In an article A Grief Concept You Should Care About: Continuing Bonds written by Eleanor Hayley on the “What’s Your Grief” website she summarises the continuing bonds model as follows:
“……under this model, when your loved one dies grief isn’t about working through a linear process that ends with ‘acceptance’ or a ‘new life’, where you have moved on or compartmentalized your loved one’s memory. Rather, when a loved one dies you slowly find ways to adjust and redefine your relationship with that person, allowing for a continued bond with that person that will endure, in different ways and to varying degrees, throughout your life. This relationship is not unhealthy, nor does it mean you are not grieving in a normal way. Instead, the continuing bonds theory suggests that this is not only normal and healthy, but that an important part of grief is continuing ties to loved ones in this way. Rather than assuming detachment as a normal grief response, continuing bonds considers natural human attachment even in death.”
She goes on to describe four reason why its okay for the grieving person to want to continue their bond with their loved one namely:
- Continuing bonds acknowledges that grief is ongoing.
- Continuing bonds says that it’s normal to stay connected with a loved one.
- Continuing bonds may describe many of the grief-related behaviors.
- Continuing bonds says that not only are these behaviors normal, but they may help cope with grief.
To read a detailed breakdown of these reasons please click on the link above to find the full article.