• palbee

Saying Goodbye . . .


It‘s been heartbreaking during this past 18 months of Covid 19 deaths and loved ones not able to say goodbye. It’s also hard after a sudden death of an accident, stroke, heart attack or suicide. Here are a few ways in which you might start to have some closure.


I learned this technique from an oncology therapist friend in 1987 when my father was dying. Although I got to say goodbye to him, many of the people in our cancer support group did not get final goodbyes with their loved ones. Their heartache was immeasurable. However, the compassion and healing that came from one guided imagery session gave way to small and large amounts of healing their grief.

Guided imagery: Be in a quiet space by yourself, free form interruptions. Set an intention to have a healing conversation with your loved one, friend, or co-worker. Take a long slow deep breath and settle into where you are with your hips and back fully supported.

Now search your memory for the absolute best picture you can recall of your loved one. THE BEST PICTURE. A picture that feels good to you. Once you have the picture, concentrate on their face. Look into the eyes of this person with love. Soon it will seem as though they somehow become animated. And when they SMILE at you, you can begin talking with them. (This in hypnotherapeutic terms is called etheric plane communication.) Talk as long as you want or need. This NOT about telling them your current problems so much as it IS about conversations regarding unfinished business and getting the chance to say goodbye to each other.

Does it work? ABSOLUTELY!

My 5 year old was very close to my father. And as he became weaker and ravaged by cancer he did not want her to witness his severe decline or remember him looking sick and gaunt. Thus, she did not get to say goodbye to him. She was only five and I decided not to include her in the funerals we had for him; one in Washington State and one in Nebraska, where he was laid to rest.

She had gotten in trouble at school for biting a little girl who made fun of her as she told the little girl about her grandpa. For unknown reasons, the little girl laughed at my daughter for crying about her grandpa – so, she bit her. First and last time biting, but still needed to be addressed.

So I used the guided imagery above for the first time with my daughter sitting on my lap with her eyes closed. Soon she said, “There’s grandpa!” I was only privy to her side of the conversation which lasted about 20 minutes – as she caught him up on all that was going on. Her conversation was sweet, kind and loving. She giggled often and then suddenly said, “OK, Goodbye.” She jumped off my lap and was quite happy afterwards.

After my father died, I was able to have two of his beloved blue sweaters. I went to get them and as we both put on a sweater it was like my dad and her grandpa hugging us. That story was published in Chicken Soup for the Mothers Soul II in 2000, called The Sweater. There were times throughout my daughter’s life when she came home in a “mood.” I would later check on her and more often than not found her wrapped up, asleep, and in her grandpa’s sweater . . . with a sweet smile on her face.

For those of you who JOURNEY you can set your intention the same way. You can meet your loved one and say good bye, by going with your guides/power animals to your SACRED GARDEN and meet your loved one there and visit with them. If you know how to do PSYCHOPOMP please assist them into the Light or Upper World so they are able to go on with their soul life. You can always go visit them there after they have fully transitioned into the afterlife. I believe there is an ethical consideration here to never keep a deceased one in some type of containment just for yourself. They need to move on and so do we.


I used these techniques with clients and have walked a few friends through the guided imagery over the phone. It was also part of my continuing education course on Death, Dying and Beyond for healthcare providers. If you need help with this, you can check out how to contact me on the resource page.