Keeping Your Relationship Alive
“Love that does not renew itself every day becomes a habit and in turn a slavery.”
Kahlil Gibran, Sand & Foam p. 28
After our person dies the feeling of being lost and missing them is often very powerful. Some bereaved persons tend to dive deep into those feelings. Loneliness, sadness, and emptiness are powerful and their intensity can provide for us a connection to that person. We feel them in the pain and its intensity gives us a false sense of their nearness.
That is a pathway that has been traveled by some. Yet it can be problematic. Since the deceased feels near in the intensity of that sorrow, some try to hang on to it, cultivate it, and nurture it. The drawback of this approach is two-fold.
First, it keeps us from moving forward in our grief to a deeper place of connection. Grief can be described as a searching experience. We are searching for a connection with the “lost” person. Our heart has been seeking them, trying to locate that relationship. But in fear of losing them completely, we maintain that depth and intensity of pain. We turn that relationship into a possession; that turns them and us into a slave working always and only to keep the pain present. This stymies our steps forward.
Second, it binds the person who died in the past. Yes, the past is where our memories of them are. But as we travel through our grief we are changed as we learn things about ourselves. New abilities, new dreams, and new directions in the future. As we change, so too does our relationship with the one who died. We will revisit them and our memories and learn new things about them because we will see them in a new way.
This is how we move forward in grief. It is a renewing of our relationship with ourselves as we understand ourselves in new ways and a renewed relationship with our person who died out of the new self we have become. It is healing for us and enlivens our other relationships