Continuing Bonds


BY: Diane Snyder Cowan

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss
Many grieving people wonder how they can maintain the bond they had with their deceased loved one as they move on with their lives. Many can’t even imagine moving on.

Developing a continuing bond happens over time. It shifts and changes for the mourner as different meanings in the loss are discovered. Continuing bonds provides solace, support and helps ease the transition from the past to the present.

Finding a way to carry the love for the deceased in our hearts is a great comfort. Some folks make major life changes. They go back to school, get new jobs, advocate for new laws or start fundraising. Others engage in their heritage and cultural activities to find meaning and connection.

Often we hear mourners remark, he would have loved this. I often think how my dad would react to certain news events. I know he would have loved when all of his children would get together.  He would have loved my newest granddaughter. The truth is that we can honor and remember our loved one in the context of things they haven’t experienced but would have loved.

Finding consolation in simple things can also help grievers find meaning in the relationship with the deceased and with the death. It helps create a bridge to a lasting, enduring, loving connection.

Remember your beloved when ….

…that person’s favorite song or artist comes on the radio.

…you wear a certain piece of jewelry or clothing.

…savoring a favorite food or dining in a preferred restaurant.

…watching the news, television or a movie.

…you meet someone that resembles or acts similar.

…you do something new and adventurous that he or she would have loved doing.

When we remember our deceased loved one, we frequently remember what they loved doing and various experiences. Continuing bonds allows us to carry our memories forward into how we live and what we love today. May your memories be a blessing.

We Can Help

Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.