The months following a loss can be a very difficult time as everyone returns to business as usual. This is a time when many can feel a disconnect - life is seemingly moving on, while those grieving may feel left behind.
You may have heard some of the following advice:
“Get over it”
“Get back to normal”
These suggestions may be spoken by a well meaning friend or family member with the best intentions, but for many they may not be very helpful at all.
Moving forward after a loss doesn’t have to mean the connection to your loved one ends. It is completely natural to wish to continue your connection to the person you’ve lost, and if this is helpful for you, there are lots of meaningful ways you can continue your bond with your loved one. The most important thing is finding the path that is right for you.
Here are some ideas that may be helpful as you think about how you may wish to maintain your relationship and connection with your loved one:
- Talking to or writing to your loved one
- Making choices in your daily life that your loved one would be proud of
- Celebrating special dates like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays in remembrance of your loved one
- Keeping photos of your loved one present
- Intentionally remembering your loved one on important dates, such as lighting a candle for the deceased on your wedding day.
- Thinking of your loved one and remembering treasured memories
- Remembering helpful advice or meaningful conversations your loved one shared with you when you are faced with important decisions
- Keep something special that belonged to your loved one
- Visiting places that help you to feel close to your loved one
Adjusting to your new normal can mean all kinds of things. New highs, new lows, new adventures, new routines, new relationships, new loved ones. It is perfectly okay to give yourself permission to embrace everything new, and to also honor and continue your love for those you’ve lost in a new way.