Chelsea Hanson, author of The Sudden Loss Survival Guide, explains how it’s possible to still feel a loved one’s presence even after they are gone.
After my mother died, I received many unhelpful comments implying that I was not moving on fast enough.
I was curious why Western society wants mourners to end the relationship with the deceased and pretend he or she never existed. I wondered how I could forget about someone I love and who is a huge part of my life.
The answer is that I could not and why should I?
I intuitively understood the deceased’s physical presence may be gone, but I also knew the relationship continues in a new way based on spirit and love.
Death doesn’t end the relationship; it simply forges a different type of bond—one where you continue the dialogue in unique, different ways.
I recall as the fog of grief began to lift after Mom’s death, I began to sense her presence around me.
I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what I felt, but sometimes I just knew she was near. I’d be talking to a friend, and the person would say something Mom would’ve said. I’d overhear a conversation and learn the answer to a pressing question. I’d receive clear signs or messages from billboards and license plates.
I now believe once you have love, you cannot lose it. It’s yours always. It doesn’t diminish over time but continues to grow stronger, especially from the spiritual realm.
According to the Continuing Bonds Model of Grief, staying connected to deceased loved ones facilitates healing as well as the ability to cope with the loss and accompanying changes. Holding on to the memory and spirit of a loved one doesn’t mean you are stuck.
It may seem unfathomable, but you have the gift to sense your loved one’s presence and continue the bond of love.
1. Be Open to Possibility
You may not be able to see, touch, or hold your loved one physically, but have you felt your loved one being close to you?
Do you see signs at unexpected times or places?
– Smelling the familiar scent of a loved one’s perfume or tobacco
– Hearing a song’s verse that provides the perfect message
– Having an “answer” pop into your heard when you need it most
– Seeing unexpected flickering of lights, televisions, or electrical devices
Don’t disregard any unusual feelings or hunches you have.
If what you experience brings you comfort, give yourself permission to feel it.
If you believe it is a sign, it is.
2. Raise Your Frequency
Close your eyes, recall the best memory you’ve had with your loved one. Recall the feelings of pure joy and bliss with all your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? When you raise your vibration to a higher frequency (an elevated emotion), it’s easier for the spiritual realm to connect with you.
3. Cultivate Connection
At times when you feel relaxed and calm, you are more likely to notice a connection. In fact, this is what I like to do in order to facilitate a connection.
I get quiet and go into a private space in my home, my sanctuary. Somewhere where I won’t be interrupted. I might also hold mom’s photo or special memento.
I will say in my mind, “Right now I am sending all my love to Mom. She is feeling it. And I know she is receiving it. And Mom is sending it back.”
When you try this, you might feel a soft caress, a flash of light or knowing, or an improved mood.
4. Ask for a Sign
Ask for a sign and then pay attention. A sign will likely come in an unexpected way with a meaning unique to only you.
I’d love to hear about your experiences! Just hit reply.
With much love to you,
Seven Essential Practices for Healing Grief (Grief and Bereavement Book)
The audience for The Sudden Loss Survival Guide includes readers who have suffered the unexpected loss of a beloved person. These losses occur from natural causes, undiagnosed medical conditions, accidents, road crashes, suicides, natural disasters, and acts of violence.
The readers are college-educated adults who are interested in self-help, continual learning, and balanced lifestyles. They read at least four books per year and keep them on their bedside or living room tables for easy access.