July 15th, 2020
The message in our culture for a long time was that life goes on, we need to get past it. We don't really believe that anymore in the in the bereavement world. We believe that we carry people forward with us, we don't leave them behind after they die.
So, this relational model of grief, which is what it's called, is the idea that we will go on after the death of a loved one by carrying them with us by incorporating some of their values, some of their traditions, by maintaining an inner relationship with them. And that continues over the long term.
After the initial severe pain of the physical separation, we need to find ways to remain connected to them internally, whether that's by telling stories about them, or continuing their traditions or living parts of our lives that they didn't get to live. It's a way of honoring them and carrying them forward with us.