Even professionals in the mental health field are confused about loss and the realities of bereavement. We don’t simply relinquish our connection to the dead. Nor should we. Naturally, there is a struggle, but at long last a way to fight for some middle ground. Tragically, we are forced to relinquish and let go of the physical relationship once had—despite our best efforts and fictions, we haven’t found a way to get through the ultimate limit of mortality, the ruthlessness of separation caused by death. On the other hand, we need to remain connected in some way to the dead. Attachment forms the basis of our relationships and the need to be connected to the dead persists. This is why many cultures encourage dialogue through ceremony and ritual with the ancestors. Examples abound.
This article speaks to our need to stay connected to the dead. The author articulates how using her imagination to bring her deceased friend’s spirit into her life is both painful and helpful. It is an example of fighting for and standing in a middle path, between letting go of the physical relationship to the deceased and yet staying connected and attached through emotion and imagination at the same time.