In This Article, Eleanor Haley talks about the concept of Continuing Bonds in grief.
This Article offers some ideas for cultivating a sense of connectedness to your loved one.
Grief Counselor and bereaved mother Nisha Zenoff talks about her personal and professional experience with continuing bonds as part of the grieving journey:
“The best advice anyone ever gave me was to remember that I never have to stop loving her.” – Elizabeth Levang, dedicated to her grandmother, Salute Belluz
“As the days go by, they tell me I will get better and not hurt so much. This is most likely true, but this does not mean my love or memory of my daughter will be less. Oh no! I will always keep her alive in my heart and tell people that I have four children.” – Becky Geppert, in memory of her daughter, Rebecca Joy, always walking in her heart.
“I learned to do what it takes to relieve my sadness. I made a memory book, wrote poems, wrote Caleb a letter telling him how much I loved him, and did whatever else that helped me feel better.” – Judy Bierbower, in memory of her son, Caleb.
“When my mother died, she left behind the most beautiful African Violets. I’ve been caring for them ever since, watering and feeding them. Like so many things, they have become a tangible extension of my mother. When they blossomed recently, it seemed like she was with me again.” – Leah Jones, in loving memory of her mother, Ruth
“It’s good to remember my brother, I’m glad I do. It means he hasn’t gone away; he is still here. He will always be here, fitting me with shoes three sizes too big, insisting that I be on his team. Damn, it’s good to be his brother! It always has been good. It always will be.” – Mark D. Rittman, “I miss you Roger”
“I don’t understand why people pressure me to take down the pictures and mementos of my ‘daddy’. I’ll always love him, and I want those reminders surrounding me.” – Connie Lindsley Espinoza, in loving memory of her earthly “daddy,” Verlin “Jim” Lindsley.
“When I see a sunset, spring rain, beautiful billowing clouds, the colors and smell of fall in the air, I can’t help but feel the goodness of nature and the closeness of my loved ones.” – Monica Nelson, in loving memory of her mother, Creta Mullenmaster.
“My grandmother had a tremendous positive influence in my life. Even after she died, her spirit remained with me. During the birth of my daughter I knew that Grandma was close by my side; we named Chelsea Maria after her. I’m convinced that her gifts will always be carried on through my daughter. And Chelsea will always know her great grandmother, as we keep her memory alive.” – Cindy Leines, in loving memory of her grandmother, Maria Erickson
“His carefree ways have inspired me to live a freer life. ‘Carpe diem’ (seize the day), has become the motto of my life. Live life to its fullest, that’s what Rich did.” – Michelle Dubreuil, in loving memory of her brother, Rich.
“Today I saw two deer running through the yard. My first thought was that I wanted to share the sight with my Grandmother. She always got excited when she was deer. Perhaps her spirit was present, sharing the moment with me.” – Sherokee Ilse, in loving memory of Gram Kriesch
“I recently went through my closet sorting out things I wanted to give away. I could have parted with almost anything but clothing that belonged to my Mother. I wear some of her things on days I’m homesick for her. There is one particular sweater that she used to wear a lot; it still smells of her and her kitchen.” – Leah Jones, in loving memory of her mother Ruth.
“My Mom’s death taught me the value of gratitude and the necessity of expressing it regularly. As a result, my relationship with my father has been immeasurably strengthened. Now I make a point of calling regularly just to tell him I love him and I’m thinking about him.” – Al Honrath, in memory of his mother, Rose Kerkvliet Honrath.
“Paul and I have learned so much from our precious little son. We have learned what real love is about. We have learned, too, that courage and strength can grow as far as we are willing to allow them, and that the human spirit has no limit.” – Cathy Gunning, in loving memory of her son, Freddy.
(Excerpts are from Remembering With Love by Elizabeth Levang)