Monday, June 8, 2009

LOVE is Eternal

I truly believe that Love is eternal. Therefore, the love created between you and your deceased love one is still there. The love is not turned off like a light switch. So, what do you do with that love? How do you make the love meaningful now?

Finding ways to nurture the love can usually ease some of the pain associated with a loss. So, even though your loved one is not present physically, you can discover ways to nurture the love that you experienced with your loved one. Continuing to nurture the love and relationship usually brings a feeling of closeness and connectedness to your loved one.

So, what can you do with the love you have for your deceased love one and how can you continue to nurture the relationship? Depending on your spiritual/religious/personal beliefs, there are many different things you can do. For example, you can create a sacred space in your home that has meaningful pictures and/or belongings of your loved one. You can use this sacred space for prayer or a place to sit and "talk" to your loved one aloud or in silence. Another idea is to create a memory garden in honor of your loved one. The memory garden can include your loved one's favorite flowers, a park bench, a bird feeder, water fountain, etc. Anything that brings nature into your heart, gives you good memories about your loved one and makes you "feel" the presence/closeness to your loved one. Did you know there is an organization called the American Horticultural Therapy Association ( I encourage you to check out their link. The American Horticultural Therapy Association has a great site and more information on the benefits of gardening. Lastly, I would like to mention an Expressive Arts idea.....journaling. Journaling can be an excellent way to stay connected to your loved one. It may be difficult to start journaling, however, once you start it can be very therapeutic and insightful into your healing process. Journaling is a way to express yourself and it is not about using correct grammar, appropriate punctuation, etc. There are many different ways to journal. At this time I will only mention two. The first type of journaling you could do is write letters to your deceased loved one. Tell him/her the new things going on in your life, your concerns, how you miss them, when you "feel" his/her presence near you, etc. The second type of journaling you may want to try is to write about your feelings. This allows you to express your feelings and can lessen the "charge" of the emotions/feelings. As I tell clients...."Don't make live inside your head what doesn't have to...get it out of your head by writing, painting, drawing, etc.". There really are no right or wrong ways to journal. Try it and find a way that suits you.

These activities also continue the legacy of your loved one. Keeping the legacy going can be very helpful in the healing process.

Thankfully, many mental health care professionals realize the importance of maintaining a "bond" with the deceased and finding ways to continue the connectedness. Not too long ago, this was highly frowned on. However, many therapists realize this can be a normal response for some grieving people. I encourage you to find ways to nurture the bond and keep the love flowing. So, whether nurturing your love through a sacred space, memory garden or Expressive Art activities, attempting to try one of these methods may give you insight and offer some comfort and peace.

On your journey I wish for you to find ways to bring love, comfort, peace and hope into your life. I will end this entry with a question.....How can you maintain meaningful connections with your loved one?

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