bereavement counselingWhen in bereavement counseling, you may have wondered, “Is my loved one really in heaven?” and “Is her spirit really still with me?” It’s normal to ponder where your loved one is now. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or spiritual; most bereaved people believe their loved ones still exist in some form.

Experts agree that after we die, we continue on in another form of energy, and it is through this energy that we stay connected. The spirit of your loved one is very much alive and with you.

You may not be able to see, touch or hold your loved one, but perhaps you believe he or she is in heaven or a shining star.

Whatever you believe, choose thoughts and actions that bring you reassurance. There are many ways to hold onto the person who has died. You don’t need to sever your relationship; instead, you can redefine the relationship in healthy, life-affirming ways.

It may seem unfathomable, but you have the gift to tap into your loved one’s presence too. I am a bereaved person just like you, but I have given myself permission to believe in this connection. I believe once you have love, you cannot lose it. I believe love is yours always.

Love doesn’t diminish over time, but continues to grow stronger, especially from the spiritual realm. You may not be able to see, touch or hold your loved one now physically, but perhaps:

  • Have you felt your loved one being close to you?
  • Do you see “signs” at unexpected times or places?

Many believe that our loved ones are always with us and are communicating from the other side in unique ways. In fact, reported examples of signs have included:

  • Smelling the scent of perfume or tobacco
  • Seeing a billboard message popping out at you
  • Overhearing a part of a conversation that applies to you
  • Hearing verses of a song
  • Seeing physical signs from an animal. (For example, a cardinal pecking at your window sill or a bird hitting your window at the precise time you are thinking something)
  • Seeing evidence of your loved one’s image in the background of a photo
  • Finding a feather, charm or physical object with a unique meaning
  • Seeing lights, televisions or other electrical appliances flickering
  • Enjoying the surprise growth of a special plant or flower

Have you received any of these signs? If your answer is no, be open to the possibility. Don’t disregard these unusual feelings or hunches you have. They may be messages from your loved one, whose spirit is lovingly looking down and caring for you. To facilitate a sense of peace and connection, try these exercises below:
Exercise 1:

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 first to facilitate a bond:

I get quiet, and go into a private space in my home, my sanctuary where I won’t be interrupted. I also might hold or look at a photo of my deceased mom.

I will think “Right now I am sending all my love to my mom. She is feeling it. And I know she is receiving it. And she is sending it back.”

If you try this exercise, you might feel a light caress, a flash of light or knowing.
Exercise 2:

If your loved one could give you a message, what do you think it would be?

I think my mom would give me the sentiment in the quote below. I believe your communication would be similar – a message of never-ending love and eternal life – a message to comfort and reassure you for the rest of your life.

“Remember, I love you. I have always loved you and will continue to love you. Even when you can’t see me, I will love you.”
~ Donna Olson, My Mom (as imagined by me)

What would your message be? Write it down. Say it aloud. Think it now.

The bonds of love can transcend any barrier, and its purest form allows you to encompass the essence of your loved one. The use of continuing connections can help heal your grief and move forward with joy in your heart. How can you facilitate continuing bonds with loved ones?

For the FREE mini-class, The Art of Life – Create a Meaningful and Joyous Life You Love, visit

Image courtesy of marin /