Task in Grief - Developing a New Relationship with Your Loved One
Healing grief does not mean “getting over” the loss. You never “get over” losing someone. Instead, you move through, move forward, and carry that grief with you. The heaviness of the load you carry lessens over time, but it’s always there. Some days, it can feel like pulling a Mack truck. Other days, like an inchworm crawling on your shoulder.
Grieving involves a process of “letting go.” This does not mean letting go of your loved one. Instead, you’re letting go of what no longer is. Letting go of what can no longer be. And in time, letting go of the pain.
A common experience among people who are grieving is becoming attached to the grief itself. The grief you’re feeling and processing can become unwelcomingly familiar, and actually become the way that you feel connected to your loved one who is no longer here. That can make moving forward scary or undesirable, as you don’t want to feel less connected.
One way to move through grief and maintain a feeling of connection is to develop a new relationship with your loved one.
You may be wondering, “How to you have a relationship with someone who’s not here?”
Well, it first starts with a gentle knowing that love never dies. Love is energy. When someone dies, the love does not die. It simply takes on a different form. You carry that with you in your heart, always.
Developing a new relationship with your loved one can take on any form you like and are comfortable with.
- It can involve talking to your loved one. (No, this is not crazy).
- It can involve taking on a favorite characteristic or hobby of your loved one.
- It can involve sharing funny stories of your loved one.
- It can involve holding out your hand and feeling a gentle squeeze from your loved one.
- It can involve visiting a place of a shared memory and intentionally connecting while you’re there.
The last one is what I did today.
My father introduced me to the Ken Lockwood Gorge in 1990 after I got my first mountain bike while I was rehabbing from ACL reconstruction. Now I think of him every time I’m here. While I believe that we can always feel close to our loved ones who have passed, visiting a specific location where you spent time together can enhance that connection.
So I thought of him, thanked him for introducing me to this beautiful, serene location, felt his fatherly, supportive love in the wind, and heard his kind, gentle voice in the South Branch of the Raritan River.
Yours in HEALing,
PS – If you are a widow, or care about one, I’m offering a FREE live workshop for widows on 9/26/22 at 7PM (ET), followed by 5 days of daily guidance from me to help put the ideas into action. It’s called Daily Routine for P.E.A.C.E. Register by clicking HERE.
If you’re interested in articles related to healing grief, check out my articles at Open to Hope. – a non-profit with the mission of helping people find hope after loss. I’m honored to be a contributing author.