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.

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

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  1. Jess  March 14, 2022 at 3:36 am Reply

    I lost my boyfriend in April of 2020 and I still think of him every single day. I just wanna be with him. I miss you sam. I love you.

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  2. Evan  March 6, 2022 at 1:47 am Reply

    I lost my fiancé in late November 2021 to an illness. She had been going to doctors but no answers were found yet. Her parents were trying to help find a neurologist too. I got a text from her mother about her passing away while I was at work. I was devastated to the point I didn’t know how to feel with disbelief. Once it sunk in., I couldn’t stop crying for days. The loss shredded my heart. My will to live sundered. There’s still days I break down. Just wishing I can wake up from this nightmare. Her parents haven’t told me anything about the autopsy. Now I just go through each day with regret of not being able to do more. The only thing I can think of now is when my time comes, I’ll hopefully be with her again. I promised myself that if I have the fortune to see her again when my time finally comes, I’m saying an “I love you” for each day that had passed by.

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  3. Tess  February 19, 2022 at 3:16 pm Reply

    My husband died very suddenly in May 2020. He was everything to me. Every day, I am still struggling with grief. I needed him so much. I am trying to redefine myself, take on new challenges etc. But inside, I’m never, ever fully engaged with life as I was before he died. I cry very often. My first grandchild was born last October, and even that doesn’t give me joy. When I read that grief is always with you, I can’t imagine living for the next however many years in this much pain. I would never hurt myself because I had children who would be devastated, but absent them, I would. I am not a spiritual person. Sometimes I wish I was but I can’t help but I believe. I have no hope of ever seeing him again. I have lost the ability to feel joy. It left, I believe, with the part of me that was ripped away when he died. I have lost hope that I ever will feel joy again.

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  4. Rich  January 9, 2022 at 1:53 am Reply

    My wife died October 15th 2021 unexpectedly from an aneurysm she never knew she had. She was my partner, my better half and my lover for 40 plus year. We were never apart We went everywhere together. She nursed me back to health back in may. I was to spend the rest of my life with her ; instead she spend the rest of her life with me She always had my back. I have her pictures everywhere in the bedroom and on my bed. I talk to her pictures all the time. I constantly cry every day and be angry. I feel like my life is over. I am angry, hurt, and scared. I want to join her in heaven. They said God makes no mistakes. I’ will be going to counseling to get help.

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    • Diane  March 10, 2022 at 9:04 pm Reply

      Rich,

      Thank you for your beautiful story. I lost an ex-boyfriend recently. I hadn’t kept in touch with him as I should have. We were together for 15 years. I did not know that he died. But, a really freaky thing happened to me on February 10, 2022. I got off of work early so I decided to go to my local Goodwill store. When I walked in he was waiting to check out at the register. I remember just staring at him. He had this weird white energy around him and he was smiling from ear to ear. It was like he was telepathically telling me that he loved me. I don’t know why I didn’t say hi. When I turned around to say hi, he was already walking out of the store. The next week I was online checking the obituaries. That is when I learned that he had died in the morning of February 10. This was his way of saying I am okay. Love does not end when we die. Your wife will always be around you and will never leave you. Talk to her and tell her how much you miss her. She will respond. Maybe she already has tried to get your attention. She doesn’t want you to grieve or be sad. My ex boyfriend proved to me that love never dies. They are just in another dimension and never far from your heart. Hang in there and think about all of the beautiful memories you both had.

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    • Ryki  March 17, 2022 at 5:02 pm Reply

      I lost my dear sweet wife December 10, 2021.
      I feel exactly like you do, Although I do try to believe that there is something after this life because if I don’t – life just isn’t worth living. Plus unusual things have happened in our home that never happened before, which I take as communication from my wonderful wife.
      I lost her from 1 second to the next, it was a heart attack we never saw it coming.
      When I say “we”, that’s just my daughter and I. We are the only family we have, so it’s pretty lonely.
      I know I will never find a woman who are wonderful and her, nobody could ever love me as much as she did and I will never be with anyone else again.

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    • Sweety  April 24, 2022 at 8:17 pm Reply

      I lost my young husband suddenly in jan 2022. of some heart issue which he had no signs of. I used to go with him every where . No place I ever went alone as we worked at same place . I m left like dead body after him as he suddenly disappeared from everywhere . I always wish I m gone fast as swiftly as possible so that I can be in his arms . I m most unfortunate as I he was my lover admirer my friend my husband and everything I m in unbearable pain

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  5. Bryce  December 26, 2021 at 7:33 am Reply

    Is it bad that everyday I wish I was dead, just so that I can see them again? I mean, as soon as I wake up, I wish I hadn’t. I’ve struggled with the idea of there being a heaven in the past, but I wish now every single day that there is, just so that I can see them. I ask the creator or whoever, to end me. Let me get hit by a bus, or get slain quickly. Anything that is quick, so that I can see them again. What I wouldn’t do to be in her arms for eternity. I know this is morbid, but it’s just always on my mind, and never get the thought out.

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    • Litsa  December 27, 2021 at 4:11 pm Reply

      Bryce, it is incredibly common to want desperately to be with someone we have lost and, when that is an impossibility in this world, this can lead some people to begine thinking of suicide to be with that person. Though it can feel like there will be no hope or joy in a world without our loved ones, this is often just the pain of acute grief that makes it so hard to imagine it, though it is possible. Though the grief and pain will be there, there can also be space for connection, meaning, and joy. If you are ever thinking of acting on these thoughts and hurting yourself, please seek help and support right away. You can always walk into a local ER, call 911, or call/online chat with the national suicide prevention lifeline if you are here in the US. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. You can also text or whatsapp the crisis text line – https://www.crisistextline.org/

    • Rachael Lloyd  January 13, 2022 at 9:37 pm Reply

      I have read a lot of here, it’s about grief and it does scare me cuz I loved the one who’s ever loved me and I will not ever forget and it’s only been just three years straight but he made me something he made me whole and it really bothers me because people don’t think I had enough time to understand what love is in grief I have been married once before for 17 years and this one man came into my life and he made me feel loved love and it really does bother me cuz I really don’t think I will ever find it again but maybe sometime I don’t know and I didn’t think I will but one thing if anything if anybody is reading this I love you and I believe in you if you have moved on oh my heart goes out to you and the ones that are thinking about moving on go for it if it is out there take it and run I would love to be able to take it and run but peace with it all of you please follow your heart even if though it might hurt tell the truth be honest and we are all going to find love at the end and God bless you all

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      • Natalie Kelley  February 11, 2022 at 9:14 pm

        Hi,
        I’m recently going through a similar story. I was married for many years and it didn’t work out. This wonderful man walked into my life and made me believe in love and believe in myself. He was taken from me way too early and I struggle without him.

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      • April Wilson  April 10, 2022 at 9:32 pm

        I also lost my boyfriend. He was the one that ever showed me love as well. His name is Caleb. He’s been gone a year and 6 months. I’m having a hard time finding love again. The guy I’m with now ruined my relationship with Caleb. And this guy doesn’t treat me right at all. But Everytime this guy and I argue his head starts hurting. Why do you think that is? Is Caleb haunting him you think?

      • Litsa  April 11, 2022 at 8:40 pm

        April, headaches are very common from stress, so a fight could trigger that. Also, some people will have physical symptoms in order to avoid a fight or gain sympathy (sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously). I think there is almost certainly a physiological explanation for why he is having headaches. I am so sorry for the grief you are experiencing. You deserve to be with someone who treats you well and who loves you – I hope that you are able to find that.

    • Sweety  April 24, 2022 at 8:10 pm Reply

      I lost my young husband jan2022 I m dieing would like myself to be taken as swiftly as possible so that I can be in his arms
      I can understand ur pain
      I m in unbearable pain

  6. Michael  December 4, 2021 at 3:30 am Reply

    In these comment pages, a lot of people describe feelings that are astonishingly like what I want to say too. …about the feelings of regret & hopelessness.
    .
    So I’d like to comment on the situation, and its nature & implications. This discussion will be three pages long.
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    There’s at least one undeniable fact that we all have expressed, and which we know:
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    That beloved person is everything to us. For me, Susan & Michael are all that matters. Likewise, for others here too and their beloved, I suggest: Assert that, to yourself, and often to her or him.
    .
    No acceptance. No “moving-on” from that person. No letting them go. No “Goodbye”. “Goodbye” isn’t in my vocabulary.
    .
    Acknowledge to yourself that that person is everything to you. Everything. …and tell that departed beloved person that often. There isn’t, and needn’t be, anything else that matters.
    .
    As for the prospects, the mechanics & technicalities, or perceptions or opinions about them, disregard that, at least for now. The primary fact is that you need, want & love that person, and don’t say goodbye, and that he or she is everything to you, and you often tell her or him so. You’re just saying what matters. …and saying it to the beloved. That’s what counts!
    .
    As another commenter here said, “Love conquers death.” That bond of love is more important & fundamental than anything else.
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    The matter of what can be recovered, regained, doesn’t change our purpose, because, whatever the situation’s details, you’re only purpose & need is to be as close to that person as you possibly can, both now and later. … and to be with them again.
    .
    i.e. our purpose & need is one simple purpose. To whatever extent you can be close to that person, and whenever you can even be with that person again as before, of course that’s what you want, and that means everything. What more do you need to know, resolve or decide? That’s everything. It’s that simple.
    .
    Therefore, purposelessness is definitely not how it is for us.
    .
    Though I said to disregard the matter of prospects, because the central feeling & need are what it’s about, no matter what—I’ll nonetheless return to that matter, after this one brief comment:.
    .
    As we all know, there can be a feeling that, with that beloved person having died, then nothing in this world matters anymore. But it isn’t true. My Susan was trying to live in this world, and she did a lot, worked at a lot, & accomplished things this world. Then I want to do the same. If she wanted to do such things, then so do I! . And one thing about me that interests her is that she & I have interests in common. Things that I like & want to pursue are something that make her interested in me, make her like me more, things that have attracted her to me. Then I certainly have no reason to say that those pursuits don’t matter anymore!
    .
    And the ordinary practical things that I do throughout the day are the things that I would, and will, do with & for Susan. …because, let’s admit it, being with her again is what I want more than anything else.
    .
    By the way, though of course there are past events to discuss, don’t speak to or about your beloved in only past-tense. That would be inaccurate. That particularly-important person remains no less real than this life now, & this physical world. More about this world’s reality & existence later in this post.
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    Now, about prospects:
    .
    A Materialist-Physicalist might tell you that your beloved is gone and it’s over & that you should “move on”.
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    Bullshit.
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    That person isn’t gone, other than just from _this_ particular temporary physical story.
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    It isn’t over.
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    Yes, Materialist metaphysics is a grim & despairing final-accounting. It’s also mistaken.
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    Materialism/Physicalism can’t be supported.
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    Nisargadatta said that nothing has ever happened.
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    For our purposes it would be more meaningful to just say:
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    Nothing has ever happened with finality.
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    I’d like to say a little about the justification & implications of what I’ve just said.
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    Alright now, the following might seem like an off-topic digression, but this matter importantly relates to things that we’ve all been saying here.
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    Our beliefs don’t just comfort us in a grievous situation.. Some of them are true.
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    The physicist Michael Faraday pointed-out, in 1844, that there’s no reason to believe that this physical universe is other than just a relational-system. …an abstract logical-system. The Materialist’s “Stuff” is just the stuff of metaphysical theorizing.
    .
    “Relation has to be about something”? Sure, and it can be about something hypothetical. It .needn’t involve anything objectively real or existent, and there’s no reason to believe that it does.
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    No experience, or physics observation or experiment, can establish or suggest that this physical universe has any reality or existence other than that of a system of inter-referring abstract logical if-then facts.
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    Among the infinity of abstract logical-systems, is the infinity of hypothetical life experience stories, each consisting of a system of inter-referring abstract logical if-then facts about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things.
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    Given that there are infinitely-many such hypothetical life-experience stories, each with its protagonist at its center, it’s inevitable that there’s one that corresponds to the things & events in your experience of your physical world—which is merely the setting for your life-experience-story.
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    There’s no reason to believe that your life-experience in this world is other than that.
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    If the concrete objective physical-world that the Materialist believes in exists, then it exists superfluously, unparismoniously, and irrelevantly, alongside, and duplicating, the hypothetical setting of the inevitable abstract logical-system that is your hypothetical life-experience-story. I emphasize the word “inevitable”. …because, obviously, all of the infinitely-many abstract logical-systems are “there” in some sense–whatever that means. …though I make no claim that they’re objectively or concretely real or existent.
    .
    But they’re all as real or unreal as eachother. i.e. as real as this one that we’re in now.
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    Maybe, at this point, I should emphasize that nothing said here contradicts Christianity.
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    The Christian message can be briefly said:
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    What overall-is, is good. Reality is benevolent. We have a lot to be grateful for…and we should act like it.
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    And no one should object to referring to God as Reality. Surely no Christian would deny that God, in His greatest aspect, is no less than all of Reality itself.
    .
    What I’m saying here is similar to, and consistent with, Vedanta. But it doesn’t contradict Christianity.
    .
    Anyway, to continue, anything that can be said about this physical world can be said as an if-then fact:
    .
    “There’s a traffic-roundabout at 34th & Vine.”
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    “If you go to 34th & Vine, then you’ll encounter, there, a traffic-roundabout.”
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    We’re used to declarative indicative grammar, because it’s the brief, concise way to say things. But any statement about this physical world can be said in conditional grammar (if-then statement). Could it be that we believe too much in our declarative indicative grammar, and take it too literally?
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    Instead of one world of “Is” …infinitely-many worlds of “If”.
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    What are the implications of this?:
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    There are an abundance of lives, an infinity of lives. None of those is any more, or any less, real than all of the others.
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    It implies a lightness, an open-ness, and a non-finality for our lives.
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    And it means that your beloved remains every bit as real as this life now, and every bit as real as this physical world. …if not moreso.
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    She or he is not gone, and remains as real and existent as anyone living, though no longer in _this_ particular temporary physical story that is _this_ life of yours.
    .

    And what happened in this life isn’t final.
    .
    Michael

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  7. Harry Greiner  December 1, 2021 at 6:37 pm Reply

    My wife and I were married 48 years. I miss her so very very much. I look for her to through the door everyday and every night . Everything reminds me of her in the house. I left everything where it was when she passed. Her slippers her purse. I can’t even go into our bedroom. I sleep on the couch at night. I can’t look at our wedding pictures. We’re best friends and ❤ lovers . She passed away of cancer IT Was like watching a dog die.😒. It’s horrible. I’m not afraid of to die now. Because this world doesn’t anything to me anymore. I truly hope that there is a beautiful perfect place ❤ to reunite after death. It’s only been a month ago but I just can’t live without 💔 her. I hope Cindy comes 🙏 back for me soon.

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    • Priscilla  December 30, 2021 at 9:22 pm Reply

      My mom just passed away Dec 2, 2021. My dad was with my mom for 43 years. They dated for 4 years so total of years together 47 years. I think you should talk to my dad. He is grieving very hard. (email redacted by site admin – contact for questions)

  8. Michael  November 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm Reply

    I have to talk to someone. Can I tell you what happened? I won’t bore you with background, except to say that I was raised under constant verbal-attack, raised to have no self-esteem, & to believe that I couldn’t be important to another person.
    .
    Understandably, then, I missed out on a number of overtures from girls when I was younger, but there was one that stands out as the most important and significant:
    .
    When I was in my early 20s, my sister Cleo introduced me to her friend Susan. They’d been friends in highschool, and Susan & Cleo often visited at Cleo’s house in the redwoods above Santa Cruz, California. Cleo had a matchmaking idea for Susan & me, because we were so similar. Susan was really the female counterpart to me. We had the same interests, and we were both shy, quiet, & serious.
    .
    Her matchmaking idea would have been a good one if I’d been able to respond. Susan was interested in me, given that she & I had the same interests, and often spent time with me during her visits to Cleo’s house. But, with my upbringing conditioning, I could only be always politely-formal, and there was no way I could respond to Susan or express my feelings for her.
    .
    That went on for years. Susan didn’t give up on me, and kept trying & waiting for years for me to come-around, as any normal person would. It didn’t happen. She was shy, but I was a lot more than just shy, and I was incapable of living.
    .
    Those events would be regrettable enough, but then, on Thanksgiving-Day 1969, something further happened:
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    Early afternoon, Cleo was preparing the early Thanksgiving-dinner, and I was sitting alone in the “big-room”, a large ballroom with a fireplace in Cleo’s old rented house. I was sitting on a window-seat looking at a college schoolbook of mine.
    .
    Surprisingly, Susan came into the big-room, and came over & sat beside me, and commented about a topic in one of my textbooks. As I mentioned, Susan & I had the same interests. She’d never done that before, and it was a significant, unmistakable (…and surely not easy for her) first move by her. That unmistakable first move meant that there was undeniable interest, and that I didn’t have to stay with my polite-formality and safety-in-nothing. That was a major occasion, and it was my one opportunity. That was the most important moment in my life, and it was going to be the best moment in my life.
    .
    But, within a few seconds after Susan sat down, my mother showed up in the doorway, and said that I was needed in the other room, to build a fire in the fireplace. I told her, “You can build a fire.” She said something like, “No, no one else can build it as well as you can! We need you right now!”
    .
    I couldn’t say “No” to Mother, and it was evident that she wasn’t going to give up until I got up and left Susan, so I slammed my book shut & left the room to build the fire in the fireplace in the other room.
    .
    That shy girl had finally summoned the courage to make the first move, by coming in to sit beside me & talk to me, and within a few seconds, I promptly got up & left the room.
    .
    Of course Susan never did that again, and, as the inhibited person that I was, I couldn’t assume that she’d want to visit with me again. That was our one & only chance that day. It was the most important day in our lives. I was 24, & Susan had just had her 21st birthday in the previous month. That would have been the best day in our lives, and it was taken away.
    .
    It would be an understatement that my mother’s timing was improbably bad.
    .
    If 1) Cleo’s & Tony’s household builds threee fireplace-fires per day, over, say, a 15 hour day; and 2) given that Mother came to the doorway a few seconds after Susan sat down beside me:
    .
    There are 3600 seconds in an hour. For simplicity, and as an accurate estimate, let’s say 3.6 seconds elapsed between Susan sitting-down and Mother telling me to get up & leave her. For each of those 3 fireplace fires in a 15 hour day, there are 5 hours during which someone could decide they wanted to start that fireplace-fire.
    .
    Given all that, there was one chance in 5000 that my mother would, by chance, come to the door to tell me to build the fire within those few seconds of Susan sitting down.
    .
    Obviously, Mother had noticed Susan going into the room where I was, and followed her in order to make sure that she wouldn’t sit by me.
    .
    What my mother did wasn’t about a fireplace-fire. It was about making sure that her Momma’s Good-Boy didn’t sit by a girl.
    .
    That I let Mother succeed with that stunt shows how hopelessly far-gone I was.
    .
    As I said, that was the most important moment of the most important day, for Susan & Me, and it would have been the best day of our lives if it hadn’t been intentionally taken away.
    .
    That happened Thanksgiving 1969, 52 years ago.
    .
    In the ‘70s, Cleo & I lost touch with Susan, and Cleo never heard from her again. Susan in the ‘70s, was studying computer-science, & had expressed to Cleo, an intention to work for a software company.
    .
    As this Thanksgiving approached, I strongly felt the enormity of my failure during those years with Susan, but especially on Thanksgiving 1969, and I wanted to write to Susan, to explain that I wanted her all those years, and that her unmistakable first-move on that Thanksgiving had made me able to respond…except that (as she knew) my mother had come in to prevent it.
    .
    On the Internet, I found four phone-numbers & two e-mail addresses. I tried all of them, starting with the e-mail addresses. In every instance, I got the answer “No longer in service”.
    .
    So then I e-mailed Cleo, to ask if she had an e-mail address for Susan. She said that she missed Susan, and had been looking for her for at least a decade. She said that, in fact, long before that, in 2006, when Susan would have been 58, her highschool schoomates had tried to find her to invite her to a highschool re-union. They couldn’t find any way to reach Susan, or any trace of her.
    .
    Cleo said, and I already knew it, that Susan has probably died, prematurely early. We don’t have any information about when or how.

    Other than those defunct phone numbers & e-mail addresses, all I could find out about Susan was that she married someone with whom she started a software company in Arizona. That was in 1995, when Susan was 47. The guy she married was 5 or 6 years younger than she was. At that time, 47 years of age, she’d presumably been working for a major software company (That was always her expressed intention), for about 20 years. She’d have some savings. Maybe that younger man married her because he needed her savings to start his Arizona enterprise.
    .
    …and 11 years after they started that enterprise, Susan couldn’t be found.
    .
    Anyway, Cleo & I don’t know what happened to Susan—only that she apparently is no longer in this world, and her departure was premature, and we have no idea when or how it happened.
    .
    I now realize that Susan is everything to me. Susan is my life. Now I know what matters. Susan & Michael is what matters.

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  9. Vince  October 25, 2021 at 8:24 am Reply

    I lost my father this year, March 1st, 2021. This is the first time I’ve felt comfortable enough to talk/write about it in public, because I feel like a kite in turbulent weather. We had a tough relationship. He died suddenly. I’m losing sense of everything, because there are so many gaps that I’m trying to fill, while still grieving, but man, was that ever difficult. I’m torn and sometimes feel like I don’t know how to feel, because of the expectations and such and that’s killing me 😞.

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  10. Pearl Valencia  July 3, 2021 at 12:48 am Reply

    I lost my boyfriend June,28,201 to suicide.. 💔 I miss him everyday & I don’t know how to cope with it.. we had our good time and bad times; and his family blames me for killing himself; because we would argue.. I cry and cry, and at night I get scared because horrible thoughts run through my mind.. I’ve tried to communicate with the family to be apart of things; but the completely shut me out… sometimes I wonder if he could see that I try; and all they do is cut me out.. I love him so much, I just feel lost; I feel unsafe without him. He gave me lots of love, the best time of my life… we were always together; that man is my right hand … I get this heavy weight in my body; because I feel as if it was my fault that he has passed, because our arguments would get a little heated; but we tended to come back to one another.. That day, before his passing, he texted and called telling me he loves me & wanted us to work; how much he wanted a family with me; how much he genuinely care and loved me .. I just don’t know how to cope with it..

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    • Brandi  July 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm Reply

      You’ll always have questions hunny,and (if you have faith as I do,I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s beliefs here if so I sincerely apologize.)then I believe he’s home in heaven and will be there when it is your time to go back home as well. My mother committed suicide. I used to ask why..? But then I had to,in order to not completely lose my mind, believe that God took her because she was internally suffering much more than I even,or anyone for that matter,realized. I used to tourture myself with questions that I knew we’re unanswerable but I still had,and still wonder to this day, the why’s,how could I not see her pain,if I was only there for her more..etc. So it’s perfectly natural to mourn and miss him because that was your forever and future it sounds like from your post..and when that’s all of a sudden taken…you’re lost and have to figure out your day without your person in it and that wasn’t supposed to be how life worked for your future..it’s hard to just be ” ok”,so I really don’t think you’re feeling are wrong in any way but maybe just know you’re not the only one out there and I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I really want you to know you’re not alone, you’re not broken forever,you won’t suffer inside forever,you will always have a piece of your heart that belongs to him because you loved/love him so much and that’s ok. Bless you and much love for you even though I don’t know you..you’re not alone.

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    • Gracie  August 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm Reply

      I am going through this exact same thing. My boyfriend passed away August 10, 2021 and he was my person. Literally my everything. We loved very hard, but we also fought hard as well. We ended up breaking up 2 days before his death because I caught him cheating on me. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t move to even get up and take care of my daughter. My parents had to step in and help with my little girl because I was physically and mentally unable to. I blamed myself for his passing because he was drinking liters of liquor and doing heavy drugs to feel numb and take the pain of our breakup away. His family still blames me because we argued a lot. I ended up reaching out to 2 different psychic mediums and I was able to talk to my deceased boyfriend. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. He kept saying it wasn’t my fault and that he still loves me so deeply and he is here for me and that he doesn’t leave my side. He hears me when I talk to him and he can’t stop telling me how sorry he is for the pain he’s caused me and he wishes his family knew it wasn’t my fault. I 100% recommend reaching out to a REAL psychic medium and giving them little to no information about your or your boyfriend to get closure. I attended a 10- person online healing spirit circle with Blair Robertson and I also downloaded the app “Keen” and spoke with “masterpsychicRachel” who spoke of things me and my boyfriend only spoke about in private. I’m not sure of your religious or spiritual beliefs, but this helped me gain peace and helped me grieve more than anyone could ever understand.

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    • Laura Gustoson  October 30, 2021 at 4:05 am Reply

      Dear Pearl,

      It was not your fault that your beloved boyfriend passed away . And, you do not deserve the blame from his parents.
      I believe that your boyfriend is sorry that he is causing you to feel undeserved guilt.
      I have also read true stories from mediums about suicides and how the person regrets their suicide and apologizes to their loved ones.
      If possible contact a credible medium.

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  11. Mary  April 16, 2021 at 2:56 am Reply

    I recently lost my husband 1 month and 1 week ago to a massive heart attack he was45 years old , we had been married for 29 years we had our good times and bad times like every couple but we grew closer together every day and now I feel this emptiness inside that there are no words as to how I feel, but I learned that by seeing his pictures and videos just to hear his voice gave me so much comfort that I literally feel him so close to me . When I’m alone I talk to him as if he is sitting right next to me and everytime I ask him if he is with me I start hearing strange noises and it doesn’t even scare me it literally makes me happy to know he is responding to my questions . Is this normal? Or is it just something I want to belive ?

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    • Rio Collins  May 3, 2021 at 10:53 am Reply

      Very normal, I talk to Cody everyday. I’ve even given up doing it in private, don’t care who’s around. As for if it’s something you want to believe, embrace the belief.

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  12. Rio Collins  February 6, 2021 at 3:04 pm Reply

    Random question I suppose but does anyone else have mixed feelings when people keep telling you that you are still loved and other positive things. Sure it’s nice but at the same time it’s not the crux of the matter, I don’t feel like love is absent in my life but having lost Cody there is an absence a part of me is gone. The love he gave me can never be replaced, but there are multiple kinds or levels of love. So often I feel the need to try to explain that but the words aren’t there and I’m afraid I’ll just come off as an ungrateful ass. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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    • Aimee  February 21, 2021 at 8:16 pm Reply

      Yes, I’m experiencing that too! My husband died 1 month ago and I feel like I lost the greatest love in the world. He was a part of me. I’m not me without him. I am trying to figure out who I am now. Of course I know that God loves me and His love is even greater, but that doesn’t change the fact that my bed is empty and I don’t have the one person in this world who always had my back. It’s great to have family and friends who love me, but they all have their own lives and they don’t see me as their most important person in the world. That’s what my husband did, and I miss it every day. People just don’t know how to help and what to say and they think if they don’t tell you something positive you’re going to kill yourself or something. They don’t know how to let us just grieve and talk about it without giving an answer or a solution.

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      • Jeff  July 31, 2021 at 3:43 pm

        Aimee, I feel lost, too. I lost my wife recently to a long fight with cancer. We’d been together since we were 18 (30 years!) and we’d become so in tune with each other. It hits me at night sometimes, laying in bed and realizing she’s not coming back. Or making a dinner she liked, expecting her to wander into the kitchen and smile and kiss me.
        Someone wrote on the Grief in Six Words page, “4 months later, nobody asks anymore.” For me, it’s been only six weeks and I feel like that. I feel like others think I need to be moving on. They don’t seem to have an idea of what it’s like to lose a half of yourself. It is a lonely feeling.

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    • Marion Dudek  June 29, 2021 at 1:53 pm Reply

      Your note was posted the day after my husband of 49.5 years died of cancer. We are fortunate when others love us, but it will never be that love we had with the spouse that died. I loved my husband deeply and the only way I could go on was to write him a letter each day, which I still do. I tell him I love him and miss him. Maybe he is as lonely as I am, so I write. Who wouldn’t want to know they are loved beyond death? Love conquers death.

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      • Harry Greiner  December 1, 2021 at 6:51 pm

        MARION, I KEPT MY WIFE’S ❤ CELL Phone and I text her every morning and every night. I tell her howI much I miss and love ❤ her 😢 and ❤ ask her to take me with her soon. I understand you. I’m so sorry 😞.

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  13. Suneetha shankar  January 30, 2021 at 9:08 am Reply

    I lost my loved one on 21aug 2020..Days gone so happy with him 10yrs of love finally about to get marry him in 6months..I planned my life, wedding, kids, challenges, love and finally my death with him but all of sudden we argued for silly thing and out of control both dragged the thing to peaks and finally he thought of explaining how important he was to me and he did it without my knowledge..He committed suicide and left me alone in this world..All my dreams shattered the empire I built with him and his kids everything just gone in a day… I am lost and I no longer felt things..i also committed suicide but am alive now commenting me.. I have spiritually awakened..i believe he still exists and never leave me alone.. There’s no day in this 5months without me shredding tears or being crazy talking to him..I can feel him around me all the time as if he occupied my soul.. Am loving him more now and dying to see him again after my transition to heaven..Asking God each and every day to hold him until myself coming heaven so that we can reincarnate again and continue where we ended in this life.. This is the only hope making me stay alive..i will wait for the day to meet him again..Lord knew everything and if he can feel my pain he will definitely reunite us… Am happy here reading all comments feeling am not the only one struggling..

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    • Isabelle Siegel  January 31, 2021 at 11:03 am Reply

      Suneetha, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I highly recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/loss-of-hopes-and-dreams/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/grieving-suicide-death/ I’m glad to hear that this website and community is showing you that, no matter what, you are not alone in your feelings. All the best to you.

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      • Suneetha shankar  February 4, 2021 at 9:48 am

        Thank you for the reply and the words..

      • Mona  May 29, 2021 at 4:27 pm

        I’ve recently lost my live in boyfriend from a massive heart attack. The only good thing was he only felt about a split second of pain. I miss him. I cry almost daily. I keep wondering if he had other girlfriends even tho I’ve been told no by others. The plan was for me to move out in a few months but we were still going to be boyfriend/girlfriend. I’ve talked to Mediums and psychics and they all say the same thing. To move on and take care of myself. I cannot do this until I have answers. I try to deal with my pain myself. Sometimes I can get thru the day but mostly not so well. I’m watching movies and of course the names of the main character is my boyfriends name. I know it will take a while. I just want the homest answers.

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    • dashiellmomy@gmail.com  March 1, 2021 at 11:01 am Reply

      I love it

    • Lorraine  March 6, 2021 at 1:14 am Reply

      It’s been a month and one week since I lost my deon the pain and the emptiness I feel is unbearable so call friends don’t understand they think I should get back to life as normal and I don’t feel supported my family is here but they do have their lives also it’s like I know he has made his transition but it was so sudden one day he was here holding me making me laugh and forget about the outside world and then in a blink of an eye he was gone no goodbye no last kiss or hugs it’s truly heartbreaking and I just don’t know how I’m suppose to let go I love him so much that the thought of him not being here or I’ll never see or talk to him again here is almost to much to bear I just pray and ask God to help me please give me strength I’m just lost

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    • Kesmatu  March 18, 2021 at 3:17 am Reply

      Hi Suneetha

      I am sorry for your loss.
      My story is just like yours the only difference is that he fell ill and passed away just like that. We also were together for 10 happy years and planning on getting married, planned kids after marriage literally every plan of my life was heavily dependent on him and in a day all of that crashed. He passed away last month and the pain is so severe it feels as though I am in my own personal hell. I keep asking myself why am I still here, why did he leave me? I am broken in ways that I have never imagined existed. The saddest part is that when he got ill, he promised that he would not leave me no matter what but he still died. I was so sure that he would still be alive because he promised me that he will not leave no matter how bad it gets and i hung on to his words so tight and never saw his death coming. All I do is cry everyday since his passing and nothing makes sense anymore. All I know is that I want him back and the life we had built together. I am in excrutiating pain and i keep wondering if i am such a bad person for God to give me this horrific fate. When he left, I lost everything including myself. I don’t know how to go on.

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      • Mary  September 30, 2021 at 11:39 am

        I have been lost for about 2 years now. Lost my fiance , we were together 20 years , very unexpectedly to cancer. 6 months later my cousin was murdered. I’ve lost my grandmother and aunt also within the 2 years. On Christmas morning 2020 , my brother was found dead. So to the least I have no clue what I’m doing anymore , honestly. I just work continuously , try to stay busy. It’s not the best thing to do , it’s all built up into terrible , depression and anger. I’m just surviving.

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  14. Shaney  January 29, 2021 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I lost my Robert on October 22, 2020. He had lung cancer and fought hard for 2 years. He worked all the way up to he date of death. Such a strong minded person and had a will to live. He was my bestfriend and I truly miss him..

    Since he passed away, His family has changed on me.. I went from being a Angel to a Stranger. Although we married, his family never accepted it, partly because of greed.. They have taken me to court and just surprised me. I allowed his daughter to pick up his ashes, not knowing she would have a funeral without me and have yet to see his ashes.
    I feel so betrayed and hurt. Not being able to mourn the lost of my husbands because stress is unbearable.

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    • Isabelle Siegel  January 31, 2021 at 11:20 am Reply

      Shaney, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Your feelings of betrayal are so valid. Unfortunately, death sometimes brings out the worst in people/families. I recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/family-fighting-after-a-death/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/family-misunderstanding/ Please know that, regardless of what your husband’s family says, you are entitled to grieve. All the best to you.

      • Shaney  February 1, 2021 at 8:22 pm

        Thank you so much for the link and your kind words. I am taking one day at a time and need all the prayer I can get..
        Thank you

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    • Rio Collins  February 1, 2021 at 4:29 am Reply

      Shanty,

      Whoa, having his family turn on you like that. There’s nothing I can say no words that can alleviate that pain and stress. I do understand though, my Cody’s Mom has been amazing it’s my own brother that turned on me. I knew the whole time he didn’t “approve” of our relationship. There was a pretty substantial age difference between us and add to that being gay, my brother couldn’t accept that. The only thing he said to me after I lost Cody was “ oh, to bad “. I’ve had no choice but to cut him out of my life, I look at it as no big loss. But I still hold Cody very close, he has the better part of this broken heart to this day and forever. I truly hope that at some point you can find some peace, and again I know it’s not easy believe me I know.

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      • Shaney  February 1, 2021 at 8:28 pm

        Thank you so much for understanding. My husband adored me and that’s what keep me standing up for myself. Its tough, scary, stressful, hurtful and makes me sad, but I am hanging on my Gods grace..

        Thank you. I wish you happiness and peace…

        I need all the pray I could get.. I am broken.
        Thank you again

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      • Isabelle Siegel  February 2, 2021 at 8:56 am

        Shaney, I’m truly so sorry for your loss and for the pain you are experiencing.

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  15. Rio Collins  January 25, 2021 at 6:27 am Reply

    I lost my Cody last June of 2020. It was very unexpected and sudden, we had just started talking about moving in together two weeks before. I panicked when he first said it, he caught me off guard but I wanted him to and was going to say yes. It never happened. Not sure why this particular memory came up but it’s been seven months now and I can count on one hand the number of days I haven’t cried. I talk to him everyday, words can’t express how I miss him and the feeling of this empty hole in me just never lets up. I sleep with one of his jackets that he had at my place, it doesn’t smell like him anymore and I hate that but if it’s not next to me I panic. It’s such a struggle to face the outside world when all I want is to curl up in a ball and disappear. Friends and family offer condolences but it never seems to help and if I start talking about him most people just want to get away. I’ve felt like a complete freak for so long now but finding this and knowing now that I’m not alone at least makes me feel not quite so mental. He was the only man that I knew actually loved me just for me, and maybe that’s why I can’t say goodbye.

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  16. 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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  17. 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

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  18. 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.

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  19. 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.

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  20. 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 ?

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    • 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.

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    • 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

    • Clarissa  January 14, 2021 at 12:28 pm Reply

      Dear Ify Chi, Nine months ago I lost my dear husband after 35 years of married life and I do understand you very well. I miss him dearly and I do remember him many times per day. I kiss his pictures, I wish him good night and good morning. I talk to him in my head, sometimes also in loud voice, mainly about lovely memories of past times. I do not consider myself a widow. I feel I am still married to him. I fall in love with him every day and I can still feel butterflies in my stomach when I think of him as I felt when we started dating. I wish we could make love again.
      The connection with him is so strong it will never fade away. He goes with me where I go.
      Now that I have more time to reflect on our relationship, I have learnt more deeply of what made us fall in love with each other and have a successful marriage of 35 years. This is my personal way of mourning him and it nourishes my soul. I will continue this way forever. All the best for you in your journey.

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    • Rio Collins  January 25, 2021 at 6:59 am Reply

      Your not alone, I talk to my Cody every night and multiple times a day. I tried to hold it in for a long time but that began causing serious issues. I was repressing it so much at one point that I went into a dissociative state and when I snapped out of it I was standing in the middle of the street with traffic coming at me both ways. So you’re probably better off letting the talking happen.

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    • James  August 17, 2021 at 11:32 am Reply

      I lost my lovely queen in July a few days after my birthday, a friend, a singer and a fashion designer some days after my birthday, I love everything about her, and the worst part of it is that I was deeply in love with her then she dies living me alone, our plans of settling down this year all went in vain, her family is mourning but her death hit me so hard because she’s like my wife. Now I cry every day and ask God to give me the strength to overcome these feelings. RIP My queen.

    • Michael  November 29, 2021 at 10:05 pm Reply

      It’s more than just okay. It’s right, and, in fact, it’s the most right thing there is. I say that as someone who has lost the the girl I wanted to be with and who wanted to be with me. I love, want & need her. She’s everything to me. What matters to me, all that matters to me is Susan & Michael.

  21. 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?

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  22. 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…

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  23. 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.

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  24. 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.

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    • 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

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      • Camil Singh  September 9, 2020 at 6:12 pm

        Hi Laura,

        I also just lost my fiancée of 6 years in July 2020. He was just 36. It was unexpected. He was my everything, my other half, my soulmate! I talk to him every day and dream about him often. That’s the only thing keeping me going. Call me crazy but I still believe we are together, just in a non physical way.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • Rio Collins  January 26, 2021 at 3:05 am Reply

      Jan

      The only part that I feel I can say anything to is the, should be over it by now. This is just my thoughts but due to the messed up way society is wired we as those that feel the loss the most keenly are treated without compassion or respect to often because our pain makes them uncomfortable. Having finally been brave enough to start telling people that say those things to me that their opinions on the matter are of no interest to me and that if they persist I will push back. Our needs and boundaries need to be heard and respected but so often our pain is so overwhelming that in that moment we are unable to protect ourselves. I find that when I am faced with this I draw on that pain to stand up for myself and my right to continue to love him, to honor him, and to respect my commitment to him. So be good to you and remember you have merit.

      1
  26. 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.

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    • 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.

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  27. 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.

    4
    • 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.
      Laurie

      1
    • 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…

  28. 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!!!!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

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    • 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.

      • Debbie Campbell  August 29, 2020 at 4:33 pm

        Hi, Gloria, I lost my daughter Nichole in 2013 and there hasn’t been a night I haven’t said good night to her. She was just 25 yrs old. I talk to that girl all the time. I think she can hear me, too, even if she has better things to do in Heaven (which I’m sure she does). We just lost our youngest daughter Terri in a motorcycle accident in June of this year. She was 29. I’m quite devastated as anyone on this website can
        imagine, but I’ll be talking to both of them now. Our loved ones never leave our hearts.

        1
  35. 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.

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  36. 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.

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    • Rio Collins  January 25, 2021 at 6:47 am Reply

      Louise,

      I’m so sorry for those insensitive and frankly rude jerks ( I actually want to say something much stronger ) it’s really a heartless thing to say. The one I get is “ you’ll want to start dating again “. I seriously doubt that, Cody was my world and the only man that I never doubted that he loved me. I finally had to start getting very rude and telling them that their opinions were not welcome.

      1
  37. 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.

  38. 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.

    • Rio Collins  January 25, 2021 at 6:36 am Reply

      Simone,

      I know this is years apart from when you first posted, but I get it. I find myself saying that I wish everyone could find a love that truly changes your life but that I would never wish this pain of losing the one you love so suddenly and so unfairly on anyone.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

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

    Eleanor,
    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.

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

    OT
    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.

  43. 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 ” .

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

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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…

  50. 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.

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