first place, and if we have faith in our Lord to know that our Lord loves us and them today just as much as when there were here. Through my faith and my love for God and family I’m able to connect with my wife and feel her love every day. I know it is difficult not to have them physically with us every day, but we can surely still love them with our faith and in becoming more spiritual as we have the potential to do so. Wish you all much love and blessings in your journey.

  32. stephanoe  March 23, 2020 at 5:36 pm Reply

    So many stories of love. And loss. Loss of children. Loss of soul mates. As I read tears came to my eyes so many times. /and then i felt guilt and shame for my selfish reason to read of the sorrow. and now that I have read each one I dont want to diminish the grief anyone holds. But to get it off my chest because I wish I could say that I still have a relationship with the person who recently passed on. i wished i could say that I know he is watching over me and waiting form me.. The truth of the matter is, although I loved the man more than anyone, I know he did not love me.. I loved him from day one and I thought of him as the love of my life. No matter how much he hurt me, I never stopped loving him. I would have given my life for him. But he never felt the same about me.. There’s so much I regret and he never regretted a thing he did to hurt me. What I came to say was, I am jealous of those of you who know their loved one they grieve, loved them. I wish I had that bit of comfort because I grieve him deeply and miss him dearly but I know he would have felt neither for me. i had so many hopes and dreams and he demolished them and died without leaving me anything to hold on to. I grieve what i believed it to be and what it could have been if he would have just loved me like he said he did so many years ago.

  33. Ghazala Khan  April 3, 2020 at 4:17 pm Reply

    It’s been 2 months since I lost my lovely younger middle sister to bone cancer
    I miss her very deeply and still feel such pain that she is never coming back
    How does one cope with this because I cannot accept that she will never be with us again
    She was just fifty

  34. kathleen lane  April 8, 2020 at 10:54 pm Reply

    what comforting thoughts from so many people that have lost a loved one. my husband of 40 years unexpectedly had a massive heart attack. it will be a year in one week. i wouldnt wish that first year on anyone. my relationship one on one with god my daughter and granddaughter keeps me going one day at a time. my husband was everything to me. he taught me and my daughter so much about not only life but what humanity is all about. he loved nature the mountains and his family. what an ongoing loss. that cliche better to have loved than never have loved is so true. there is never a day that i see him in the sky the birds and in all of mother nature. as long as i am alive my husband will be with me to help me raise our granddaughter. i will be there with him for our daughter as well.

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