Historically, the advice given to those who have lost a loved one was to forget the deceased, quit “spending” so much emotional energy on him/her, “move on” with life, and find another relationship to “invest in.” Robert Neimeyer has a good description for this – love was being treated as if it were money that could be easily re-directed from one investment (relationship) to another. However, for a person who has lost a loved one, such advice seems ridiculously simplistic and cruel. How can we so readily forget someone we love, and besides, why should we? That person was an important part of our lives. How can we be expected to just walk away from those emotional binds? Thankfully, we now realize that “forgetting and re-investing” is bad advice – we can’t, and even shouldn’t, try to. Instead, we should do what we do naturally – actively strive to maintain a connection with our deceased loved one.
Read more: Introduction to Restructuring Your Relationship