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When Someone Dies Before You Can Say Goodbye

When someone dies before you can say goodbye, the lack of farewells can stick with you. Death is one of the most unexpected,” expected” events to occur. What I mean to say is that everyone is going to die, it is an expectation that we will each have our last day as living people and cross over into the afterlife. Whether a death occurs by a tragic accident, suicide or a long drawn out terminal disease it is a shock and requires a sudden goodbye.


There are varying degrees and circumstances of not being able to say goodbye. Death occurs in so many different ways. Many of them don’t allow an opportunity to have foresight and say a goodbye. 


There may be a horrible tragedy that makes a viewing or open casket impossible. Some have pre planned to be cremated or to have a direct burial which will limit the number of people who will see the body before it is put in its final resting place. I have even heard stories where children were not able to attend or see a deceased parent because the family didn’t want them to be traumatized. In the end it left them with no closure or true understanding of the finality of death.


As you can see the vast number of circumstances of death and loss creates the conflict of when someone dies before you can say goodbye. 


When Someone Dies Before You Can Say Goodbye You May Feel Some of These Feelings

  • Lack of Closure
  • Living with Regret
  • Delayed Healing


If you are struggling with the reality of not saying goodbye there are some ways you can still say goodbye. Even though your loved ones is gone there can be some form of closure


Write a Goodbye Letter

Writing can be so therapeutic. Write everything you want to say to them in a letter, a diary or even a poem or email. Tell them of all your regrets. Express all of your love and care for them. Tell them how much you miss them and how you will carry their memory forever. Writing is great because all you have to do is put pen to paper and write everything you would say to them if they were still alive. 

Go to the Grave Site

Bring a bouquet of flowers and take a day to head to the grave site and just be with your loved one. It is a sacred place where you can feel close to them even when they are no longer living. Talk with them, tell them goodbye, remember the good times you had together and shed as many tears as you need to. 

Create a Memorial

Plant a tree, sponsor a park bench or display a plaque. Whatever means the most to you. Create a place where you can go to “meet” with your loved one. In this place you can say your goodbyes and walk toward healing. 

Get Grief Support

Having support is one of the most important ingredients in a recipe for healing. Grief and healing is fluid. It changes over time. When you lose someone special, you never get over it even so you can go on to a prosperous and hopeful life. Finding grief support can help you to say goodbye and move toward hope. 

1 Comment

  • Laverne Tapplar Posted December 19, 2021 3:10 pm

    Thank you for your suggestions. We were friends for 45 years, like sisters

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